Beavers Suffer Severe Burns After Helping to Stop Oil Spill
Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 Favorite. It was originally published on April 3, 2013. Enjoy!
Six beavers at Utah’s Willard Bay State Park are being called superheroes after helping to contain an oil leak from pouring into the bay and marsh land. Sadly, three of the beavers were severely burned while the family built a dam that blocked a large portion of the spill.
The 27,000 gallons of crude diesel oil leaked from a split in a Chevron pipeline last week. It’s the third leak for the pipeline, that runs from Salt Lake City to Spokane, WA, has experienced in the past three years.
All of the beavers were transported to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah for care. It took volunteers six hours to thoroughly bathe away the oil stuck to their fur. Forty large bottles of Dawn dish soap were used to gently remove the oil.
Three of the animals suffered burns on their skin and eyes and had only patches of fur left on their bodies. They are being given special care to heal their wounds and put on medication to prevent complications. Two of the beavers are under the age of one and the third is a new mother.
Late last week, one of the animals was still showing signs of nausea and respiratory problems, but the other two were starting to move around in their cages and eat. Caregivers say they are taking their recovery one day at a time. They are hopeful the beavers will be able to eventually return to the wild.
Phil Douglass, spokesperson for the Department of Wildlife Resources said, “Protecting other animals and plants is part of the beavers’ daily routine. Beavers are natural homemakers.”
He credited beaver dams, or “lodges,” for drawing moose to Utah because moose like still waters for drinking. The dams also keep the water cool for trout and make surrounding areas healthier by inviting more plant growth.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert is calling the latest spill “unacceptable.” He wants Chevron to run a more proactive operation in the state. The oil giant has been fined $400,000 for the two earlier leaks.
Chevron issued a statement offering their regrets for the incident and the impact it has on the environment. They have more than 130 people working round-the-clock to clean up the oil.
Photo Credit: finchlake2000