The beaver who lived with a family and built dams in their home

Thirty years ago, the Lund family of Rennie, Man., had a beaver they named Bucky hanging around their house, but they didn't see it as a problem.

Bucky ended up growing up with the Lunds after being orphaned as a kit in the 1980s

A beaver named Bucky ended up living with a Manitoba family after he was orphaned. 2:07

Thirty years ago, the Lund family of Rennie, Man., had a beaver named Bucky hanging around their house, but they didn't see it as a problem.

He'd been living with the Lunds since he was four days old, after his mother died during the blasting of a beaver dam and Bucky was left an orphan.

Dianne Lund is seen patting Bucky the beaver, as he sits on a chesterfield at the Lunds' home in Rennie, Man., in 1988. (Midday/CBC Archives)

"We ended up with this little guy that we really didn't know what to do with," said Chris Lund, when speaking with CBC's Midday in the fall of 1988 about the young Castor canadensis sharing a home with Lund, his wife and his children, near Whiteshell Provincial Park.

"We took him home and hoped on looking after him for a while and hoping that a zoo or some other place where they keep animals would take him, but so far it's ended up we've been keeping him ourselves and still hoping that we're going to find a home for him."

'As much trouble as a kid'

The Lunds told Midday — while Bucky sat alongside them on their chesterfield, noisily crying at times — that having a beaver at home was almost like having another child in their life.

Bucky the beaver is seen looking in the fridge at the home of Chris and Dianne Lund in 1988. (Midday/CBC Archives)

"He gets into as much trouble as a kid would," said Dianne Lund, who noted Bucky liked eating "fruit, vegetables, bread, cereals, cookies, anything — except meat." (A separate report from a CBC journalist in Manitoba said that Bucky's favourite food was, in fact, chili.)

He was living the life of a regular pet. He was taken for walks and he played with the Lunds and their children.

But Bucky didn't give up his wild ways when he moved in with the Lunds, occasionally taking household objects and using them to make dams indoors — including in doorways and on the stairwell.

"He's still got that instinctive thing in him where he'll pick up carpet, shoes, anything that's loose on the floor and make a dam out of it," said Chris Lund.

Trapped between two worlds

Despite the debris the beaver left about their home, the Lunds had grown quite attached to Bucky and they admitted it would be hard to say goodbye to him one day — particularly for their kids.

The Lund family said that Bucky the beaver would try to build dams out of things he found in their home. (Midday/CBC Archives)

"Actually, they really enjoy him and if we do happen to give him away, it'll probably be a little hard to do because they're actually quite attached to him," Chris Lund said.

In June of 1989, CBC News followed up on Bucky's story, finding that the Lunds had helped relocate him to a nearby goose sanctuary — though gradually, so he could get used to a life a little more ordinary for a beaver.

"We may have him some evenings in our house, too, so it'll be a gradual thing where he won't miss it altogether," said Chris Lund.

The CBC report said Bucky was commuting between the Lunds' home and the goose sanctuary as he got used to the new arrangement. There was footage showing the then two-year-old beaver getting into a truck and also swimming in a small pool. 

After two years living in a human home, an orphaned beaver relocates to a Manitoba goose sanctuary. 1:54