European Beaver

Castor fiber

Beavers are a native British species and the second largest rodent in the world, bigger even than a domestic cat! They have been extinct in this country for centuries. They are easily recognised by their large, flat tails, stocky bodies and rich deep brown fur. European beavers are larger than their American cousins, but live in smaller family groups. Beavers were hunted to extinction in the UK for their fur, which is incredibly thick to keep them warm in the water. They are entirely vegetarian, and use their sharp teeth to chop down trees and strip away bark and leaves. Some of the trunks of these trees they use to build a dam across a stream, which creates an artificial lake. They use the deep water in front of the dam to store branches to eat later. The water also protects the beaver from predators; they will build a family beaver lodge in the middle of the lake their dam creates, with an under water entrance. At Wildwood our beavers have their own den with viewing panes so you can see them without disturbing them. They come out for a swim when they are fed, usually late in the afternoon. Stay very quiet and look for dark ripples and bubbles in the water, it might be a beaver ready to surface.

Badger Bison