Timber! Beaver crushed by tree it was felling
A beaver in Norway has been crushed to death after misjudging which way the tree it was gnawing down was going to fall.
Beate Strøm Johansen, a Zoologist at the Agder Natural History museum in Kristiansand on the southern tip of Norway, was called to the scene after a local logger stumbled upon the unfortunate animal.
“This beaver has been extremely unlucky,” she told The Local. “I hope it’s not something that happens very often for the beavers' sake.”
Johansen said that beavers normally have an uncanny ability to predict when and where a tree is likely to fall.
“When the tree is falling they have to jump aside so the tree doesn’t hit them. Instinctively, they should know where it is falling, but sometimes they don’t know which way to jump,” she explained.
“Sometimes there’s a strong wind and the tree doesn’t fall where the beaver thinks it's going to fall.”
Leif Hægeland, the logger who found the beaver said he had never seen a beaver caught out like this in his 25 years in working as a woodsman.
“I have seen many beavers, but I have never seen such a thing,” he told Norway’s state-run broadcaster NRK.
Beavers sometimes fell trees to provide logs to dam the rivers where they live, and sometimes for tree bark and cambium tissue to eat.
In 2014, another beaver was found starved to death in southern Norway, after its tail was trapped under a fallen tree.