Ever on the lookout for topics about which we can write, Gill sent me a link to The Guardian newspaper the other day. It was an article about beavers. I didn’t realize at the time, but this article has major implications for the UK immigration system and its current problems. As our regular readers will know, Gill has found the UK immigration system confusing at the best of times. But suddenly, all is clear!
It seems that the first beavers found to be living in the wilds of England will be allowed to stay if they are proven to be of Eurasian origin (no racial overtones here) and free of disease! Now, when I say ‘the wilds’ of England, I mean a river in Devon. Hardly Sasquatch country, you’ll agree. But for the UK, that’s wild.
My only advice to the Brits is : Don’t do it!! The little buggers will take over before you can cast an image of them for your newest coin. You may THINK you’ll do a ‘managed release’, but I have yet to meet a beaver that can be managed by much. God knows, The Pig has tried.
They are going to do a study on the ‘impact’ of the beaver release. I’ll give you impact: if you have trees, they’ll chop them all down. You’ll have row upon row of tree corpses, all with slanty teeth marks around the bottoms. And several piles of toothpicks.
If you have a pond or lake, they’ll either flood or destroy it — depending on their whim of the week.
The Guardian article went on to say that this release would be the first breeding population in the English countryside for hundreds of years. Oh, now you’re in REAL trouble. Think rabbits, people. Soon you’ll have enough beavers for everyone in the country to have a fur coat. And you, being animal lovers (as am I) may think that is a heinous prospect, but by the time they’re finished breeding, you’ll be looking for a shotgun.
Described as ‘industrious animals’ and ‘excellent aquatic engineers’, the bulletin waxes poetic about the bucolic scene they will present. Really? Really, people? Being a native Canadian with a piece of country land, I know from personal experience the havoc these clever little PhD engineers can wreak. One week you have a lovely, standing forest; the next, a pile of timber, lots of toothpicks and a swamp in which the felled trees are rotting. There are in this country people who, for a large fee, will ‘dispose’ of the beavers on your behalf. When I first heard the options, I was horrified. But as the situation grew more intolerable, those same options took on a certain charm. I mean, we’ve tried sending the dogs (several before The Pig) in after them, but dogs aren’t engineers and trying to find your way through a beaver dam is a major feat. When The Pig made her most recent attempt, she escaped the dam with branches sticking out of her fur everywhere. She resembled a porcupine more than a beagle. And try as she did, she couldn’t catch the culprits. I suspect they were hiding behind a nearby bush watching and laughing at the dog making a fool of herself. Come to think of it, they probably took a video that is now all over YouTube.
So, to all our British friends, you might want to keep a small supply of dynamite or other handy dandy explosive device close to hand when your friendly little beavers are released. I do not advocate cruelty to animals, but beavers won’t go quietly.
Actually, if I could offer some sage advice, it might be to buy them a first class ticket to Siberia…they’d probably do well there. And I believe the Rusians still wear fur coats, no? If you offered them a bargain price of two beavers for the price of one, they might jump at the opportunity. It’s worth a try.