Beaver in Martinez taken to the ER

January 3, 2008 7:56:37 PM PST
Concern about the coming rain-- prompted city crews in Martinez to dismantle several feet of that beaver dam you've probably heard about in the downtown creek.

And, at the same time, one of the young beavers living there was rushed to a local wildlife hospital for treatment.

A young beaver was rescued this morning from Alhambra Creek.

"The beaver was on the bank. An animal control officer was able to walk right up to the beaver and pick it up; that's not a good sign for a wild animal," said Lindsay Wildlife Museum spokesperson Sherrill Cook.

The beaver was rushed to Lindsay Wildlife Hospital in Walnut Creek, where veterinarians were stunned to find the beaver is blind.

"Unfortunately he just doesn't see right now. We're going to look for a reversible cause, but a blind beaver can't make it in the wild. We'll be looking at him to see if there's any way to save him," said wildlife veterinarian Nancy Anderson, DMV.

Bystanders have noticed one of the five beavers swimming in circles and behaving strangely for weeks, which could indicate a progressive or neurological disease.

Once again, crews got out to the dam the five beavers have built across the creek today tearing down three feet of it. A flow device, using these pipes threaded through the dam, will sneak water through.

"When a big flood comes as it may tomorrow, the water will flow over the top of the dam as it's expected to because the dam is much shorter," said beaver expert Skip Lisle.

"If it floods it's because we're a town built on a watershed, not really because of beavers," said Martinez Beaver Subcommittee member Julian Frazer.

Four beavers, including two adults and two juveniles remain in the water to monitor their downtown Martinez Dam as experts monitor the water level.

This beaver will stay indoors at Lindsay Wildlife museum over the weekend until test results come back in next week.