The Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) were all killed off more than 800 years ago (they disappeared from the rest of the U.K. around 1600). Although a few small groups still remain in captivity, in England there are plans to eventually reintroduce some of the furry rodents back into the wild, none live there naturally, on their own.
Environmental scientist Tom Buckley released some incredible night-vision footage of a wild beaver chomping on some trees on a farm in the town of Ottery Saint Mary in the district of Devon. This spotting marks the first confirmed wild beaver in England in centuries. You can check out the brief video below
The footage is actually a confirmation of something that has been suspected for some time now. Sightings of a beaver have been coming in from the region for several months. One local told The Independent this past July that she saw what appeared to be a beaver in the River Otter. “It seemed really friendly and swam in circles a few times before going back under a tree,” she said.
The big question remains: Where the did the beaver come from?
It seems strange and unlikely that a beaver could swim over to the British Isles from Germany or France or Belgium, each of which have healthy populations. Could it have slipped away from captivity? There’s evidences that 3 beavers escaped from the set of a wildlife photography session a few years ago.The two females beavers were quickly re captured but the male was found much later in 2012. The male beaver was found in a farmer’s pit, covered in animal waste and in bad condition. Could one of the females have secretly given birth during the time they remained in the wild ? Or could the beaver have escaped from some other captive environment ?