Oily the beaver is released at the site of an abandoned beaver lodge near Sundre.

Beaver caught in oil spill released into wild

A one-week old baby beaver, which was caught in the Plains Midstream Canada oil pipeline spill last June on the Red Deer River, is back in the wild.



A one-week old baby beaver, which was caught in the Plains Midstream Canada oil pipeline spill last June on the Red Deer River, is back in the wild.

On June 7, 2012, up to 3,000 barrels (475,000 litres) of light sour crude oil was released into the river from a ruptured pipeline about one km north of Sundre and oil travelled as far as Gleniffer Lake.

The kit named Oily was found coated in oil close to the original spill site and was taken to Medicine River Wildlife Centre.

“Oily was a teeny, weeny little guy, about 500 grams or so, when he came to us. Soaked in oil and sitting in a shoe box,” said Carol Kelly, executive director of the centre, on Tuesday.

He was released at the site of an abandoned beaver lodge near Sundre on Sunday night weighing about 25 pounds.

“He’s grown and thrived. Hates people. Totally a lovely wild beaver.”

Oily was the first victim of the oil spill. Members of the Sundre Petroleum Operators Group met Kelly in a parking lot near James River to hand him over for treatment.

The centre also took in a baby muskrat and adult beaver from the oil spill that were released back into the wild last summer. A Canada goose and baby crow did not survive.

“When we did the autopsies on them, their lungs were filled with oil. The birds got their feathers soaked that they weren’t able to swim. They tended to inhale oil as they were drowning. It was the mammals that did better.”

Kelly said she will be returning to Oily’s lodge Wednesday to check up on him. He was swimming around having a good time the last time she saw him — a big difference from when he arrived at the centre.

“He was pretty bad. For the first couple months we had him he’d gain weight and then he’d lose weight. I think he’d inhaled stuff so he had compromised lungs.”

Oily required antibiotics and a dedicated staff member helped him pull through, she said.

By the time he was released he was eating huge amounts of poplar and willow. He was also fed vegetable scraps and a small amount grain and seeds.

“He’ll probably live by himself down there until a female comes his way.”

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake council adopts waterfront plan

Sustainable Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan to guide development for next 20 years

Two people die in Rocky-area collision

Rocky Mountain House RCMP investigate

RDC launches week of activities focusing on student mental health

Learners invited to join the discussion at #MakeSomeTimeRDC

Husky Energy walks away from its hostile takeover bid for MEG Energy

CALGARY — Husky Energy Inc. is walking away from its hostile takeover… Continue reading

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Canada’s Conners on his way to full PGA Tour card with fast start to 2019 season

Corey Conners was working on his putting last Friday when fellow Canadian… Continue reading

Canada’s Milos Raonic, Denis Shapovalov advance at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canada’s Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov have advanced to… Continue reading

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

AP Exclusive: A peek at how Disney resort shows are made

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — With excitement building over a new “Star… Continue reading

Justin Bieber’s ‘Steps to Stardom’ hometown exhibit makes plans for a book

STRATFORD, Ont. — Justin Bieber’s meteoric rise to pop stardom will be… Continue reading

Most Read