“First thing I thought was, ‘Uh-oh,’” says Petzold. She then learned the truck belonged to a trapper contracted with the city to remove beavers. He told her that he was placing traps near the underwater entryways to the beavers’ lodge.Warner Park is susceptible to flooding and reverting to marshland if beavers build dams, so they were a genuine problem. You can see why the city might want to deal with pest animals in a low-visibility manner. But the trapper had a vanity license plate, and the animal lover was a retired police detective, and now whatever is to be done must be done in the harsh light of empathy.
“I asked if he was trapping to relocate the beavers or kill them. He said, ‘Some of them are over 70 pounds, and it’s really hard to find a place to put them,’” says Petzold. “He then told me the traps hold the beavers underwater until they asphyxiate. It was disturbing to me that the city was essentially drowning beavers without any notice to residents.”
April 10, 2017
"Trapping [the beavers] might have gone unnoticed if not for retired Madison police detective Sara Petzold."
"She lives near Warner Park and frequently visits with her giant schnauzer, Milo. On a recent walk, she spotted a truck with the license plate 'ITRAP.'"