Sick beaver chauffeured 400 km to new lodgings
Beaver from Ottawa area will likely be released in spring
File this beaver tale under "only in Canada."
A volunteer driver from Stittsville, Ont., has successfully chauffeured a sick beaver to its new home in Rosseau, Ont., nearly 400 kilometres west of Ottawa — a dam long road trip.
The beaver, whose plight caught the attention of many Canadians on social media, was found dehydrated, underweight and lethargic in an Ottawa-area backyard.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary tweeted an urgent plea for a driver to pick up the 11-kilogram beaver and take it to the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, which is better equipped to treat the animal.
It took only 30 minutes for Mary Herbert — a self-confessed "beaver fan" — to respond to the request.
Beaver 'in pretty good shape'
"Where I live we have beaver ponds close by. It's just nice when I'm out walking with my dog seeing the beavers," said Herbert. "When an animal needed aid I figured I could step up to the plate and do it."
When an animal needed aid I figured I could step up to the plate and do it.- Mary Herbert, beaver chauffeur
So on Wednesday morning, Herbert and the beaver — safely lodged in a cat carrier — hit the road and began the roughly four-hour journey.
Not only did she have to keep one eye on the animal, she was also asked by the animal experts to keep the radio off so the beaver could ride in silence.
"It was a beautiful, quiet drive," said Herbert. "He made no noise at all so I have to say I was a little apprehensive as to what I was finding when I got here."
Howard Smith, managing director of the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, said the beaver arrived "in pretty good shape, all things considered."
As patients, Smith said beavers have "varying personalities"
The sanctuary in Rosseau already has about a dozen beavers in its care at the moment. Smith said the latest addition will probably be released next spring.
It's still unclear what exactly happened to the animal.
The beaver, which is about 18 months old, would normally still be with its parents this time of year, but Smith said they must have become separated.
Rumours swirled online that the beaver may have gotten drunk off fermenting apples.
"The beaver probably could use some coffee and a couple of Aspirins and some rest," opined one commentator.
Smith admitted it's a plausible diagnosis.
"It's a theory," he said.