Kurt Bubna has been walking through Riverfront Park since he moved here with his wife. "We've been here 20 years. We go down to the park at least once a week for a long time, and we've never seen this before," said Kurt when he saw the teeth marks of a beaver on a tree by the clock tower.
Beavers have sunk their teeth into at least four trees in Riverfront Park, and it has Kurt worried because there could be more. "It's a concern to me because I care about the animals, I care about our environment. But I want to make sure that we can all play well together."
It also has the City of Spokane baffled and worried at the same time. They have been protecting the damaged trees by placing chicken wire around them to prevent the beavers from gnawing away. The reason that beavers need to chew continually is that their upper and lower incisors grow throughout their lives. To keep them from overgrowing they wear them down by teething on tree bark.
The signs of these beavers in the park can also mean a good thing: that the river is in good health because of the food supplies available. These beaver colonies in the park aren't building dams with the wood they have chosen along the river because of the fast-moving current. Instead, they try to make lodges and dens with secret entrances under the water for safety, a place to rest, stay warm, give birth, and to raise their young. Kurt hopes that these beavers can be relocated farther away in a more natural environment instead of an urban landscape. "I feel like there's a way we can figure this out and do something that's good for everybody."
For more information about beavers click here.
(story: Peter Maxwell, Reporter; photo: KHQ.com)