Beaver on loose in Tipton St John

Pensioner Wendy has rare sighting of beaver on her garden pond

A BEAVER is on the loose in the Tipton St John area.

The lone animal was spotted and videoed by a resident on an island in the middle of the large pond in her garden.

Now John Michael Kennaway of Escot Park, who introduced a pair of beavers to the park in 2007, has offered to co-ordinate any sightings of the beaver and, if necessary, trap it and re-home it.

When pensioner Wendy Pounce first saw the beaver, she thought it was an otter. Then she realised how big it was and saw its large paddle of a tail.

She said: “They are nocturnal and I sat watching it for two evenings from 8pm to about 9.30pm, hoping it wasn’t going to gnaw any trees down.”

She invited friends in who videoed it, but the next day it had vanished.

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“We saw it preening itself and sorting out its whiskers. We had quite a good view of it and it was eating vegetation.”

Wendy called John Michael to see if one of his had escaped, but both are safe behind electrified fencing.

He said: “This is quite a rare and privileged sighting. They are quite solitary animals. It is not breeding time, that is winter, and they have their young in May.”

He said they could grow to 30 kilos but were no danger to people or animals.

“They are 100 percent vegetarians and not dangerous. They wouldn’t attack a person or dog, just chew your trees down if they are within 15 metres of water.

“I would be pleased to hear of any sightings to form an idea of its movements and what it is doing.”

Anyone who sights the beaver should call (01404) 822188.