Friday, October 3, 2014

Open Letter to USDA: Please do not kill Mr. Beaver!

Dear United States Department of Agriculture,

I am alarmed to see that a busy beaver in Washington State (featured here) is wanted by the USDA in order to trap and euthanize. I understand the concerns of citizens of Kitsap County; the animal is causing complications in the man-made portions of the area and I sympathize that it must be an inconvenience to those citizens; however,  I firmly believe that  there is a better solution than to euthanize this beaver.

Beavers are magnificent creatures. According to this documentary, beavers are an integral part of the ecosystem. The dams they build allow water to collect into a pond that serves as a home for insects, fish, and ducks in the warmer seasons. They also create an environment that allows marshland vegetation to grow that allow for larger land mammals such as moose, elk, and even bears to eat. As you can see, beavers are at the center of the ecosystems they built and removing them can cause a butterfly effect of reactions that can be detrimental to the entire environment.

Additionally, beavers are very cute. We cannot deny this fact and they tirelessly work around the clock to build their dams, larders, and lodges. Here are some facts that might allow you to reconsider euthanization:
  • Did you know that beavers have both claws and webbed feet to allow them to walk, swim and grab branches?
  • Did you know that beaver husband and wife are monogamous? Here is a darling beaver couple from that site:
  • Did you know that beavers live as a family unit in these lodges and young beavers learn how to create dams by helping their parents? Here is beaver with baby beaver:
  • Did you know that beaver husband and wife work together as a team to build these dams?
  • Did you know that beavers contain an oil secreting gland that they groom and rub over their fur in order to remain water repellant and impervious to the cold winter water?
  • Did you know that beavers build their dams with sticks, stones to weigh down the sticks, and mud as an insulator to patch holes?
  • Did you know that beaver houses contain a ventilation system, several rooms including a kitchen, nursery, and bedroom/living room? Here is a photo:
  • Did you know that other animals like deer mice, muskrats etc also lodge in different rooms of the beaver homes to help survive the winter?
  • Did you know beavers eat or use almost every part of the tree? They store the leafy parts underwater by jabbing them into the mud. During the winter they will eat the branches and give the babies the leaves. They also like bark and tree pulp. Nothing goes to waste. Here is a cute beaver on Kelly and Michael:
Knowing all this, how can euthanization be the answer? Euthanizing this beaver not only affects the ecosystem, but also disrupts other species and an entire family. Let's wax empathetic a little here.How would you like it if someone thought your home was annoying and trapped you and took you away?

Lastly, let's not forget the past. There once was 60 million beavers and now the populations have dwindled to only 6-10 million. Why? The Hudson Bay fur trade. Let's not forget the important lesson that the passenger pigeons taught us 100 years ago. This land is just as much ours as it is the other beautiful creatures that inhabit it and keep the environment in balance. Please, USDA, I urge you to reconsider euthanization of this beaver and consider relocation, zoo, or sanctuary.


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