The keen eye of a Good Samaritan, along with TLC provided at Critter Care Wildlife Society in south Langley, have likely saved the lives of three beaver kits.
The siblings, believed to be around two months old, were found covered in motor oil in a ditch on the corner of Dewdney Trunk Road and Turnbridge Avenue in Mission July 17.
“A gentleman was in the area and heard them whimpering and crying,” said Dawn Johnston, animal care supervisor with Critter Care.
Two of the beavers appear to be recovering well, while a third was taken to a vet on July 25 for further examination.
Johnston said someone had dumped the motor oil in the ditch.
“They were swimming around in the oil,” she said.
The beavers groomed the motor oil off their bodies and in the process, ingested it.
When brought into Critter Care, the beavers were skinny and completely covered in oil. They were given Dawn dish soap baths to scrub the oil off their coats.
“We syringe-fed them for a day to get their weight up, because they were clearly skinny,” Johnston said.
Johnston said this incident was “such a preventable thing.”
“It’s needless,” she said.
“There’s no need to dump oil on the side of the road. We have these (beavers), we don’t know what else it could possibly affecting. It’s in the whole ditch system, so it could be affecting all of the wildlife.”
She said people need to be responsible.
“Take it to a recycling centre, there’s lots of ones that can take your oil. You don’t need to just dump it on the side of the road.”
However, Mission does not have a local oil recycling facility.
In April of this year it was reported that Mission no longer had any facilities that accepted used motor oil.
Both Canadian Tire and Lordco ended their local recycling programs leaving Mission residents with no local option to dispose of used oil.
At that time, the District of Mission was advising people to drive their used motor oil to neighbouring Abbotsford in order to recycle it.
The district is looking into other options for local collection of oil.
The website bcusedoil.com lists five locations close to Mission, all of them are in Abbotsford.
As for the prognosis on the three beavers, Johnston is “really confident” two of the beavers will make a full recovery. The third one is struggling. “We’re not sure if he ingested more of the oil or he has more issues going on,” she said.
“Once we get the vet appointment results back, we’ll get a better idea with him. We’re hopeful for the third one, as well.”
The beavers will be at Critter Care until next spring, when the plan is to release them into a suitable area.
Critter Care is accepting donations year-round to help with the more than 350 animals staying at the shelter, including fawns, skunks, raccoons, squirrels, and bear cubs, to name a few.
Donate online here. The centre is located at 481 216 St. To learn more about how to help, call 604-530-2054.