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Bereave the beaver

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Beware shiny, brown gnawer of trees and obsessive-compulsive creator of dams and ponds. It seems suburbia has taken us into beaver territory, and darn it, they’re messing up our driveways. Along the northern edge of Oakland County, beaver dams have led to flooding of roads and occasionally (yikes!) homes.

The solution? The Road Commission for Oakland County traps and kills as many as 15 of the pudgy, bucked-tooth animals a year, said commission spokesperson Craig Bryson. A&D Animal Control does the work; Bryson said he doesn’t know how the animals are “put out of their misery.” Misery, in this case, being a euphemism for life.

The Orion Township firm didn’t immediately return calls for information.

In Brandon Township, in the northernmost expanse of Oakland County, about a dozen of the mammals were killed this fall after a 40-acre beaver pond threatened homes, said township Supervisor Pat Alexander. Alexander was smart and built some beaver-proof culverts to help alleviate future problems, but more beavers may have to be removed in spring, he said. “It’s inevitable when you start eating up huge tracts of land that wildlife call home.” Lisa Acho of the state Humane Society pointed out that the creatures are ecologically important because they create rich habitats for fish, turtles, frogs, birds and ducks.

“We can keep killing and killing and killing, but it makes more sense to figure out ways to coexist. There are simple ways to coexist with wildlife, and that’s the best, and most cost-effective, answer,” said Acho.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette, Metro Times news editor. Call 313-202-8004 or e-mail cguyette@metrotimes.com

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