Sickly, injured beaver brought to AVC
'Public intervention with wildlife under any circumstance presents risk'
A injured beaver seen ambling around the Dalvay area of the P.E.I. National Park is now being treated at the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC).
The slow-moving beaver was spotted crawling on the side of the road earlier this week, which drew a lot of attention at the park and on social media.
Part of that ecosystem process is animals living as well as dying and that maintains a healthy ecosystem.— Hailey Lambe
Brian McInnis is one of the Island drivers who saw the beaver — at first he thought it was an injured dog, but when he pulled over and approached the animal he said "oh jumpins, that's a beaver!"
The beaver was moving slowly, McInnis said, which led him to believe the animal may have been injured.
"My main concern is that he's going to get killed, because he does cross the road," he said. "Cars come through quite speedily and he doesn't move fast."
So many drivers were pulling over, taking photos and approaching the beaver that Parks Canada placed signs along the road asking drivers to slow down, move along and not to approach wildlife.
However when Marcie Currie saw the beaver, she decided to act.
Fractured leg, long road to recovery
As she was driving through Dalvay Monday, Currie said she saw the beaver lumbering along one side of the road; on her way back she saw him on the other side.
She decided to pull over and thought it was "kind of strange" the beaver wasn't scurrying away. That's when she got out and saw it was "really skinny" and had an injury on its back.
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"He was pretty slow-moving, as he is sick, so we just took a heavy quilted blanket, threw it overtop of him and put him into a 40-litre tote," Currie said.
She said she was comfortable taking the animal because she took a wildlife program at Holland College for two years and spent four weeks training at a wildlife rehabilitation centre in New Brunswick.
She took the beaver to the AVC, where it has been ever since.
Fiep de Bie, a wildlife technician with the vet college, said the beaver was dehydrated, with several small wounds on its back and a fractured leg.
They've since given the animal fluids and have it on antibiotics. She said the fracture won't require surgery but that "it will take a number of weeks for it to heal."
"It still has a bit of a road to go ... It's still early stages so we hope it will survive. So far so good," de Bie added. "It's eating well but it's not out of the woods yet."
She said the beaver is a male and has apparently been named Justin.
Don't touch the wildlife
Hailey Lambe, a resource management officer with Parks Canada, had been keeping an eye on the beaver and urged the public to not remove wildlife from their environment — even if the animals are injured.
"We at Parks Canada want to make it clear that public intervention with wildlife under any circumstance presents risk to both the wildlife that are being handled as well as the visitor," she said.
"We don't advise it in any circumstance."
She said people often act out of the "goodness of their heart" when they take injured wildlife to get treated, but that Parks Canada wants to keep wildlife wild — and that can mean leaving the injured animals for nature to take its course.
"We really work to keep wildlife in the park wild and ecosystems in the park healthy and a big part of that is letting ecosystem processes roll out naturally," she said.
"Part of that ecosystem process is animals living as well as dying and that maintains a healthy ecosystem."
The beaver will remain at the AVC until it's in good enough health to return to Dalvay.
Parks Canada has a 24/7 dispatch centre that takes calls when there is an incident or injured wildlife in the national park. It can be reached at 1-877-762-1422.
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With files from Jesara Sinclair