News Releases

Hamilton Anima‎l Services rescues beaver in distress

HAMILTON, ON - April 22, 2017 - Yesterday, a quick-thinking Animal Services officer rescued a beaver stuck in a wrought-iron fence found on a private property in Hamilton. 

At approximately 12 noon on April 25th, Animal Services was called to an address to find a full-size adult beaver, carrying excess fat from a long winter hibernation, wedged between two bars.‎ Fast response and years of experience enabled Officer Sarah Mombourquette to use soap to help the beaver out of this tight situation.

The noble beaver (Castor canadensis), an official symbol of Canada for over 300 years, is known for its large buck teeth to cut through wood. Unfortunately for this beaver, his sharp incisors were not helpful in cutting through‎ the iron fence. He landed, as the Canadian-ism goes, arse over teakettle through the fence onto a lower section of ground and couldn’t pull his rear-end through with his tiny front paws.

After the rescue, the beaver rested comfortably at Hamilton Animal Services shelter, enjoying a well-deserved veggie buffet. While at the shelter, the beaver showed gratitude for his rescue by constructing a wooden doghouse for the resident mutts and a new sturdy scratching post for the cats.

Hamilton Animal Services has now transferred the beaver to Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge in Jarvis, Ontario. The beaver sustained injuries from the fence and will be fully rehabilitated before being released back into the wild, along with a stern lecture about staying close to his aquatic home.

“Conservation efforts have led to a healthy beaver population and in honour of Canada 150, Hamilton Animal Services is thrilled to give this beaver a happy ending. We believe that no beaver should be left behind.” Paola Pianegonda, Manager of Animal Services, City of Hamilton  

Additional information

  • Sick, injured, or orphaned wildlife require special care to recover and return to their home
  • As a pack animal, beavers need to be returned to their families upon rescue as soon as possible; they remain with their family until around age three.
  • The public cannot keep wildlife in captivity without approval from the Ministry of Natural Resources; however, a wild animal may be kept for up to 24 hours in order to get it to a veterinarian or other wildlife care provider
  • If you see sick, injured or orphaned wildlife, do the following:
    • Stay back from the animal
    • Look for signs of an injury such as blood, loss of fur or feathers or trouble breathing
    • Leave it in its natural habitat
    • Watch the animal to see if it will get up and leave on its own. Some animals “play dead” to defend themselves against other animals
    • Contact your local Animal Services (in Hamilton, call 905-574-3433) to report injured or dead wild animals