Remaining beavers at Red Deer’s Three Mile Bend Recreation Area really ought to be left alone, say three young adults who picketed there on Saturday.
The protest arose from concerns about the future of a family of beavers since reports earlier this month that the normally elusive rodents had attacked dogs swimming in one the park’s off-leash ponds and that one pet had been killed.
There have been no reports of further attacks .
City parks officials had initially considered euthanizing the beavers, but decided instead to try relocating them.
It all became moot last week, after a canoeist found a beaver that had been shot to death, said Trevor Poth, parks superintendent for the City of Red Deer.
If the beavers are still a threat to dogs, they should be relocated rather than killed, say Mallory Eagles of Calgary and her two friends, Ashley Vu and Nathan Bunch of Red Deer.
The trio took to the trails at about mid-day Saturday, collecting signatures from dog owners on a petition Vu plans to give to Poth.
They had collected about 35 signatures by 2 p.m., with Eagles, 24, handling the petition. Vu, 20 was dressed head-to-toe in a beaver costume while Bunch, 20, created his own fox costume.
It was worth suffering in the heat to get the word out, said Eagles, who has worn similar costumes in her role as a volunteer with the Calgary Zoo.
Dog walkers who signed the petition included Kelsi McCarthy, out with her dog, Molly.
“It would stop had better control of their dogs,” said McCarthy.
But relocating the beavers is not an option, said dog walker Larry Brown.
Beavers are territorial animals, so removing beavers from one spot and depositing them into another would be a death sentence, said Brown.
“You shouldn’t kill them and shouldn’t move them,” he said.
Vu has not yet made arrangements for presenting the petition.
Red Deer City RCMP are investigating the shooting.
Anyone who has information that could help is asked to contact the city detachment at 403-343-5575, said Cpl. Kathe DeHeer.
To remain anonymous, tipsters can file online at www.tipsubmit.com or call Crime Stoppers, 1-800-222-8477.