Local News

Wednesday, Jan 09 2008 10:22 PM

Kern River beaver may have new home in Tehachapi

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    By Felix Adamo

    Just two of several trees damaged by a beaver along the bike path, just west of the Elephant Bar, on Stockdale Highway.

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BY STACEY SHEPARD, Californian staff writere-mail: sshepard@bakersfield.com

City parks officials plan to move a beaver that gnawed down nine trees along the Kern River bike path to a new home in Tehachapi.

A private landowner offered to have the animal relocated from its home in a gully near the Park at Riverwalk to land the individual owns, Darin Budak, superintendent of parks, said Wednesday.

Budak declined to name the landowner, but said the person was one of about 100 people from as far away as Virginia who contacted the city after learning of the critter's fate last month.

The situation drew public and national attention after The Californianreported state wildlife officials planned to kill the rodent after the city requested help preventing further damage to trees.

Over about three weeks, the beaver chewed down nine cottonwoods valued at about $500 apiece.

Following outcry, the city immediately asked the California Department of Fish and Game to rescind the kill permit and relocate the beaver. Relocating beavers is not part of the department's policy but an exception was made.

The city is now waiting for the state to OK the Tehachapi location.

In the meantime, 20 tree trunks near the beaver's territory were wrapped with orange construction fencing to prevent further damage.

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