06132021

England’s wild beaver colony has kits

Beaver kit

New footage shows the kits being helped through water by their mother

A female from the first wild beaver colony in England for centuries has given birth to at least two young.

New footage shows the kits being helped through the water by their mother.

The images taken in Devon by local filmmaker Tom Buckley provide the first evidence of the new arrivals.

The Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) said the slowly expanding population would help to provide an insight into their effect on the surrounding River Otter system in east Devon.

The Angling Trust warned that a population increase could have detrimental effects on other wildlife.

Mark Elliott, from the DWT, said: “We are thrilled that the beavers have bred. The baby kits appear fit and healthy … This tells us that the beavers are very much at home in this corner of Devon.”

The two females were found to be pregnant when they were taken in to captivity to be tested for disease. It’s not thought that the other female has yet had her kits.

Hunted to extinction

The colony of wild beavers was first spotted living on the River Otter in February 2014.

In January 2015, Natural England granted a licence to the Devon Wildlife Trust that allowed the beavers to remain on the river, as part of a pilot experiment.

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