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Beaver 'butchered'

Whoever has the tail likely has it illegally, says conservation officer of beaver found on Errington Road
Bonita Carey shows the carcass of a dead beaver she found in a ditch at the side of Errington Road Friday.

Bonita Carey and Megan Keene were riding their bikes on Errington Road Friday afternoon when they saw a sight that changed the tone of their whole day.

In the ditch at the side of the road lay a dead, mature beaver — with its tail hacked off.

The pair were horrified by what they saw.

"This is absolutely sickening, Carey said. "The fact that they butchered its tail off just makes me cringe. It's atrocious. What if a family rode by?"

Keene was equally angered at the sight.

"I spent the rest of my ride home crying," she said. "Beavers are supposed to be our national animal. Does nobody care to protect them?"

Conservation officer Stuart Bates said it currently is beaver trapping season, which runs from October until the end of April. However, he said whoever cut off the animal's tail is likely illegally in possession of dead wildlife.

"If the hide is there, it wasn't a trapper, because that's what the trappers are after," he said. "It was probably struck by a vehicle and therefore it's dead wildlife and you can only be in possession of it if you legally obtained it."

Picking it up at the side of the road, he added, does not constitute legal possession.

"It's like when a deer gets hit on the road," he said. "You can't just throw it in the back of the truck and take it home."