A beaver has been rescued from the beach at Pegwell Bay and taken into the care of the Wildwood Trust in Canterbury.
The animal was spotted by a Ramsgate resident who alerted wildlife enthusiast Nik Mitchell. He was later joined by fellow enthusiast Keith Ross and others.
The beaver had previously been spotted in the Pegwell garage pool on January 19 but efforts to catch it had been unsuccessful.
Nik, who runs the Wildlife Conservation in Thanet group, said: “I received a call from a friend to say that he’d seen a beaver on the beach at Pegwell Bay.
“I dropped everything and headed straight down because I already knew that one has been in the area for the last few weeks and an attempt had been made to rescue it previously with no success.
“Beavers are our largest rodent, they live in lakes and rivers but they will not survive in salt water. In recent years beavers have been getting reintroduced in England.
“They have been absent for 400 years because they were hunted to extinction but there are many benefits to having them back and from 1st October 2022, the European beaver finally became a protected species in England.
“Beavers are known as ‘ecosystem engineers’ because they create and affect the habitats they live in, benefitting other wildlife and people, boosting biodiversity and preventing floods and drought.
“I am a trained marine mammal medic with British Divers Marine Life Rescue but I do not have the required licenses to trap a beaver.
“I know a lot about the reintroduction of the beavers so I knew what to do and who to call. I stood with the beaver to stop it going out on the mud flats or into the sea and to save it getting mobbed and attacked by crows.
“I alerted the Wildwood Trust in Canterbury and they sent out three keepers to come and collect it. Sadly, it didn’t seem in good health, it will certainly be dehydrated and malnourished. The keepers have taken the Beaver straight to the vets and we hope to know more in the morning.”
The natural habitat for beavers is fresh water surrounded by woodland.
The Wildlife Trusts have pioneered the reintroduction of beavers to Britain ever since Kent Wildlife Trust released the industrious creatures into a fenced area of Ham Fen in 2001.
UPDATE: Sadly the beaver was too poorly to make a recovery and had to be put to sleep.
Videos by Keith Ross
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