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Beavers: damned if you do, damned if you don’t

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Troy Shantz

Neighbours of the furry, wood-chewing variety took up residence in Twin Lakes subdivision this summer.

Beavers were discovered living in the two storm water ponds between Michigan and Errol roads during a routine inspection by city staff.

A pair of them were captured in humane traps by a provincially licensed trapper and relocated to more “natural” habitat in the county.

“If beavers are allowed to build dams and block discharge structures for any storm-water management facilities, it can cause flooding,” said Joe Boothe, the city’s superintendent of environmental services.

The large, semi-aquatic rodents are excellent swimmers and mainly active at night, so many residents may not have noticed them.

But their habit of cutting down deciduous trees to eat the foliage and inner bark and build lodges can be damaging in city parks.

“There’s not much more we can do because they are native to the area, so we just move them just to make sure they don’t cause any blockages or any damage to the structures themselves,” Boothe said.

Sarnia has nine storm-water facilities, which are used to capture runoff, prevent erosion and improve water quality.

They also happen to make a nice habitat for beavers and other critters. Residents who come across a beaver or evidence of their activity, such as chew marks on trees, are asked to contact Animal Control at 519-336-5049.

 

 

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