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.'"
“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.

“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.”
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. 

56 comments:

Tom said...

Can't these beavers be pounded? I mean, if a dog is loose, they're taken to the pound. Wait, what did you think I meant?

Etienne said...

I think Beaver pelts sell for about $150. I wonder if the city gets that, or the trapper?

whitney said...

"harsh light of empathy"

Great

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I think Beaver pelts sell for about $150.

Back in the 1960's my aunt, living in Mexico City had a full length beaver coat AND a fur seal coat. They were hanging in her closet in the city apartment with each a beautiful broach made from diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies. She let me see them and even try on one!! She was very elegant and pampered in those days :-)

Those were the most luxurious, soft things that I had ever felt in my life. THey were incredible.....my 9 year old self coveted those furs. Today...I might feel a bit bad about wearing such things. Especially the seal fur coat. A bit bad...but I might be able to adjust :-)

Virgil Hilts said...

The city needed to hire someone more in the style of Winston Wolfe.

jimbino said...

"Animal lover is a weasel word."People who keep a pet are not "animal lovers," for example, any more than a person who keeps another person is a "people lover."

Is a person who releases a pet into the wild an animal lover? Is the farmer who keeps work animals (horse, dog) an animal lover?

What kind of person earns respect as an animal lover?

Steve said...

At least they're not hauling beavers off of airplanes.

D said...

Vanity plates on an F150 owned by some ol hard-eared trapper. Animal loving cop taking on the nefarious schemes of City Hall. Death of helpless 70lb rodents, under the walking trail bridge, in the cold dark water. And the river, she keeps getting higher and higher.......
Throw in a doctor love interest for the cop, maybe he fills air in the second act by being violently carried off planes, on his never ending quest to bring consumer justice to the skies, and maybe a plucky 20-something engineer who diverts the flood at the last minute into the house of the scheming political and the airlines police officer, thus saving the library and the tiny house owned by the coffeehouse guitar player, and we got a movie

LakeLevel said...

The Minnesota DNR comes around at night near my home and "rounds up" the geese, at night so no-one sees them doing it. An acquaintance who works for the DNR says they often take 25 at a time. I have to put up a fence or the critters will make a disgusting, slippery mess of my lawn. good riddance. Sometimes wildlife "management" isn't pretty. City folk.

MaxedOutMama said...

The Great Madison Beaver controversy.

What about Madison's sanctuary policy? Doesn't that extend to beaver?

It seems the Beaver Resistance's underground efforts to remove the traps was successful this time. I note that the detective was concerned about the safety of dogs with regard to the traps.

Birkel said...

Cue Laslo.

The jokes write themselves but Laslo writes them better.

Gahrie said...

I say let the beavers build their dam. They were there first after all.....

Beaver Lives Matter!

Rusty said...

It's a giant fucking rodent.
Not only that it's a bad tempered giant fucking rodent.

n.n said...

Selective-animal

The Constitution "recognizes" a right to privacy for Planned Procedures. The pro-animal lifer should be thrown in prison or sent to Planned Parenthood for reeducation.

Freeman Hunt said...

Beavers are a huge pain to have on one's land. Seventy pounds?! That's huge. I've always pictured them as forty pound animals.

Gunbunny62 said...

Living in the far northern regions of the state many of us in our younger days had a trap line, it was a good source of additional income in an area that had few other part time jobs. Its not as easy as walking out on your knuckles and throwing a trap in the air, it took a certain amount of skill, most of that skill was passed down, my grandfather taught me. I would hazard a guess that Mr. ITRAP in this story has a much better understanding of then animal the Ms. Animal loving detective, waiting for the day beaver hats come back into style.

Bob Ellison said...

Will nobody rid me of the need to link to Eddie Thundercloud's discussion on the subject at hand?

holdfast said...

Is it possible that these examples of castor canadensis were really illegal immigrant beavers who swam across the Northern Border, to steal American dam building jobs?

buwaya said...

"What kind of person earns respect as an animal lover?"

Laslo may be able to answer this, but I don't think you want him to.

Josephbleau said...

I have a Russian style Cossack winter hat made of finest Canadian Beaver. I find that almost everyone has some reaction when I tell them that.

holdfast said...

@Josephbleau

In my recollection, some of the finest Canadian beaver can be found at Brandi's in Vancouver.

If you want low-rent Canadian beaver, I suggest the No. 5 Orange. Yes, that's the peeler bar in Deadpool. They didn't even change the name for the movie. Which is awesome.

