Thursday, 2 December 2010

Beaver Pantomime

There are an unknown number of European Beavers living free in and around the Tay. Numbers have been estimated at anything between 7 and 50. They are said to be breeding, building lodges and doing what beavers do in the Scottish Landscape. Imagine, a group of beavers, quietly introducing themselves to the landscape, without fuss, cash incentives or an enormous carbon footprint. Isn't that great? Won't SNH be delighted? After all, that's one of the areas they identified as good habitat for beavers after dismissing Argyll as unsuitable. Well, apparently not. These beavers are the wrong beavers. They are Bavarian and it was decided that the right beavers for Scotland are Norwegian beavers. We are talking tiny genetic differences which, given that there are no Scottish beavers, seems completely irrelevant – particularly in the light of the numbers of Norwegian beavers which have died during transportation, quarantine and release. Of the 12 beavers remaining in Knapdale, only one has come from the original importation of animals for the Knapdale Trial, and it was kept under the care of Edinburgh Zoo before being released in May 2010. It's partner released at the same time, died within three weeks.

When it comes to wetland creation, tree felling and lodge and dam building, the two varieties of beaver are indistinguishable and it seems that the Bavarian beavers have a hybrid vigour lacking in the Norwegian variety which are believed by some to be from inbred populations with significant congenital disorders.

And what do SNH say?

'They are being recaptured because their presence in the wild is illegal and because their welfare may be at risk,' a spokesman said. 'There was no consultation with local people; there was no licence issued for their release; there is no monitoring of their welfare; and there is no certainty that they are the appropriate species or type of beaver for Scotland.'

A spokesman for the organisation said unauthorised releases of beavers would 'subvert and undermine the position that Scotland carries out reintroductions according to best scientific practice'.
He added: 'The longer we leave the feral beavers in the wild the greater the task of dealing with the problem will be'.
'Another reason for recapturing the Tay beavers is because the Scottish government may decide to abandon the reintroduction of beavers after the Knapdale trial'.

A Facebook group has been set up to protest against the trapping of these animals called 'Save the free beavers of the Tay' which has a lot of useful information and links to press releases and articles.

We have a group of beavers in Knapdale which are routinely monitored, trapped, examined and re-released; their movements are curtailed by fences in some cases, dams have been destroyed where they were deemed to be a threat to the Special Area of Conservation, some animals have died and others lost, the cost is around £2.5 million and initial consultation showed that a small majority of local people were opposed to the reintroduction.

No wonder there is an urgency to eradicate beavers from suitable habitat in Tayside – it makes the Knapdale Trial seem even more of a ridiculous waste of money and effort than we already thought.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Beavers Prepare for Winter

We now have twelve beavers in Knapdale, out of a total of 28 beavers imported from Norway between February 2008 and September 2010. A total of 16 have been released into the trial area and two kits have been born. Three beavers are confirmed to have died and three are missing presumed dead. The pair released onto Creag Mhor Loch in June have moved over to the un-named loch between Loch Linne and Creag Mhor. This is the least accessible loch in the trial. The single female on Seafield Loch (Lochan Buic on the OS map) has been paired up with a male imported from Norway in September. The beaver family on the Dubh Loch are an adult pair and one sub adult female and one kit born this year and the family on Loch Linne have one sub adult male and one kit born this year. While the project was delighted that kits were born, it is more usual for beavers to produce two or three kits. The sub adult beavers are now at the age when it is likely that they will disperse from their family groups and attempt to set up new territories.

The greatest impact of beavers in Knapdale can be seen at Loch Coille Bharr and Dubh Loch. The dam continues to be raised, increasing the area of flooding and the subsequent drowning of many trees in the area. The flooded path has now been bypassed with a path which follows the ridge along the side of Coille Bhar and onto a very fine pontoon across the loch, passing below the beaver dam. We await the official opening. Great care was taken to ensure that no trees were harmed during the installation of the pontoon. Increased flooding made the entrance to the new £22,000 path impassable so a local contractor has been employed to raise the path with many tons of rock and gravel and formed a dam to hold back the flooding. It seems out of place in a Special Area of Conservation.

On Loch Linne, very little has changed as their dam building activities were thwarted when the project destroyed the dam to protect the Special Area of Conservation and the beavers do not seem to have attempted to rebuild it. Many trees have been felled and the beavers have been feeding on bullrush, water lobelia and water lily.

