Beware of Beavers

beaverIt’s rather ironic that after my last post on the peaceful harmony of wildlife I would choose to post on the subject of increasing violence among once peaceful forest mammals.

Beavers—of all the unlikely creatures—have apparently been growing more aggressive.

That’s a far cry from the gentle domestic rodents C.S. Lewis introduced us to in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Just consider the politeness of Mr. and Mrs. Beaver when the Pevensie children are meeting Aslan for the first time:

“Go on,” whispered Mr. Beaver.

“No,” whispered Peter, “you first.”

“No, Sons of Adam before animals,” whispered Mr. Beaver back again.

As if we needed another reminder that we’re not in Narnia, reports out of Belarus indicate that beaver attacks are on the rise. In the most serious attack, a sixty year old man was actually slain by one of the web-footed amphibians. Accounts said a major artery in his leg was sliced by its “razor-sharp teeth.”

A frightening picture indeed.

Well, worrisome certainly . . . until we hear the rest of the story.

It turns out the fisherman was assaulting the poor little animal. While we must remain considerate of the grief of the sportsman’s family, it appears he was driving past the beaver—which was presumably minding its own woodland business—when he decided it would be fun to grab it and force it to pose for a picture with him.

Apparently—make note of this lest you inadvertently arouse a beaver’s ire—since they are predominantly nocturnal, beavers become disoriented and irritable when forced to pose for portraits during the daytime.

It’s one thing to enjoy nature’s wildness from a distance. Quite another to interpose ourselves and expect undomesticated beasts to behave with good manners. After all, as we learned when Aslan created Narnia, he didn’t civilize all of the furry beavers:

He was going to and fro among the animals. And every now and then he would go up to two of them (always two at a time) and touch their noses with his. He would touch two beavers among all the beavers, two leopards among all the leopards, one stag and one deer among all the deer, and leave the rest. (The Magician’s Nephew).

13 thoughts on “Beware of Beavers

      1. Beavers possess their own version of nobility! You just reminded me of my days in the University of Washington Marching Band. Our mascot is the “mighty” husky (huskies, plural, in normal usage). We used to razz our interstate rival, Oregon State University for being the Beavers. But then things can always be “worse…” Their cross-state rivals are the University of Oregon Ducks!

        Frankly, I’m fine with any kind of mascot, even “buckeyes,” which are simply trees (and their nuts) that grow in Ohio… Actually, the only mascots I don’t approve of are Devils, Demons and their ilk. I can abide Pirates, Vikings, Raiders, Buccaneers and other human rascals, but when it comes to supernatural evil, I’m not sure it’s something that should be glorified.

  1. (Ipana toothpaste! It must be cranky beavers unable to find another commercials? Always hard on child stars)
    Poor beaver – it’s not a petting zoo – or Narnia.
    Make a note: toddlers and beavers do not like long photo sessions.
    (Reflects that survival of the fittest? The smart ones survive…)
    Thanks for the giggles

    1. I noted his need for a good tooth brushing as well! Of course, that’s not the actual culprit (who presumably scurried away too quickly for a photo id).

    1. Good insight. Your comment reminded me it had been ages since I’d visited there website… so I did. The latest posted victim of his own decisions:

      Investigative journalism reaches a new “low” when a reporter freezes to death while getting an inside look at the lives of those who sleep rough…
      (31 March 2013, Newcastle, England) The UK homeless population’s numbers are difficult to gauge; the website sets a low estimate at 2,300 homeless people per night.

      Intending to advance his career, investigative journalist Lee Halpin, 26, decided to acquire background in the problem by pretending to be homeless. He borrowed a sleeping bag and, waving aside the concerns of friends and family, he set off into the streets alone. “I will sleep rough, scrounge for my food, interact with as many homeless people as possible, and immerse myself in that lifestyle as deeply as I can,” said the journalist–three days before freezing to death in a boarded up hostel.

      Another sad case, to be sure. All human life is precious, but if people are suicidal, well, the rest of us can only do so much…

  2. When we got beavers in our pond and their dam made the water level rise so high that it flooded the dirt road running by the pond, we took on the beavers with a plastic pipe full of holes that we ran through their dam. When the water level got lower, they left. I was sorry to see them go, but we did need our road! Fortunately, ours were very leery of being seen by humans, and the most we ever saw was a silhouette of a head gliding through the water, leaving a sunset-tinged wake behind it. I’m glad we had nice, polite beavers!

    1. It’s sad to see them go, but hopefully they found a location they can flood without cutting their human neighbors off from civilization. And yes, it’s a good thing they weren’t from a warrior clan.

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