Sad news as charity announces death of River Otter beaver

Beaver on the River Otter. Picture: Debbie Mitchell

Beaver on the River Otter. Picture: Debbie Mitchell - Credit: Archant

Devon Wildlife Trust has announced the death of one of its beaver colony after one of the animals was run over.

The body of the four year old female was found near Langford Bridge, close to the River Otter in East Devon.

The beaver was discovered on a roadside embankment by a member of the public who reported it to the charity.

Devon Wildlife Trust’s Steve Hussey said: “It’s sad news. Beavers like to stick to water or close to water, but they will cross land and roads within their territories. Recent heavy rains and high river levels may have meant that this beaver chose a land route rather than battle against the force of the river.

“Like all wildlife, beavers are vulnerable when they cross our roads. We wish to thank the anonymous finder because it’s very important to us that people tell us about their beaver sightings.”

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An autopsy showed that the beaver was tagged by the charity when she was a youngster in 2015, and weighed more than 21kg.

Mr Hussey added: “Beavers in the wild can expect to live to around 12 to 14 years of age, so this individual was still young. However, her health and good condition is a positive sign for the wider population of East Devon beavers.”

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The charity is leading the River Otter Beaver Trial, a five-year study into the impacts of what is believed to be the first wild breeding population of beavers to live in England for 400 years.

It is estimated that 25 to 30 beavers live on the River Otter.

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