The pair of beavers on Seafield Loch have started to build a lodge directly opposite the fishing jetty. Many small trees and several larger ones have already been felled. The road past the loch is already subject to flooding and it will not take much in the way of damming activities on the outlet burn to flood this path. Water gates and fencing have been installed on the two burns which head south to Loch Sween, to prevent the beavers leaving the trial area by this route. The gate just up from the Seafield corner has been wrecked twice by debris swept down the burn during periods of heavy rain.

The beavers in the Creag Mhor loch area are reported to be settled but there is no further information on these beavers except that the male recently received veterinary treatment for an abscess on its rump. There have been no further updates on this beaver's condition.

Princess Anne flew in by helicopter to visit the project in her capacity as Patron of RZSS. She was able to see the effects of the beavers on Loch Linne and the Dubh Loch but the animals themselves stayed out of sight.

The Knapdale beavers had 30 seconds of fame on Autumnwatch. A very short piece of footage was shown and Chris Packham told viewers that the project was in the early, sensitive stages and so visitors should perhaps wait a couple of years before coming to see them. Given that the project was delighted with the turnout of 175 people to their four beaver safaris in the summer and that the project has to show an economic benefit to the area, this doesn't seem the most helpful of advice for the project although the beavers will undoubtedly benefit from being left alone.

Photos, Female Beaver on Seafield Loch, Large tree felled on Seafield Loch, Pontoon on Coille Bharr, New path and dam at Coille Bharr, Overflowing dam on Coille Bharr, Lodge on Dubh Loch, Beginnings of lodge construction on Seafield Loch, Tree felling near lodge on Seafield Loch.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Dear Anonymous

Comment Posted on Previous beaver blog from ‘Anonymous’

‘Beavers were extinct in the British Isles. That's very endangered. As part of the native British flora, they should be represented and intuition suggests that their effect on the ecological web of life should be a net positive one and on balance worth trying out. Ideally Britain should have a healthy population of wild cats, lynxes, three or four packs of wolves and a spattering of bears. Obviously there's simply not the habitat left to support the vast majority of our natural fauna, so the remainder is impoverished and biased against top predators that require a large range, favouring herbivores such as deer. However it makes sense to ensure what remains includes as much as is practicable, including beaver despite the occasional inconveniences that they cause’.

Dear Mr or Ms Anonymous, thankyou for your comment on the Scottish Beaver Blog. In the absence of your name and address, I wonder if you live in the Knapdale area and will be subject to the ‘occasional inconveniences’ which you feel those of us who do live here, should be prepared to put up with? I hate to embarass you by pointing out that beavers come under the heading ‘fauna’ rather than ‘flora’, or maybe you have misunderstood the entire project? I don’t think I need to point out that 'extinct' is not synonymous with ‘very endangered’. The dodo is not ‘very endangered’, neither is the Woolly Mammoth or the Tyrannosauras Rex. The main threat to the imported beavers has arisen from the very act of importing them.

Your comment is remarkably similar to the case put for the introduction of Beaver by the Beaver Project Team during the ‘consultation’ period and in every press release since. You only have to visit Knapdale to see that this is very far from an ‘impoverished’ habitat, indeed it is already host to all the insect, amphibian and plant life which we are told will be the result of the inclusion of beavers in Knapdale. If it has not become impoverished in the last 400 years (if we go along with the notion that they were ever in this area), then I don’t think we need to worry unduly. However, we have now lost several hundred trees due to flooding and ‘coppicing’ and deer numbers will ensure that new growth is soon removed. Beavers have never existed in Ireland and I don’t think that you can describe the Irish landscape as ‘impoverished’. It seems that you can only put beavers where it is already perfect beaver habitat and therefore does not need the beavers to make it more perfect. The truly impoverished landscapes of the country are not due to the absence of beavers, but to the activities of man. Logically, the best thing we can do for the environment is to remove humans rather than relocate a handful of beavers to Knapdale. The carbon footprint of this introduction must far outweigh any environmental advantage that may occur.

