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Baby beaver killed in attempt to clear Port Moody storm drain

An adult beaver and kit observed in the Port Moody storm sewer system. City of Port Moody

Animal welfare activists are calling on the city of Port Moody to review its beaver management plan, after a beaver kit was killed in an attempt to clear a storm sewer pipe.

Port Moody Mayor Mike Clay released a statement saying “Council and City staff are heartbroken” by the incident “for which we accept full responsibility.”

The city was working to clear the pipe in Pigeon Creek over concerns of a possible blockage that could cause flooding in the Klahanie neighbourhood.

READ MORE: Don’t kill beavers for building dams, B.C. activists tell Park Canada

Crews started to try and coax the beavers out of the pipe at the beginning of the month.

Staff erected a one-way door over the pipe, used beaver scent and breached the beavers’ dam, and by mid-month thought they had all of the beavers out, said Port Moody general manager of engineering Jeff Moi.

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WATCH: Injured baby beaver makes friend at Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation

Click to play video 'Injured baby beaver makes friend at Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation' Injured baby beaver makes friend at Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation
Injured baby beaver makes friend at Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation – Aug 14, 2017

However, because one of the beaver kits kept coming back to the pipe, staff left a live trap inside. When the beavers repaired their nearby dam, it raised the water level inside, drowning the kit, according to the city.

“This is a really unfortunate event that, like I said, everyone who was involved with is deeply saddened by,” said Moi.

“We’ve learned a lot of lessons from this and we’ll make sure we’ll consider them in any kind of similar projects in the future.”

READ MORE: Leave it to beavers: Toothy rodents fell dozens of trees in Vancouver

Animal rights group The Fur-Bearers is calling the incident a “preventable death,” and says it wants an investigation into the city’s management plan and decision making in the relocation plan.

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“There is absolutely no reason that any of these beavers had to die what we can only imagine was a terrifying death to protect this culvert,” it said in a news release.

The city said the remaining beavers in the family are alive and well, and that it will continue to monitor their condition.

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