Beaver captured at Tempe Town Lake

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

TEMPE, Ariz. – A North American beaver was removed from the Tempe Town Lake area on Wednesday after wildlife officials said it appeared to be a little lethargic and possibly sick.

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center got a call Tuesday night about a beaver that seemed to be trapped in an area at Tempe Town Lake.

Staff members from the center and the Arizona Game and Fish Department went there Wednesday morning and found the beaver in a construction zone at the lake.

"We took a look and he didn't look like he was doing too well," said Amy Burnett with Game and Fish. "He was lethargic and he was kind of slow."

They decided to capture him and have him checked out by veterinary staff at Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale.

"Catching him was relatively easy, getting him into the carrier took a little bit more time, but just the process of being able to get down to him probably took an hour," said SWCC volunteer Tony Sola, who netted the animal.

The beaver was sedated while a veterinarian performed a physical.

"Usually these guys are pretty feisty when they come in," Dr. Nick Robl said. "They'll make a lot of noise and kind of lunge at you a little bit, certainly try to bite. This guy wasn't doing any of that stuff."

Robl said the animal might have an infection, but said that "he's nice and fat and he's certainly been eating quite well."

The adult beaver weighs about 45 pounds.

"I imagine he just migrated in from a creek nearby," Robl said. "That's kind of what they do. They'll follow creeks up and down and then they'll find a nice spot they like, build a dam and a lodge, and live there."

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center will keep the beaver for a few weeks and make sure the animal is healthy then it will be released into a lake around Wickenburg where other beavers have been relocated.

Burnett said there are beavers in the Salt River and this is the fifth beaver that has been removed from the Tempe Town Lake area.

"Two beavers were actually living in the pump house at the dam," Burnett said.

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Beaver swimming in Tempe Town Lake in 2012