Norman Workers Chip Away At Beaver-Caused Damage

Saturday, July 23rd 2011, 2:49 pm
By: News 9

Associated Press

NORMAN, Oklahoma -- Norman streets superintendent Greg Hall says beavers and city life just don't mix.

Hall told The Norman Transcript for a Saturday story that every year beavers work their way into town, coming up the South Canadian and Little rivers to build dams where water runoff is supposed to drain from the city.

"People think beavers are cute and cuddly, from what they've seen on TV, but they can cause real problems in an urban area like Norman," Hall said.

The city has a contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to remove the animals. Hall said he knows it's not popular, but the animals are euthanized because there is no relocation program.

"People get upset about that, but that's why we call them aquatic rodents," he said. "We want to stress that they are rodents ... not furry, cuddly teddy bears."

Hall said beavers also damage the city's trees.

"You can go to sleep one night and the tree's fine and then wake up the next morning and it's gone," Hall said. "They work quick and they can do a lot of damage."

There are no dams that need to be removed at the moment, but Hall said some had to be removed in the spring.

"We don't have a problem (with beavers) right now, but we had some removed earlier in the spring," Hall said. "And you never know how many you'll have to remove. It varies ... we've taken 15 to 30 out before in a year."