Busy beaver causes a bother at Kelso Beach

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Owen Sound parks officials say they’re continuing to monitor Kelso Beach Park after a destructive beaver gnawed down trees along the shoreline.

Adam Parsons, manager of parks and open space, said the path of destruction – marked by pointed, chewed up stumps and fallen trees – was created last fall, but is being noticed by more people now thanks to the arrival of warmer weather and lack of snow cover.

“They take up a territory, generally, and once they have that territory they can do a lot of damage as you can see. It looks like this territory was pretty much the extent of the waterfront at Kelso Beach,” he said Tuesday in an interview.

The city brought in a wildlife professional after the damage was discovered late last year, Parsons said. That company and parks staff have been keeping an eye out this spring for any new signs of beaver trouble at Kelso.

“We’ve been watching for him this spring and haven’t seen any active beavers this spring,” he said.

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“A lot of the damage happened before the winter and it’s just coming back out of the snow now.”

Parsons said the city has recorded damage caused by the buck-toothed rotund critters on the shoreline behind the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in recent years as well.

“But it hasn’t amounted to what we’ve seen at Kelso,” he said.

Beavers, the largest rodent in North America, use their chisel-sharp teeth to fell an average of 216 trees annually, according to Hinterland Who’s Who, a joint project between the Canadian Wildlife Federation and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

They typically work alone to chomp down a tree, preferring smaller varieties, but can chew down trees up to 40 centimetres in diameter.

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