This is just too adorable not to be shared around, in case anyone has missed it. I particularly love it when her paddle tail takes her by surprise!
- By: Alicia Graef for Care2
Animal rescuers in Canada have just shared some seriously heartwarming updates about two injured baby beavers they took in, who have since found companionship in their care.
Last year, the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) took in a young female beaver who had been found alone and injured, far from water in an area where there were no known beavers. Rescuers believe she may have been snatched by a predator, and then left, and estimated she was only five weeks old.
With care, she recovered from the ordeal, and captured the hearts of millions of people after an Instagram video of her taking a bath went viral.
But she has been alone ever since.
As AIWC explained, “Beavers are incredibly social animals. Both parents raise their young together for 2-3 years before the kits naturally disperse on their own. After extensive research and consultation with other wildlife rehabilitators experienced in caring for beavers, we determined that our young beaver patient needs to similarly remain in care until she is 2-3 years old to properly prepare for her return to life in the wild.”
Unbeknownst to her, things were about to change. Earlier this summer, the organization took in a young male who had been found injured in a storm drain in Calgary. After being treated, he was later moved to an outdoor enclosure next to the female, where the two started to stealthily bond through the fence that separated them.
“Beavers are primarily nocturnal, so we didn’t see the two beavers interacting until one evening AIWC staff witnessed them walking along the fence line together,” AIWC wrote. “Introducing strange beavers to one another can sometimes be very challenging and result in serious injuries, but we were thrilled to see these two bonding together on their own, so the decision was made to slowly make introductions.”
Because they’re both so young, AIWC says their relationship so far is purely platonic, but it’s no less precious, and the pair have taken to doing a number of activities together.
Although they’ll spend much more time in AIWC’s care, the organization expects to release them together next year when they’re old enough to go out on their own. Hopefully they will thrive when they’re returned to the wild, and their story will inspire more people to appreciate these little ecosystem engineers.
For more updates and info on how to help, check out the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation.
Photo credit: Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation/YouTube