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January 02, 2013

UVM's Beavers Earn a Reprieve from Trapping


The University of Vermont has removed kill traps set for a family of beavers living in Centennial Woods and will rethink how to deal with the animals in the coming weeks.

Last month Seven Days covered the story of a family of beavers that had taken up residence in a UVM stormwater retention pond. Field naturalist Teage O'Connor (pictured) and his students had been studying the animals for years. But UVM worried the dammed pond could flood and set traps.

Now the university has put the trapping on hold, according to Sharon MacNair, the president of Green Mountain Animal Defenders. MacNair learned about the beavers after several GMAD members forwarded her a link to the Seven Days story. She says she subsequently put out an alert to GMAD members, urging them to contact UVM, and penned her own letter to the director of UVM's physical plant department, Salvatore Chiarelli.

Within 24 hours UVM came back with this update: They were pulling the traps — at least for the time being. The university plans to reconsider the issue after classes reconvene on Jan. 14. 

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