Beavers invade Arizona neighborhoods

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Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Residents in the Phoenix area have noticed an increase in sightings of some unusual guests in their neighborhoods: beavers.

The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale said the most recent beaver sighting was reported in the Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix, and rescuers arrived to find the animal gnawing on a tree.


"It had almost gnawed through half of that tree by the time I got there," Kim Carr, animal care manager at the conservation center, told the Arizona Republic. "It was completely unfazed by the crowd that was forming around it."

The rescue group said the beaver was the third to be spotted recently in Phoenix and Tempe.

"I don't know about you, but I've never seen a beaver in Arcadia," Jamie Hass Oliver, a development manager at Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center told KPNX-TV. "So, it's a pretty unusual sight."

Only about 200 beavers are believed to live in the wild in Arizona, and they typically stick to areas near major waterways.

Carr said the beavers are probably taking wrong turns in their native river systems to end up in the Valley.

"They must come in from the river systems because you're not just going to find a bunch of beavers living in Phoenix and dipping into the canals and coming out," Carr said.


Oliver expressed a similar theory.

"So, there's a chance that the Salt River might be feeding into the canal system," Oliver said. "Once a beaver makes it into a canal, like the one near 44th Street and Osborn, there's no food in there for them. So, when they get hungry, they will emerge from the water and look for food."

The wildlife center said the Arcadia beaver was examined by a veterinarian and found to be in good health, meaning it will soon be returned to the wild.

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