You mention Wild Cats which are indeed endangered both by a loss of habitat and inter breeding with domestic cats. The Wild Cat is an iconic Scottish animal and does still cling on in parts of Scotland. When it is gone, we will not be able to import an approximate copy from elsewhere so perhaps it would be better to spend the £2.5 million on helping to restore their habitat and numbers rather than turning Knapdale into a Beaver Theme Park.

I think we should all think very carefully before we applaud initiatives which happen in parts of the country where we do not live. Unless one lives in an area and has extensive knowledge of the landscape, wildlife and terrain, one should hesitate before speaking out on matters one does not fully understand.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Knapdale Beaver Trial Update August 2010

As more beavers are added to the trial it becomes more difficult for the casual observer to keep track of what is happening so here is an update of the current situation in Knapdale. I have observed the female on Seafield Loch but for the other numbers, I am relying on the information from the Scottish Beaver Trial so cannot vouch for its accuracy.

The Dubh Loch now has four beavers, an adult pair, a female of about 3 years and a kit born this year. On Loch Linne there are also four beavers comprising an adult pair, a male of about 3 years and another kit born this year. One female beaver of about 3 years is alone on Seafield Loch, having moved from the Lily Loch after the death of its partner shortly after release. A further pair of beavers said to be 2 and 2 and a half years old (not sure how that works when I had understood that beavers give birth once a year in spring) were released onto Creag Mhor Loch on 23 June and have since moved over to the unnamed Lochan between Creag Mhor and Loch Linne. As the second pair of beavers to disperse from this loch it might be surmised that the loch is inherently unsuitable for beavers rather than the popular belief that someone shot at the first lot - a totally unsubstantiated suggestion which persists in Knapdale Beaver Mythology.

So, despite adding four extra beavers, the project is still one beaver short of the four pairs required for a viable trial, unless the male from Loch Linne and the female on Seafield Loch manage to meet and mate. With no water course between Seafield Loch and Loch Linne this may be difficult although beavers have proved themselves able to move overland and even by sea if necessary. Similarly, there is no direct route between Loch Linne and Dubh Loch to facilitate the meeting of the young male and female from these lochs. The total beaver population in Knapdale is now 11, the same number as released in May 2009.

With permission from the Scottish Government to replace dead or dispersed adult beavers up until May 2011, the project can simply continue to add new beavers to the trial to maintain the numbers. The new Creag Mhor beavers only spent 2 days in rabies quarantine (despite is being a requirement of DEFRA that all mammals entering the UK should undergo six months quarantine) and were released into the wild only seven or eight weeks after arriving from Norway. Each time the trial has a problem, it is easily solved by changing the licence conditions. The trial has been granted £20,000 by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (has no one told them that beavers are not an endangered species?) to provide new quarantine facilities and funds to import a further two beavers to Highland Wildlife Park. How do they know which gender of beaver is going to die or disperse? Apparently there are a further two pairs of beavers still in holding for possible use in the trial.

One thing we were assured of was that the presence of beavers would in no way affect the normal rights and access of the public and yet there have been restrictions on fishing in one instance, suggestions that swimming in Loch Coille Bharr might disturb the beavers and even worse might disturb the visitors who might wish to see the beavers. One week after the trial declared their ‘Beaver Safaris’ a great success with an estimated 172 people visiting the site over four evenings, the public are asked to stay away from the loch edge to prevent disturbance to the new kits.

On the positive side, work has started on the new path which bypasses the flooding which has made the Loch Coille Bharr walk impassable for the last year. It will take the visitor over the dam and is the first new infrastructure put in place to enable visitors to have access to the site.

Photos: Female Beaver on Seafield Loch, Unnamed Lochan where new Creag Mhor beavers have relocated, Branches stripped by beavers, New path at Loch Coille Bharr, Beaver Dam at edge of Loch Coille Bharr


Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Beaver Debacle Continues

The Scottish Government in their wisdom, have given the Beaver Project an extension to their licence which has allowed them to release a further pair of beavers onto Creag Mhor Loch and to replace dead or dispersed adult beavers up to May 2011. 13 months from the start of the trial, with four additional beavers released we still only have three pairs, one single and two juveniles. With the smallest number for a meaningful trial being four families, the trial has effectively lost a year and the data at the end of five years will be questionable.

