Enfield beaver found dead

Male had been one of two beavers introduced to borough in March, reports James Cracknell

Beaver in Enfield
The male beaver was the first of two introduced at Forty Hall Farm in March

One of the two beavers released in Enfield three months ago has died, the council has confirmed.

Two Eurasian beavers, a male and female, were introduced to a specially-built enclosure within the grounds of Forty Hall Farm in March and made headlines as the first to be released in London since the species went extinct in Britain some four centuries ago.

Beavers are well regarded for their dam-building skills and the local reintroduction project is a collaboration between Enfield Council and Capel Manor College, which runs the farm, as part of wider flood alleviation efforts in the borough. It had been hoped that the two beavers would mate and produce kits within a year, but the council has now confirmed that the male has died “of natural causes”.

A spokesperson said: “We are saddened and sorry to confirm one of the two beavers at Forty Hall Farm has died. The results of a post mortem have confirmed that the male beaver died of natural causes.

“In conjunction with experts the beaver enclosure was designed and built to the highest standards to meet Natural England’s requirements in order to obtain the requisite licence. These experts are confident that the environment that has been created is good.

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“We also have a stringent monitoring programme in place that observes the health of the animals within the enclosure, food and water supply, topography and other environmental factors.

“The council continues to work with these partners to ensure the health and wellbeing of any beavers contained within the enclosure remain of the uppermost importance.”

A replacement male beaver is now being sought. Hundreds of beavers are now living and breeding in the UK, following the first reintroductions around a decade ago. The male that has died was originally transported to Enfield from Yorkshire by experts from Beaver Trust.

The spokesperson added: “It is our intention to find a suitable replacement beaver as soon as it is feasible. Enfield Council is in discussions in respect to another beaver release at the appropriate season. This will also give us time to make some adjustments to the enclosure to further enhance the conditions for the inhabitants.

“In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the remaining female beaver as closely as possible without disturbing her or the habitat. We can confirm that on-the-ground observations and video footage show she is safe and well and is settling in happily.”

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