Aggressive Tendencies In Beavers?

There's this secluded little swimming hole that I discovered about a ten minute drive from my house. A small pull off on the side of the road and a short hike will take you to a large pond used as a nature conservation area.

I have rarely seen anyone there, even on the fourth of July when it was 90+ degrees, although there is evidence that kids come and hang out around a bonfire at night. I feel very comfortable skinny dipping there, it is so completely private.

The surface is always warm from the sun and about three feet below it becomes refreshingly cool... almost cold in spots. After a swim there, my hair feels so clean and wonderful that I won't wash it again for days.

One hot afternoon, I made my way out there for a pleasant and relaxing day of laps in the spring fed water. I dove in and swam out to the middle and began to scan around the shore. A fair distance away I saw a brown head poking out of the water, obviously looking at me. As I observed the observer observing me, I realized that this creature was getting larger and the distance between us was getting smaller.

It occurred to me then that this critter was far more adept at moving through the water than I was, in spite of the fact that I am a fair swimmer. Wild animals have teeth and claws, and I understood at once that this was likely to be a beaver making a direct bee-line for me. Beavers have big teeth.

I swam as efficiently as I could for shore, in a little bit of a hurried panic. The head matched my trajectory and the gap closed further. I pulled myself out of the water and watched as the beaver arrived at my previous locale, changed its heading and swam to the opposite shore.

This pond is narrow and long, so the opposite shore was not far enough away for me to feel entirely comfortable with resuming my swim. I guess I don't need to mention that I was feeling a little less relaxed at this point. Several minutes went by and my furry friend remained on the other side, diving and hunting, so I finally grew a set and jumped back in.

Not a minute after I had, Ms. Beev turned her attention back toward me and began to rapidly approach. Once again I raced to my rock and leaped out of the water. This was getting ridiculous, I thought beavers were friendly, but this one clearly had decided that she didn't want me in her pond (at least this was my perception).

I resigned myself to simply enjoying the peace and tranquility from dry land and decided to take out my camera and photograph the beautiful scenery. After snapping several shots and attempting to set up the self timer for a few personal portraits, I heard a loud snort behind me. I turned to see the large mama right next to my rock checking me out!

Camera in hand, I started capturing the moment. She paced back and forth in front of my stone landing, snorting, splashing and well, laughing. She got the better of me for sure. This lady beaver was at least 3 and a half feet from stem to stern, and easily 50 pounds. If she wanted to, she could have taught me a lesson I would never forget.

I chose not to swim again there that day, and returned home to google "aggressive tendencies in beavers." I learned that they are quite gregarious and only tend to be territorial when their yearlings are ready to leave the lodge... in late summer. Aha.

No comments:

Post a Comment