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Friday, 12 April 2013


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Long ago I used to mountain bike in Gatineau Park, in Quebec, where the beaver did roam. I've never forgotten watching one cut down a 6" maple - minutes spent surveying the tree and neighbouring slope, then snick snick snick and quicker than a chainsaw cut the tree toppled over, ready to drag into the beaver pond. Never did try to take one's picture - they've been known to snatch a camera and unspool its film in broad daylight with their little beaver paws. Better money and less risk working the clubs in West Hollywood.

Well, I have just developed a newfound "healthy respect" for an animal I had formerly considered innocuous...

I'm kind of relieved that the screenshot has nothing to do with the man who died. Forget nature photography--stay away from nature! I don't think the scoutmaster and the two girls who were mauled by beavers were even trying to take photos.

Those who are old enough will remember that a rabbit once attacked a sitting POTUS. Unfortunately I don't remember if said rabbit was ever apprehended.

By the way, following your beaver article link eventually led me to another news story about a photograph; in this case about how a mug shot made an internet celebrity of an attractive Florida woman:


How does anyone read news on the web and also get anything done?

It is not a matter to take lightly. Last year, while visiting my friend, he and I took a walk to see the new dam beaver had built on his pond overflow. In an effort to attract the beaver, my friend did some minor damage to the dam. Sure enough, once the water started to flow, the dam owner made an appearance from across the pond. Instead of swimming toward the damaged dam, the beaver was making a straight line toward us. We left, as it was apparent the beaver was intent on tending to the real problem before making repairs to the dam. Do not mess with beaver as they are, apparently, not daunted by us.

Taking photos of a beaver sounds like erotic photography.

Just watched the video...I never knew beavers could move that fast!

I also like the stock picture captioned "A stuffed beaver is on display at The Call of the Wild Museum in Gaylord, Mich.". What a complete non-sequitur and gratuitous use of a picture. It is the equivalent of writing "the word beaver was also used several times by a group of drunk college freshman last Saturday."

It is very similar to this slideshow: http://www.forbes.com/pictures/efkk45ehffl/no-4-unhappiest-job-registered-nurse/, which used a bunch of stock photos to illustrate an article about the unhappiest jobs. Of course, in stock photos, everyone is well-lit and smiling with bleached teeth, which makes it only SLIGHTLY incongruous...


All of the sudden, I don't see the expense of a 600mm lens for wildlife photography as all that extravagant.

They're called wild animals for a reason.

After the soundtrack, I feel that I may have been culturally enhanced, but perhaps the Jaws theme would be more apt?

Oddly enough, I am typing this less than five miles from a rare colony of European Beavers - I will be very, very careful over there in future . . .

It was in Belarus. Probably drunk on vodka.

I've seen this on another site and based on the news article you link plus what I read on another site this is not the homicidal beaver mentioned. This beaver just chased the guy off. Both were Russian beavers so is it something in the water or too much Vodka?

Mike, is this a Kilgore Trout bid for page views?
That music video you linked to has about the worst case of "digital makes everything look like plastic" that I have seen in quite a while.

A couple of years ago, I arrived at a lake I had only fished once before. It was well before dawn when I put in the kayak and headed for a spot on the other end of the lake that had looked promising on the previous trip. After about a three quarter mile paddle on flat calm water, I pulled into a quiet cove near the mouth of the creek that fed the lake. It was a beautiful morning. There was no breeze; the air was crisp, and the sun hadn't yet made it over the horizon.

I made a couple of casts, and I was feeling really relaxed, when just over my left shoulder, no more than three or four feet away, the water exploded. I nearly jumped out of my skin -- fortunately, my kayak is a pretty stable one, otherwise I might have taken an unexpected swim.

After the initial shock, I looked around, but in the half-light I couldn't figure out what had caused the sudden commotion, until less than a minute later, right in front of the boat, it happened again. This time I could see that it was just a big old beaver that had breached the surface and slapped his tail.

For the next half hour or so, the beaver family treated me to a synchronized swimming, breaching, and tail slapping routine that was no less entertaining than any trained dolphin act I've ever seen.

Their tail slapping signified that they obviously wanted me to leave. Perhaps they were protecting their young at the lodge, which I realized later was only about twenty five yards away. Or maybe, just maybe they were just having a little fun at my expense, before heading back to the lodge to sleep for the day. I don't know, but I do know that even though I have no love for any other members of the rodent family, I like and respect beavers for the intelligent, industrious little creatures that they are.

I've seen them, or evidence of their presence at just every lake I've ever fished, and I make it a point to keep an eye out for their gentle wakes when I'm casting, both for the pleasure of watching how well they're adapted to their liquid environment, and in order to avoid an unpleasant meeting of hook and flesh.

Beavers are cool.

Nature is dangerous, it's not a theme park or zoo. Sad that this happened, but I live in the country, around beavers and bears and all the rest of them. I would never have done what he did.
When I am around beavers I sit very quietly and don't move, but maybe that's just as bad an idea as what he did. Anybody know what is the best way to deal with them?

Doug, you're right that nature can be dangerous, but if you treat it with respect and use your brain, it doesn't have to be. Re: beavers, the best way to deal with any wild animal larger than a squirrel is to keep your distance and/or walk away slowly.

If a beaver makes a bee-line for you, run. Immediately. That's not normal behavior, and you either have a very angry animal on your hands or a very rabid one.

Not that I would worry about that--as I said earlier, I've spent a lot of time close to beaver (3 nights a week for five or six months in 2010 on a beaver-impounded wetland, plus lots of other visits before, during, and after that period) and never had the slightest problem, even when I obliviously passed within a few feet of them.

By the Kiwi's?? Perhaps that why we are all regarded as nuts here?

From the land of the long white cloud,

Takes me back to my graduate school days at MIT.

Bonus marks for the Primus reference.

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