One of the two Eurasian beavers reintroduced into Britain after they became extinct 400 years ago has died.
A male and female pair of beavers were released three months ago at a country park in Enfield, north London, as part of a plan to restore the species to the UK.
Eurasian beavers were previously common in Europe and Asia, but they were driven to near extinction, with just around 1,200 thought to have remained on both continents by the start of the twentieth century.
Beavers have made a resurgence in the United Kingdom in the recent decade, with hundreds of them residing in Scotland and smaller populations in England and Wales.
A male from Yorkshire and a female from Scotland were released onto Forty Hall Farm in March of this year.
It was hoped that the pair would mate, however on Friday it was revealed that the male had died of natural causes.
“We are heartbroken and sorry to inform one of the two beavers at Forty Hall Farm has died,” stated an Enfield Council representative. A post-mortem examination revealed that the male beaver died naturally.
“The beaver enclosure was planned and built to the highest standards in collaboration with professionals to fulfill Natural England’s requirements in order to receive the necessary permit.”
“These specialists are certain that the atmosphere generated is safe.
“We also have a strict monitoring scheme in place that looks at the health of the animals in the cage, food and water availability, geography, and other environmental aspects.”
The council is now looking for another appropriate male beaver to become a partner for the female, who is’safe and healthy.’
“The council continues to engage with these partners to ensure the health and wellbeing of any beavers housed within the enclosure remain of the utmost concern,” the spokeswoman continued.
“We intend to locate a suitable substitute beaver as quickly as possible.” Enfield Council is in talks of releasing another beaver during the right season.
“This will also allow us time to make some changes to the enclosure to improve the conditions for the residents.”
“In the meanwhile, we will continue to closely watch the last female beaver without upsetting her or the ecosystem.”
“On-the-ground assessments and video footage establish that she is secure and well, and that she is settling in pleasantly.”