The Beaver Project have published the findings of the post mortem on the adult male beaver released onto the Lily Loch on 4 May and subsequently found dead in the lodge on 27 May. ‘The beaver is believed to have failed to adapt to the local diet following the change in his surroundings and found to be in poor body condition resulting from a lack of food in his digestive system’. In other words, he starved to death. This seems astonishing given that the beavers were being closely monitored post release, the beaver had not been seen for at least a week and the radio signal had not moved for the same time. The release site is a very small lochan and the artificial lodge only a few metres from where the Project Team were monitoring activity - or lack of it. The last time I spoke to monitoring staff at the Lily Loch I asked if they were still feeding the beavers and was assured that they were feeding themselves - clearly they were not. It seems unlikely that a beaver would fail to adapt to the Knapdale diet without some underlying cause and it is believed that this was the beaver which was rumoured to have been injured in captivity, prior to it’s release. Only a cynic would suggest that the news was suppressed until after the Anniversary Press Release. It seems that the image of the Project is more important than the welfare of beavers.

Following the death of it’s partner, the female beaver moved to Seafield Loch and has since been observed on the loch but I am not convinced it is still there. Perhaps hammering in of marker pegs in the ground and metal discs on the trees might have frightened it away? There are some signs of activity, a gnawed tree and some smaller nibblings but generally it does not seem to have made much impact on the loch. The beaver was described as being sub-adult so may not be able to cope without a family group. With the unexplained death of it’s partner, it might have been sensible to capture and examine the female to check it’s health and remove it from the trial area where it will be exceptionally lucky to meet up with a spare male beaver. The water course from Seafield Loch will take the beaver to Creag Mhor Loch where the two new beavers have been released and they are unlikely to welcome a spare beaver. Had it been released, as originally intended, onto the Frog Loch it would be connected to Loch Linne where there should be a spare male beaver ready to establish it’s own territory.

The Dubh Loch beavers continue to maintain and enlarge the dam at the edge of Coille Bharr. Water levels had dropped after months with very little rain but the drought now seems to have ended.

On recent visits to Loch Linne, we have only spotted one beaver on the loch. It is possible that the adult female has given birth and will be staying in the lodge, but the two males, adult and juvenile, should be out and about, getting food for her. The beaver had no ear tags and no sign of a radio tracking device. Early July is when kits should emerge from the lodge, but so far there has been no sign - but with only infrequent visits to the sites, I don’t know what is happening and like the rest of the public have to rely on the Beaver Trial for information which is not always forthcoming. Kits will be a big draw for the public and there will be a conflict between wishing to put out ‘Good News’ and not wishing to cause disturbance to the beavers.

Photos 1 Single female beaver on Seafield Loch 15 June 2010, 2 Tree on the edge of Seafield Loch, 3 Rowan on rocky promontory at the north end of Seafield Loch, 4 Seafield Loch looking South

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Beavers in Knapdale - One Year On

27 May 2010 was a busy day in Knapdale. It was almost a year since the introduction of eleven beavers to Knapdale Forest; media attention was at its height, SWT & RZSS published a very upbeat press release in which it was stated that there were ‘signs of success’, and the latest additions to the beaver trial on 4 May were said to be ‘settling in well’. What it didn’t mention was that on the same day, one of those well settled beavers, (having not been seen for about 10 days) was found dead in it’s lodge only 23 days after release. This news was not released until the tv cameras and national press had left the area to pursue the next story.

During the consultation prior to the granting of the licence we were given a lot of information about beavers and how they might behave in Scotland. So, one year on, what have we learned about Beavers in Knapdale?

Beavers do not enjoy six months living in totally unnatural quarantine conditions.

Beavers are social animals and do not thrive alone.

Beavers do build dams and cause flooding.

Beavers are better than humans when assessing suitable beaver sites.

Beavers do kill trees.

Beavers do travel in the sea.

Beavers alter and manage wetlands but they do not ‘do it for free’.

Beavers are not ‘geographically contained in Knapdale’.

Beavers are not easy to catch.

Beaver Radio Tracking Devices fall off beavers.

Beavers require constant monitoring and management.

Of the 25 beavers which were imported from Norway in 2008, 12 have died, 3 are missing presumed dead, 7 remain in Knapdale (two settled families of 3 and a single female currently on the move) and 3 are either dead or still in captivity in Edinburgh Zoo or Highland Wildlife Park.

