Beaver recovering after washing ashore in Kent

A beaver is being cared for by the RSPCA in Sussex after washing-up on a Kent beach.

The charity said the animal was rescued on 17 March by the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) in Sandwich Bay between Ramsgate and Deal after ingesting salt water and getting into difficulty.

It is now being cared for by RSPCA Mallydams Wood near Hastings, East Sussex.

Peter Smith, manager at the site, said it was common for beavers to get into difficulty at this time of year and four had been reported to the centre this week alone.

"The youngsters leave their family lodge and start exploring, but unfortunately some go for a swim in the sea and get into difficulty, and sadly many lose their lives," he said.

He said vets washed all the salt out of the fur of the most recent beaver to arrive, and after giving it a bath, the beaver started to feel better.

"With lots of nutritious food including fresh willow, apples and carrots, the beaver has recovered," he added.

Mr Smith was part of a team which reintroduced the species to England at the Ham Fen project in Kent in 2002. Beavers were given protected status in 2022.

Beavers are described as "ecosystem engineers" by the RSPCA due to their role in flood prevention and supporting other native species to return to river habitats, such as otters and water voles.

The RSPCA said no date has yet been set for the beaver's release back into the wild.

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