Share

Clear spells

Sat

10°C | 3°C

Broken cloud

Sun

10°C | 9°C

Mostly Cloudy

Mon

13°C | 10°C

Home   Thanet   News   Article

Beaver in distress at Cliffsend rescued by Thanet's Cats In Crisis, the RSPCA's Woodchurch Animal Centre and the Wildwood Trust.

21 February 2014
by Mary Louis

An SOS call to a beaver in distress was far beyond the norm for RSPCA centre manager Clive Martin.

He could scarcely believe his eyes when confronted by the lacklustre beaver hiding beneath a car at Cliffsend, near Ramsgate.

The hapless creature, believed possibly to have come from Ham Fen nature reserve near Sandwich, was discovered at Cliffs End Grove yesterday morning.

The beaver found hiding under a car at Cliffsend near Ramsgate was taken to Thanet RSPCA's Woodchurch Animal Centre before being passed on to experts from the Wildwood Trust for veterinary care at Burnham House veterinary practice in Dover.

The beaver found hiding under a car at Cliffsend near Ramsgate

Unsure what to do, the rodent’s discoverers contacted expert animal carer Mary Knott at Cats In Crisis.

She went to help but recognised the creature needed aid beyond the Thanet cat charity’s means, so she called Thanet RSPCA’s Woodchurch Animal Rescue Centre at Manston.

Because of high levels of demand on RSPCA inspectors and frontline rescue staff due to flooding, Mr Martin went to the rescue himself.

He said: “I thought I would find a mink and could hardly believe it when I found it actually was a beaver. I thought ‘it can’t be’, but saw its tail and knew there was no doubt.”

With careful use of a net, he was able to manouevre the animal into a crate and take it back to the centre.

It is believed the animal had found its way to Pegwell Bay and then come ashore across the main road before taking refuge beneath the car.

The beaver found at Cliffsend, receives care and attention following its capture by Clive Martin, manager of the RSPCA's Woodchurch Animal Centre in Thanet

The beaver found at Cliffsend, receives care and attention following its capture

Mr Martin contacted Defra, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Wildwood Trust at Herne Common.

He said: “From the RSPCA’s point of view, we don’t have to deal with every animal ourselves. There are other organisations better equipped.

"Our priority is always the welfare of the animal. I have dealt with gull rescues before and a fox in a car park at Westwood Cross. This one was exceptional.”

Wildwood has its own beavers and has worked with Kent Wildlife Trust on a trial reintroduction into the wild of beavers at Ham Fen.

Wildwood conservation officer Vicki Johnson and keeper Chris Jewell have specialist knowledge of handling beavers and took the Cliffsend refugee from Woodchurch for veterinary care at Dover’s Burnham House practice where principal Jeremy Stattersfield is passionate about and experienced in caring for wildlife, including beavers from Wildwood.

Clive Martin (right), manager of the RSPCA's Woodchurch Animal Centre in Thanet, and conservation officer Vicki Johnson and keeper Chris Jewell of the Wildwood Trust at Herne Common, prepare to transfer the beaver to a travelling container.

Helpers at the Wildwood Trust prepare to transfer the beaver to a travelling container

The animal, which is thought to be male, was found to be dehydrated and put on antibiotics and fluids. A Burnham House spokeswoman said: “He is doing fine and expected to go on to Wildwood later today.”

Tony Swandale, East Kent Coastal Warden for the Kent Wildlife Trust and responsible for the Ham Fen, Sandwich and Pegwell Bay national nature reserve, said it was likely the animal came from the Ham Fen reserve which had its own colony of eight to 10 beavers.

They were first introduced in 2002 as a natural means of restoring and maintaining the "very rare" woodland habitat there.

He said: "It is very likely that with recent extraordinary events including the  worst flooding since records began, this beaver came from Ham Fen and was washed into the estuary and was disorientated."

Click here for more news from Thanet.

Click here for more news from around the county.

Comments 

Forgotten Password?

Forgotten Username?

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments.
Please click here for our house rules.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules.. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.