WARNING: Some details in this story may be disturbing
A beaver found covered in diesel died despite receiving around-the-clock care by Langley’s Critter Care.
On Feb. 9, the local wildlife care society was notified by a member of the public about a beaver in “an extremely lethargic condition,” fully covered in diesel fuel.
The call was received at around 4:45 p.m., and Brendon Dean, Critter Care’s operations and marketing manager, said that the rescue team was dispatched immediately to the site – by the train tracks near Pitt River in Port Coquitlam.
After spending more than four hours with the beaver on-site, the rescue team brought the animal to Critter Care — the only mammal rehabilitation centre of southern B.C. — at around 10 p.m., where they worked continuously on it until 1 a.m.
The care facility closes at 5 p.m. during the winter, but Dean said that it was one of those days when the team stayed for much longer. Dean described the rescue operation, as a challenging one as the beaver kept disappearing into the swampy fuel-infested marsh.
Nathan Wagstaffe, the senior wildlife technician, said that the beaver’s eyes and ears were seriously injured and crusty. Her skin and fur were damaged and raw.
“She had really ingested the fuel,” Wagstaffe explained.
The staff could not bring her body temperature up fast enough, so they had to carefully work with her without any sedation. Dean shared that the smell of diesel filled the exam room as staff worked to remove the fuel in a dawn bath.
The beaver was under intensive care and had to be bathed many times to remove the fuel. Wagstaffe added that “poor mammal” was under various medications, too. The damage was irreversible, and the beaver didn’t make it through the night.
The Critter Care team saw some ducks going into the diesel marsh and notified authorities and other rescue organizations dealing with birds. Dean said that it is important that people take responsibility and make sure that they clean after themselves.
”We are only given one planet.”
The society runs on donations and private funding and many people have raised money for the society on Facebook. Critter Care Wildlife Society is located at 481 216 St, Langley. For more information, people can reach out them at
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