Beaver in Watrous, Sask. skpic

A man faces a wildlife charge after trying to cut off a beaver's tail while the animal was still alive in Watrous, Sask. Avril Reifferscheid took a picture of the rodent before that happened. (Courtesy Avril Reifferscheid)

An RCMP officer in Watrous had to kill an injured beaver yesterday around suppertime after it wandered down Main Street in the community east of Saskatoon.

The animal was suffering from multiple injuries. When the officer arrived, a man was trying to cut off its tail.

The officer killed the beaver with his service pistol.

Const. Brendan Fonteyne said the man believed he had killed the beaver, and was attempting to remove the tail after it was dead to collect a $25 bounty. But it turned out he was wrong.

Many rural municipalities — including the R.M. of Morris, which includes Watrous —​ offer a bounty for animals they consider pests. Farmers complain that beavers dam up waterways and flood their land.

The suspect, a young man from Churchbridge, Sask., has been charged under the Wildlife Regulations Act with hunting within 500 metres of a building without the building owner's permission. The investigation is ongoing.