Humperdink said...

(Edited)

Had a groundhog burrowing under my garage cement slab earlier this spring. I used a conibear trap. It's demise was instantaneous. I fed the carcass to another predator in my woods. The circle of life.

traditionalguy said...

Beavers were the reason French settled Canada. The British were novices. So I suggest hiring French Canadians to do all Beaver Regulation.

traditionalguy said...

Beavers are like vandals stealing all your good landscaping trees. Ask Meade if he has ANY BEAVER EMPATHY... no, don't ask Meade.

Tommy Duncan said...

I do miss the days when most Americans still had a linkage to farming and the realities of life and death and the practical issues associated with flooded fields.

As a duck hunter I'm partial towards beaver and their handiwork. My farmer friends take a different view.

buwaya said...

"Beavers were the reason French settled Canada. "

Oddly enough, no, not really. Beavers were the best way for some rather desperate French peasants planted in the place to make a living, but the truth is that the French state understood quite early on that Canada was an unrewarding drain on French resources, beavers notwithstanding.

They came close several times to giving it up to the British, or whomever would take it off them cheap, if it weren't for powerful Catholic factions at court that insisted on keeping it for the sake of the missionary efforts to convert the Indians - the "black robes" had powerful friends at court, literally.

So this is one case where France justified taking or holding a colony for the sake of religion, an unlikely purpose, one would think, for the French, but it wasn't the only one.

JAORE said...

Beavers, at least as played in cartoons and movies, are considered attractive/cute/playful. Hence they,like the bald eagle, deer and a few other critters are worthy of protection.

Ah, but how does that compare with, say, a non-poisonous snake?

Beavers cause property damage. The "good" snakes kill mice and rats.

Would Ms. Used-to-be-a-cop object if the city hired folk to kill snakes?

JAORE said...

Perhaps she would be OK with the city actions if the 70 pound beaver had mounted Milo and introduced him to its giant schnauzer.



David Begley said...

" It was disturbing to me that the city was essentially drowning beavers without any notice to residents.”

Send everyone an email. Better yet. Have a trial.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Just move the beavers in with the homeless.

khesanh0802 said...

I am shocked, shocked the City of Madison would not adapt to the return of wild creatures. I think it's wonderful that beaver are returning to some of the places they inhabited before being trapped out. Think of the educational opportunity of watching the transformation of this Warner Park ecosystem as the beaver return it to its probably natural state and the return of other critters that live in the beavers' habitat.

( I am not being sarcastic. I am overjoyed that beaver are returning to parts of their range - we see it in a few places here in MN as well.. Hell, I'd rather see us spend money to adapt to the beavers' return than spend money on the unknown effects of so-called climate change 100 years from now.)

khesanh0802 said...

I also realize there are times when "something must be done", but I would rather see us work at adapting. Brook trout and wood ducks love beaver ponds.

Michael K said...

"People who keep a pet are not "animal lovers," for example, any more than a person who keeps another person is a "people lover."

Where's Laslo ?

Hurry up. We need you.

Michael K said...

Tom Bodett has a very funny routine about a SJW type in Alaska who was protesting leg hold traps and set up an exhibit at the local fair.

The trouble was all the guys who were crowding around her exhibit trying to buy traps that she had on display.

David said...

"the harsh light of empathy."

Oh, Althouse, I am jealous. Wish I had thought of that one.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meade said...

In Soviet Madison, beaver trap you.

Bob Plankers -- lonesysadmin.net said...

As a fellow Madison resident I ask that the city send her the bill for the trees they have to replant, as well as for fixing the flooding in basements. Beavers are incredibly destructive.

I hope the commenter from MN who knows nothing of the topology or history of Warner Park also lets mice, rats, chipmunks, and voles return their house to its natural state. Or do we discriminate based on size?

exhelodrvr1 said...

FullMoon,
"They have some VERy Large women there"

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [Reading from his grandfathers' notebook] "As the minuteness of the parts formed a great hindrance to my speed, I resolved therefore to make a being of a gigantic stature."

[pause]

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Of course. That would simplify everything.

Inga: In other vords: his veins, his feet, his hands, his organs vould all have to be increased in size.

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Exactly.

Inga: He vould have an enormous schwanzstucker.

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: That goes without saying.

Inga: Voof.

Igor: He's going to be very popular.

Todd Galle said...

