WATCH: Baby beavers recovering after getting covered in illegally dumped motor oil

Click to play video: 'Baby beavers found covered in oil' Baby beavers found covered in oil
Mon, Jul 24: Three baby beavers are recovering at Critter Care after the trio was found alone in a ditch and covered in oil. Linda Aylesworth explains why rescuers say their messy predicament could have been prevented – Jul 24, 2017

A video of baby beavers grooming themselves after getting caught up in oil is no doubt adorable, but also comes with a serious message about the consequences of improperly disposed motor oil.

The three beavers were found in Mission last week and brought to Langley’s Critter Care Wildlife Society.

“They were in a ditch by the side of a pretty busy road and they were covered in motor oil and when we looked around we found a drum of motor oil dumped,” Critter Care’s Dawn Johnston said.

The centre published a video of the beavers to its Facebook page.

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The toxic oil was washed off of their fur relatively easily. Johnston said the more difficult task was determining how much oil they might have ingested before the rescue.
At this point they seem to be doing well, Johnston said.

Their parents, unfortunately, likely did not survive.

“It’s very unusual for beavers to abandon their young so something probably happened to the parents and they are dead,” Johnston said. “It could have been they were in the motor oil for longer.”

Conservation officers said the whole ordeal could have been avoided if someone hadn’t been careless enough to leave motor oil by the side of the road rather than take it to one of the 150 facilities across B.C. that are approved to take waste oil.

B.C. conservation officer Nicole Caithness notes that failing to properly dispose of oil could result in a hefty fine.

“At minimum it would be a violation ticket at $575,” she said. “For a more serious example – so if you were depositing a couple of litres of oil – you’d probably be going to court.”

The beavers are now recovering at Langley’s Critter Care, spending part of their days in a wading pool.

Johnston said they hope the beavers “will be with us probably over winter and then next spring they’ll be released together as a family.”

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– With files from Linda Aylesworth

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