The engineer behind the plan to drain a pond at the intersection of Highways 400 and 404 says it would help the beavers
Metrolinx is battling ‘beloved’ beavers by draining the pond where they live. Local residents side with the wildlife
A plan to drain a pond at the intersection of the two Toronto highways that borders a small community of beavers has locals warning the animals are stuck in a trap.
A Metrolinx spokeswoman said the agency is working to relocate the beavers, which, it adds, have been a long-time resident of the pond and their presence has become too commonplace.
Critics have complained that the agency is embarking on a costly operation that will destroy the native trees in the area that the beavers like to browse, and will deprive others of the environment they have gathered to thrive in.
“We understand that beavers are a beloved local icon,” said Mary Pat Finn, the Metrolinx spokeswoman.
“That is why we had to find a way to manage the beavers and protect the local forestry community.”
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Finn said that the agency first tried to relocate the beavers but knew there was no way they could be moved to the same spot.
She said the agency has decided on a plan to relocate them to a third location, in what is called a “sunken pond” on the other side of the highway.
The plan has enraged residents in a small community a few kilometres from the highway and considers where the beavers are instead of taking into account that beavers do not eat the same vegetation that people do.
“I understand these beavers are battling humans and save us, but man has to be responsible for his actions,” said John Upchurch, who lives near the site.
Upchurch said the beavers have made the water source a water source for his lawnmower and gardening equipment, and the return of the beavers would rob some of the wildlife from his yard.
“I’m watching fish jump out the bottom of my pond. They’re feeding in my garden. I find this just absolutely appalling,” he said.
“This is my city in which I live, and it’s wrong,” he said.
Fred Giuffrida said he is afraid his grandchildren may not get to know their mom and dad because of the plan.
“They’re an endangered species. The beavers are an endangered species,” he said.
The beavers thrive in the water and had to be relocated to a more suitable location because city officials had complained the vegetation was also attracting rats, slugs and foxes, Finn said.
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“We’re working with the local community to see if we can minimize the impact and have some environmental offsets in place,” she said.