We have a special license at our historic site (Pennsbury Manor) which allows us to collect various road-kill and on site animals. We have beaver, fox, skunk, coyote, etc. It's interesting to see how people react to treated skins. Some 'oooh and aaah' and others are repelled. Pennsylvania (well William Penn) was at one time required to present 2 beaver pelts to King Charles II as a quit-rent to the colony, along with other trifles. I haven't been able to convince the present PA government to send me to London to present Her Majesty with some of our road-kill and twigs.

toxdoc said...

Sheared beaver is so soft...a 70 pound beaver would make a hat, muff and mitten lining. The town I lived in in Mississippi had a beaver problem so they introduced alligator thinking that adults could survive winter but they would not reproduce. They could and then you'd get typical results. Beaver would thrive, make new habitat then gators would come, beavers get eaten, leave, make new habitat and gators followed. So if there is climate change and 400 years from now, alligators in Madison

Browndog said...

It must be uncomfortable when the natural world conflicts with the iPhone natural world.

The natural inclination must be to ban the uncomfortable things in the natural world...naturally.

Edward Bo said...

I'm reminded of an incidence in the SF area in the 1980s when deer were overgrazing Angel Island in SF Bay. The original plan was just to shoot the (non-native) deer, but the outcry over killing Bambi's mom was too great.

So at great expense, they were trapped, then transported to the California mountains and released. Of course, they had no experience evading predators, so they were all eaten very soon.

gadfly said...

Hey, its time for the government to get invovled in relocating vermin for the benefit of the White Man. If Andrew Jackson can do five years of The Trail of Tears to get Indians out of the Southland, then Madison should be capable of tenderly trapping the beavers for an 18-wheel, all-expense-paid, Pig Pen ride to the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Trumpit said...

"Beavers are incredibly destructive." Everyone knows that humans are by far the most destructive species. Any animal people want to get rid of is called a pest. A busy beavers are hardly pests. Termites are pests. Annoying people are pests. I hate trappers and hunters. I would outlaw the practice. Killing animals is not a hobby; it's a crime.

Gahrie said...

Everyone knows that humans are by far the most destructive species

Really? Show me a nature park or natural preserve created by any other animal.

Show me another species that spends ANY time or resources on preserving the environment.

Show me an animal that can ever imagine rights, let alone respect them.

Change is not destruction. Extinction is natural. Climate change is natural. Humans are natural. While you evidently celebrate beaver dams, I bet you condemn human ones.

Gahrie said...

Killing animals is not a hobby; it's a crime.

Get back to me when you start arresting lions, or sharks or chimps.

Why are humans the only animal that isn't allowed to kill other animals?

(Be careful here...you reason might be used to show why humans have rights and animals don't)

Humperdink said...

Trumpit asserted: "Killing animals is not a hobby; it's a crime."

Boy Trumpit, I wish you could have seen those 8 coyotes run down that fawn in my pasture last summer. You could have issued a murder warrant to the offending coyotes.

To say you are ignorant of nature is an understatement.

Paco Wové said...

"they were all eaten very soon"

But they were killed by beautiful, natural processes, not cold horrid criminal technological ones. So it's okay!

Lost My Cookies said...

A couple of years ago I was in combat with a beaver who wanted to block up the culvert at the end of my drive. He'd build his wall, if testing down. My kids liked the damn thing, every once in a while we'd see him waddling across the lane. So when I was out of town for a week, that beaver had free reign to build and build. I had to borrow a tractor to clear that mess and my driveway has never recovered. The beaver got hit by a car later that summer. Not mine.

Roy Jacobsen said...

"Killing animals is not a hobby; it's a crime."

Ask me how I know that this sweeping declaration somehow excludes unborn humans. Go ahead. Ask me.

JAORE said...

" A busy beavers are hardly pests. "

City boy, ain't cha?

Fernandinande said...

Our two dogs played with a San Juan river beaver for about 20 minutes, after which they were soaked, exhausted and had gashes on their faces like they'd been hit with a chisel.

tim in vermont said...

I guess, in addition to being a rapist, because my girlfriend and I liked to have sex while high, I am a serial killer for setting mousetraps!

khesanh0802 said...

@bobplankers You are correct that I know nothing about Warner Park. From the sounds of things, though, Warner Park would not be built today because it was clearly built on a wetland. Although I was serious about the educational opportunity I guess I was a little facetious about the liberals in Madison being soft hearted when a problem was not in their backyard, but real pricks when it came to defending their home turf.

khesanh0802 said...

@boplankers The internet is amazing. I looked up Warner Park. It WAS built on a wetland. Looks like the only answer is too fill the whole damn thing in. Are you ready for that?