A video of an injured baby beaver enjoying some recovery time in a small pool has been viewed thousands of times since it was posted Wednesday.
The Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) posted the video, saying he was found at a Calgary-area golf course with an injury to his tail.
“We really don’t know what happened to him,” executive director Holly Duvall told Global News. “He was found on a high spot in an unusual location for this age of beaver, because they stay very close with moms, dads, and older juveniles helping to raise them.
“We’re assuming that a predator maybe picked him up and dropped him.”
Duvall said the beaver is between four and six weeks old, and his body is very small—about 10 inches long without the tail. He weighs 1.1 kilograms, up from 760 grams when he was admitted.
“We’re glad he’s gaining weight every day and his pool time is going really well,” she said. “Beavers need to be in water–to drink and defecate, so he has several pool time sessions each day. He’s doing well with that, trying to groom himself after so that’s all really good.”
He’s currently being fed a specialized formula, willow and poplar and will move to solid foods as he gets older. Duvall expects to keep him in care for two to three years—one of the longer patients for the facility.
She said beavers typically spend two to three years with their parents to learn from them: the first year is mainly sleeping, playing and eating just like human babies.
“The second year, which is not like human babies, is learning to become engineers—so we’ll give him the tools to build a lodge,” Duvall said. “We’ve consulted with several specialists in Canada and the U.S. and they’ve had the most success releasing beavers after two to three years, as that’s when they’d naturally go out on their own.”
Duvall said that makes for a lengthy rehabilitation time with lots of costs, but is glad the recovery is going well.
If you see an injured animal, report it to the facility at 403-946-2361.
The AIWC is accepting monetary or in kind donations at www.aiwc.ca.
If you want to “adopt” the little beaver to support his care directly, visit the website and select “large mammal”: http://www.aiwc.ca/support-us/adopt-an-animal/