The Scottish Government has granted permission for the introduction of a further pair of beavers (the fifth family or pair to be introduced bringing the total of families/pairs in Knapdale up to three. Four pairs are considered the minimum requirement for a viable trial) and the replacement of adult beavers which die or disperse from the trial site up to May 2011.

In more than 10 years since the project was first proposed, the budget has increased from something in the region of £400,000, to £700,000, to £1.7 million, to something over £2 million.

Environmental Benefits A small loch has been enlarged creating a slightly larger area of wetland which as a percentage of Argyll’s wetland is infinitessimal.

Environmental Casualties Many trees have been felled or flooded removing woodland habitat.

Tourism & Economic Benefits Visitors to the area have been able to view beavers. Hotels and Community Venues hosting Beaver Consultation and Stakeholder meetings have benefited.

Tourism Casualties Visitors have been denied access to the walk around Loch Coille Bharr (the recently rebranded Beaver Detective Trail) due to thigh high flooding on the path.

With another four years of the trial to go, it is impossible to predict the outcome but whatever happens, Knapdale will remain a wonderfully beautiful area with an astonishing range of wildlife which is in no way dependent on the presence of beavers.

Photos: Single Female Beaver on Seafield Loch (Lochan Buic) 15 June 2010. This beaver is the surviving animal of the pair released onto the Lily Loch 4 May 2010.

Beavers on Lily Loch 9 May 2010, before the death of the male during May 2010. The male has green ear tags.

Tree Stumps, Lily Loch 8 June 2010

Monday, 7 June 2010

Letter expressing dismay

Dear Editor,

I write to express my dismay at the depletion in the number of Beaver in Knapdale. Surely the experiment must fail if SWT runs out of subjects, though as they set it up they can vary it to suit. I do hope the Zoo has been quietly stocking up for just such an eventuality. Having had to do so already, I hope they have a supply chain in place, now that the death of Beavers is an expected by- product of the endeavour.

I don’t remember SWT or SNH being particularly frank about the expected losses, but the fact SNH is involved is par for the course. Having been instrumental in the slaughter of some 600 or so Hedgehogs on the Uists, it is no surprise to find them involved in the deaths of another species

Hence my concern, if we run out of Beaver, will they look elsewhere for a suitable subject? Something like the Mink perhaps, this charismatic animal is a keystone predator and as such is responsible for the successful elimination of noisy seabird colonies and those nasty wee water voles.

Oddly enough, the Mink too was introduced into the wild by well meaning interfering busybodies. True, they didn’t have 2 million pounds to spend, but I think we can safely say that Mink are a success story.

I’m sure SNH aren’t too fussed about the species just as long as it can be killed in the interests of environment/ecology/habitat and EU dictat. So please can we have more Beaver, it surely makes sense to kill alien species rather than indigenous ones.

Yours faithfully

Alexander Hamilton

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Arrival of Beavers on the Lily Loch

Two beavers were released today, 4 May, somewhat later than planned due to an injury (while in the care of the Zoo) to one of the beavers, variously reported as an injured foot or a tail being damaged by a spade. Whatever happened, it is presumably deemed fit for release now. There is some confusion about whether this is the third or fourth family or pair. It is the fourth pair to be released but in the absence of family number three, it is the third pair in Knapdale. There are plans to release a further pair which were brought into the country just under six months ago which will be the fifth pair to be released but the fourth pair actually existing in Knapdale. The original licence allowed for up to four families to be released so a further licence has to be granted to allow the release of pair number five, which will actually be pair number four - hope you are all keeping up.

Unless more have gone missing (and it is not as if we would be told), there are now eight beavers in Knapdale. One family of two adults and one female juvenile on the Dubh Loch, one family of two adults and one male juvenile on Loch Linnhe and the new pair on the Lily Loch which are an adult male and sub adult female. The two juveniles are at the age when they are likely to be leaving the family group - especially if any kits are born. Unless they are fortunate enough to cross each other's paths, they will be wandering about in Knapdale with little chance of finding a mate.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Native Hardwoods

This notice has been put on the forest gate at Gariob Cottage, approximately two thirds of a mile from the Dubh Loch, current residence of three Norwegian beavers which are being encouraged to fell native hardwoods in an area which was cleared of conifers to create a native woodland habitat.

