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.


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Photo Credit: finchlake2000


Georgia a.
Georgia a2 years ago

Not only was this spill unacceptable, all of them are. If the idiots in charge would just pay a little more attention to such an animal killer, maybe then no more will need to be written on it. I just don't understand why oil companies think they can continue spilling nasty oil on our planet!

Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Linda Rolf
Linda Rolf4 years ago

It is sick that the beevers had to stop the spill to save themselves. Send the bill to Chevron and sue them for this spill too.

Mona Pietsch
Mona Pietsch4 years ago


Angev GERIDONI4 years ago

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Thank you for sharing

Angev GERIDONI4 years ago

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Angev GERIDONI4 years ago

✭ ♒ ✭ ♒ ✭ ♒ STOP FOSSIL FUELS - GO RENEWABLES ✭ ♒ ✭ ♒ ✭ ♒

Danielle Esau
Dani Elle4 years ago

these companies need to be put out of business. They're harming the environment, there'll be no where to go once they've destroyed everything.

Kathryn O'Neill

How amazing that they were able and willing to try to prevent the oil spread, so intelligent!!
Damn shame they were injured!