Edmonton

Homeless beaver laying down roots in Edmonton during recovery

Sawyer the beaver has his own pool, a little slide, and all the wood he could want as he recovers from an injury suffered two weeks ago.

Beaver was found crossing highway dragging both legs

WILDNorth, a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facility, is looking for donations to help care for animals like Sawyer, a baby beaver, who needs to stay on-site over the winter. 1:06

At the WILDNorth Wildlife hospital, Sawyer has his own pool, a nice slide and all the wood he could want.

The little beaver was brought in a couple of months ago after someone spotted him crossing a highway near Wetaskiwin, dragging his hind legs.

"In the course of a few weeks, with proper TLC, lots of care, he recovered from that injury and was able to walk properly," said Dale Gienow, a director at WILDNorth.

But though Sawyer is healed and ready for the wild again, his caretakers don't know where to take him. They have no idea who his parents are, and he's too young to be released on his own.

"Beavers don't readily accept other beavers into their families, so we're unable to foster him," said Gienow.

'Keep him for two years'

"So that means we have to literally keep him for two years, which is sort of the prerequisite time that a young beaver will be living with its parents before it would leave the parents and be on its own."

In the meantime, the four-month-old beaver will have to get used to his surroundings, including a cozy pool he will have access to throughout the winter.

WILDNorth is a charity that cares for injured and orphaned wildlife.

The not-for-profit organization relies on donations to cover the cost of looking after rescued animals.

"The costs associated with caring for these animals really varies depending on the nature of the injury or why the animal's brought in," said Gienow, who estimates WILDNorth has admitted more than 3,000 wild animals into the hospital.  

"The ones that really incur the most cost are the ones we have to over-winter, because these are our long-term residents. And that's why we're appealing to the public during this time of need to look after some of these animals."

To help cover the costs, WILDNorth is hosting its WILDNorth Pole holiday event on Dec. 14 at Queen Mary Community Centre, at 10844 117th St.

The Edmonton City Centre location of Irish pub Fionn MacCool's is helping out by matching donations, up to $10,000, during the month of December.