Just so everyone is quite clear - if beavers fell native hardwoods in a Special Area of Conservation it is very good because they open up the canopy and create wonderful wetland habitat for other creatures. If a human fells native hardwoods in a Special Area of Conservation it is very bad because it removes the shade which provides a marvellous habitat for natural regeneration of trees and other flora. And don't forget that because deer kill trees they will be shot. It is good to know there is a consistent policy on all things to do with Knapdale Forest.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

New Beaver Des Res on Lily Loch

The new arrivals to bolster the flagging numbers of the Knapdale Beaver Project will be glad to know that their new living quarters are ready. An eco friendly straw bale lodge with conifer topping on the East side of the Lily Loch, out of sight of the viewing point bench but easy enough to find for beaver enthusiasts. Perhaps the residents are already ensconced - it won't be long before we find out.

The beavers are geographically contained in Knapdale - or so it was thought before the Creag Mhor beavers dispersed soon after the beginning of the trial. In case the two new beavers (paired up remnants of the November 2008 importation) decide to head south, beaver proof fences and water gates have been installed on two burns which flow into Loch Sween. The fringe of broadleaf woodland around the Lily Loch is unlikely to provide sufficient habitat for any length of time so it will be interesting to see if they stay there. Watch this space.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Beavers on the Lily Loch

At a recent drop in Beaver Information evening at Tayvallich, the film of the capture, quarantine and release of the beavers into Knapdale was shown. Anyone with an interest in animal welfare would be taken aback to see how they were captured with nets from boats, bundled into sacks and crates, kept in holding and then flown to Britain and transported to the quarantine facility in Devon which could hardly be described as ideal beaver habitat. It is not surprising that only one beaver family survived the experience intact, requiring the release to be bolstered by two families from an earlier importation which had been held at Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park. These animals were not mentioned in the film, giving the impression that all the released beavers came from the same place at the same time. It was fortunate for the project that RZSS happened to have removed their existing collection of Bavarian beavers and replaced them with beavers from the ‘right’ area. Otherwise there would be no trial.

Currently there are two families of three remaining in the trial site - Loch Linnhe and the Dubh Loch. One young female beaver from the Coille Bharr/Dubh Loch family has been missing since August 09 and there is a plan to search for it along the coast from Carsaig to Craignish. The two female beavers from Creag Mhor Loch have been missing since June 09. Signs of beaver activity were spotted in September at Drimvore, north of the Crinan Canal. A burrow on the River Add was washed out in floods and since then, there has been no sign of the animals. The adult male from Creag Mhor Loch which has been living alone on the loch since its escape bid ended last August was caught before Christmas in the routine catch-up to assess the animal’s health. It was found to be in poor condition and has been taken to Edinburgh Zoo for further investigation and treatment. It is not yet known whether it will be fit to return to the trial in the future.

Two families are not enough for a viable trial so two of the beavers from the original importation, an adult male and sub adult female, are to be paired up and released onto the lochan south east of Seafield Loch, locally known as the Lily Loch. This is a delightul lochan, fringed on three sides with a narrow band of broadleaved woodland and surrounded by conifers. There are more hardwoods to the south of the loch, soon to be under water if the beavers build a dam. This has always been a peaceful spot to sit and enjoy the native flora and fauna.

To discourage the animals from moving south along the burn which emerges onto land at Seafield Farm, it is proposed to fence the burn. How can anyone judge what impact beavers will have on the Scottish landscape if they are not allowed to roam freely. Why not just fence all the beaver lochs and call them Wildlife Parks and charge admission - then we would have a proper assessment of the benefits to tourism. Assuming the beavers remain on the lochan rather than heading for Seafield Loch, it will not take them long to dam the outlet stream and submerge the walkway and bench, removing another amenity enjoyed by locals and visitors. Being only a matter of a few hundred yards from the Clay Pigeon shoot, we can only hope they are not frightened away by the noise.

Even if this third pair settle on the Lily Loch, there are still not enough animals for a viable trial so it is proposed that permission is sought for the release of a fifth family sometime during the first two years of the trial so presumably more beavers will have to be captured in Norway, quarantined and released - unless of course RZSS, having lost their beavers which were brought over without any thought of being part of the trial, have had the foresight to import more animals for their collections. Wouldn’t that be lucky.