Beaver buddies 'doing really well together' as they recover from injuries at wildlife centre

A lonely beaver has found a best friend after spending a year alone while recovering at the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation north of Calgary.

Both animals were rescued in Calgary after apparently being attacked by predators

Two beavers have become best pals at the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation. The male and female beavers were found injured in Calgary and brought to the rural facility, the first in June 2016 and the second in June 2017. (Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation)

A year after being found injured on a Calgary golf course, a lonely beaver now has a best friend.

When the female was about five weeks old, she was discovered with an injured tail, possibly from a predator looking to make an easy meal of the baby beaver. She was given the designation 16-946.

In June of 2016 she was brought to the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation, about 30 kilometres north of Calgary, where she has been recovering but spending much of her time alone.

But one year after being rescued, 16-946 now has a furry beaver companion. His name is 17-536, and he has a similar story to his rehabilitated friend.

"He was found in a northeast Calgary area storm drain — very unusual location for him to be found," Holly Duvall, the group's executive director, told the Calgary Eyeopener.

"It was well away from water and he had quite a substantial puncture wound to his back. So we again think with him that he was probably attacked by a predator of some sort."

The new beaver has been at the facility since June of this year and the two creatures have become fast friends, interacting and getting to know each other during supervised visits and swims in the pool.

Beaver buddies

Duvall said 16-946 has met a few other beavers at the facility since she came to the institute a year ago, but 17-536 is the first one she has gotten along with.

"It's still slow, introductions are supervised," Duvall said. 

"We want to make sure they're both safe. Beaver introductions can be quite dangerous. They can be quite aggressive to one another, especially when they're outside of the family unit."

Duvall said having a little company is helping both beavers recover from their traumas and the two beavers are socializing.

"It really helps with their mental well-being, which is a great aid to their recovery while they're in our care," Duvall said. 

While it's still too early to tell if there is a love connection in the works between the two beavers, Duvall said it's possible that the two will continue to live as a pair when they leave the facility and are reintroduced into the wild sometime in the spring of 2018.

"Based on how their interactions are going right now, they're doing really well together. So we would hope they would remain together in the wild as well."

Costly critters

Duvall said beavers spend two to three years in a family unit before breaking out on their own. 

The Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation is a charitable organization, and raising beavers is a costly endeavour. Food, water, husbandry and care for the two beavers will cost nearly $23,000 a year, so the the group has set up a GoFundMe page where people can donate to the care and upkeep of the animals.

There is also an option to "adopt" wild animals online, including the pair of beavers, through the group's online store.