Beaver bandits stealing birch trees from properties in Deer Lake

The Town of Deer Lake is taking on a colony of beaver bandits that officials say have been stealing birch trees from private properties for the past few years.

Many trees have vanished from homeowner's lawns, not far from the Humber River.

The town's municipal enforcement officer, Keith Park, says the town plans to trap and kill the large rodents. 

"Over the past three years, we've had the same issues," he said. "We've had to get Wildlife involved and they've sent a trapper."

Last year we had nights where the beavers cut 14 and 15 big trees from around people's property.  - Keith Park

Park said around this time every year, anywhere from eight to 10 beavers cross the Humber River looking for birch trees to store for their winter food. 

The animals have become such a nuisance that council felt it had no choice but to step in. 

"Last year we had nights where the beavers cut 14 and 15 big trees from around people's property.… We had trees down across power lines, so we had to get Newfoundland Power involved," said Park.

Keith Park

Once the beavers are trapped and killed, their furs will be sold.  

"We have live-trapped them before and moved them," said Park. "They keep coming back."

Park said most residents seem to be pleased with the town's plans. 

"They're excited to see them gone, because they're losing their property every day," he said. "Some big trees that have been growing for years … they get up and the lawn is empty, no trees left."

Town council has issued a notice to pet owners in the area to ensure domestic animals stay safe, and are restrained from roaming around the riverbed where the beaver traps have been set.

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