The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre has a new patient: a two-week-old baby beaver who they believe was orphaned.
One week ago, the facility said a man brought in a baby beaver saying he found it on the banks of a Calgary river.
The man told them he had spotted the animal alone and crying as he watched it for over an hour. He said there was a lodge nearby that looked damaged, and he did not see the baby’s parents.
This is very unusual for a baby beaver or kit, according to Andrea Hunt, executive director at the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Kits are almost never found away from their parents.
Hunt said the man phoned their facility and they determined the animal needed help, so he brought it in.
Now, staff at the centre are feeding the beaver formula through a syringe. They expect to care for the animal for up to two years before they can release it back into the wild.
Once the little critter moves onto solid food, the facility — which relies on donations — said it will likely cost over $150 a week to feed.
Staff don’t know whether this cutie is a boy or a girl. Hunt said the only way to determine gender is with an X-ray, and since that’s not medically necessary, they would not take that step.
Usually, staff at the wildlife hospital do not name their patients, to avoid getting overly attached, but since this critter will likely be with them for another two years, they might have to break that rule.
Hunt said all baby mammals need contact or touch to thrive, so staff get to cuddle it for now. But eventually, this webbed-toed heartbreaker will become more and more independent.
The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre takes in all kinds of wild animals in distress, but they do not often have beavers.
After the 2013 flood, however, the facility cared for two beavers. According to Hunt, both were successfully rehabilitated into the wild.
For more information on the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, click here.