Gigantic beaver invades Fort Smith
Any of those headlines would be equally accurate in this very odd story from Fort Smith in Canada's Northwest Territories. The small, otherwise-sleepy northern town just north of the Alberta-NWT border was the victim of a rampaging beaver that alarmed several residents and prompted a call from the territory's Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The beaver was spotted on Monday morning, wandering through a residential neighbourhood, down a busy street, through the cemetary and the golf course, escourted by a Northwest Territories Environment and Natural Resources officer the whole time.
Local resident Mike Keizer claimed he hopped on his bicycle as soon as he heard news of a very angry beaver on the loose, knocking on residents' doors to warn of its approach. A second local resident, Jason Mercredi, took video footage of the large beaver moving in a ditch and on a sidewalk along McDougal Street, claiming the beaver "looked pissed".
Keizer claimed the aquatic rodent was roughly the size of a dog, and recalled "Every time it got agitated or flustered, it would bang its tail on the ground. I mean, I was amazed at how fast it moved when it was agitated."
He would later add that the beaver became particularly agitated when it came into nose-to-nose contact with a resident's German Shepherd dog, with only a chain-link fence blocking the two. "It never backed down once. It grabbed the fence, it was hissing, and the dog was barking."
To show how enraged this beaver was, the local ENR officer kept a plywood sheet in front of him when he tried to get the beaver to turn around. It worked, though the beaver charged and rushed the sheet.
Keizer stated that he rode his bike ahead of the beaver, knocking on doors and warned residents to bring their dogs inside, thanks to the wild beaver headed their way. "While I was there, all kinds of people were driving up in their trucks and cars, and taking pictures."
The beaver wandered another kilometer or two outside town before heading towards the Slave River rapids and disappearing into the vast wilderness. Keizer said that in his 17 years of living in Fort Smith, he has never seen a beaver — let alone one so large — come into town or cause a fuss.