A pair of furry friends with big tails have decided to call one of downtown Vancouver’s newest and busiest neighbourhoods home.
Two adult beavers have taken up residence in Hinge Park, on the edge of Olympic Village in the Southeast False Creek area. The industrious rodents have even built a full-size beaver lodge in a stream running through the park, complete with mud, twigs and tree trunks.
The beavers have already become mini celebrities in the community. Photographers line up on the seawall along the edge of the stream, hoping for a clear shot. And a new Twitter account, @VancouverBeaver, has been created on behalf of the critters.
The beavers occupy a manmade wetland created during the construction of the Olympic Village neighbourhood in the lead up to the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. The stream, now dense with vegetation and bird life, is fed with runoff from the surrounding area and drains into False Creek near Habitat Island, the small artificial island just offshore.
While the buck-toothed critters are currently basking in the spotlight, they’re far from Vancouver’s first beavers. Lodges with beavers can be found in Stanley Park at Lost Lagoon and Beaver Lake, as well in the ponds behind Jericho Beach. However, the Olympic Village pair is notable for living right in the heart of the city, just steps from high-rise condos, busy streets and bridges.
The new beavers also apparently have quite the appetite. Saplings and even full-size trees in the area have been gnawed in half as the animals expand their sizeable lodge. Despite the possibility of vegetation loss and even minor flooding, the city of Vancouver is determined to leave the beavers be for now, according to a report in Vancity Buzz. While some larger trees have been wrapped with protective mesh, there are no plans to remove or relocate the animals.