REGINA – Four baby beavers have found themselves far from home.
They’re now in Megan Lawrence’s backyard, director of wildlife rehabilitation for Salthaven West.
Trappers near Fort Qu’Appelle, Sask., found a dead mother beaver with her four kits still by her side.
The newborns, only days old at the time, were in critical condition. Knowing their chances for survival alone were low, the trappers brought them to Salthaven West in Regina, a wildlife rehabilitation and education center.
“They were cold, weak and hungry, so we put them in an incubator right away to raise their body temperature. Then we started them on electrolyte fluids right away,” Lawrence said.
The baby beavers are fed a special formula imported from Arizona.
Since receiving care, they’ve gained weight and doubled in size.
Lawrence says she has never raised beavers before. It took some research but the kits are now typical two-week-old babies eating six times a day.
The four kits have been at Salthaven for two weeks, and in another two weeks will move to a larger facility in Moose Jaw.
“They’ll have a large enclosure that they’ll need to thrive and learn to live in the wild.”
These orphaned siblings still have their umbilical cords attached, and even at a couple weeks old are finally starting to thrive without their mother. Lawrence keeps the one pound kits in a large pen in the backyard, next to birds who are also being rehabilitated.
They are often let out to roam the yard to get the feeling of grass and nature.
They also have a daily dip in a kiddy-pool to develop their swimming skills before they are returned to the wild in two years.
When released they will go back to the Fort Qu’Appelle area.
Salthaven is a non-profit wildlife rehabilitation and education center. If you would like to donate please visit their website.