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07/17/2011

Staking out the Beiber, um, Beavers.

Steve Russell - Staff Photographer

You never know what is going to happen when you walk through the doors at the office.

My spidey sense was tingling when our photo assignment editor, Canice Leung warned be that I might be staking out a Beiber.

When I questioned it, my hearing might have been a casualty at the previous weekend's Indy, she clarified that it wasn't Justin Beiber, but a beaver.

Turns out a reader sent in a photo of a beaver at the foot of York street.

The Toronto Star which has been doing a series of stories on Lake Ontario had Antonia Zerbisias write this story on the beavers in Lake Ontario.

Relieved that I wasn't going to stakeout Justin Beiber, I went out in search of beavers.

A quick walk along the waterfront and I saw the first signs.

Being from Northern Ontario, I know beaver sticks, and there were a few floating in the harbour.

A quick look West and I could see the trees that were the source near a deck that extends into the harbour.

A closer look and I could see the damage and I could hear chewing!

A look under the stairs and there it was.

It was dark under the stairs, I was shooting 1600 ISO at a 60th of a second.

Thankfully the beaver snuck out and made its way over to the rocky shore by the boardwalk where it put on a show!

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The first signs of beaver nearby is damage to trees. A beaver has been feasting on the trees and shrubs behind 77/99 Harbour Square near the bottom of York Street.

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Under the stairs of the deck a beaver eats leaves from a nearby tree amongst some of the harbour garabage that has collected under the stairs.

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The beaver has some pretty impressive claws. The forefoot of the beaver has almost no webbing, the hindfoot does.

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The beaver eats under the steps of the deck. Beaver's have returned to water bodies close to other cities as well, including the Bronx in New York and Chicago.

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Some of the trees in the area have fencing protecting them, the ones that don't are a food source for the beaver.

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Stanley and Steven Lio, from visiting from Sudbury, search for the beaver under the decking behind Harbour Square.

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Out in the open the beaver eats some of the shrubs along the boardwalk.

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The beaver obviously feels safe and comfortable living on Queen's Quay.

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 In close to the boardwalk and in camera range eats some of the shrubs along the boardwalk.

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Tired of the crowds watching, the beaver takes a branch to go and returns to the water under the boardwalk.

 

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I enjoyed the photo taken when the beaver became "tired of the crowds watching," and decided to flat-tail it out of there.

Thanks Steve for the photos. Just a note of caution, brought to my attention by a reader. Beavers can kill or maim a dog.
Here's just one sad example:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2010/07/14/beaver-attack-red-deer-alberta-dogs-park.html

So keep your dogs on leash and away from urban critters such as raccoons, coyotes and, of course, skunks.

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