Wild beaver spotted in England for first time in 500 years

Wild beaver spotted in England for first time in 500 years

A dog-walker has spotted what is thought to be the first wild beaver living in England for 500 years.

Lorna Douglas, 35, was walking her dogs when she saw the animal on the River Otter in Budleigh Salterton, Devon, reports the BBC.

Beavers were hunted to extinction for their fur during the reign of Henry VIII in the 16th century, but have been reintroduced into captivity at some farms across the country.

But Ms Douglas' sighting has prompted experts to suggest it could be the first wild beaver living in England since Tudor times.


Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Ms Douglas said: "At first I thought it was an otter but when I looked closer it was clear it was a beaver.

"It seemed really friendly and swam around in circles a few times before going back under a tree. I went back that evening with a camera and sat watching him for an hour. It was amazing."

Beaver breeder Derek Gow, from Launceston, Cornwall, told the Mirror: "This is a very rare find.

"It's not one of ours. But beavers bring so much pleasure to people's lives and are important to Britain's ecology."

The beaver is a primarily nocturnal, large, semi-aquatic rodent.

They are known for building dams, canals, and lodges (homes), and their colonies create one or more dams to provide still, deep water to protect against predators, and to float food and building material.

They are the second largest rodent in the world after the capybara.

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Wild beaver spotted in England for first time in 500 years

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