5,500 Siberian Beavers to Be Culled to Avoid Disease Outbreak

MOSCOW, January 24 (RIA Novosti) – Several thousand beavers in western Siberia are facing a cull by the summer in a drive to avoid an outbreak of disease, local media reported Friday.

Gazeta Kemerova news website cited a statement by the Kemerovo Region’s environmental protection department as saying as many as 5,500 beavers could be killed to thin out the ranks of the animal.

Overpopulation of beavers is also reportedly responsible for numerous road-flooding incidents caused by their dams.

No up-to-date information on the beaver population of Kemerovo Region is available.

In 2011, the population of beavers stood at 18,000 and was growing steadily, as was that of bears, boars and sables, environmental officials reported at the time.

The Eurasian beaver was hunted to the brink of extinction in the early 20th century, but the population has bounced back enough for it to lose its threatened status.

The rodent is a bigger hazard than it looks.

Last April, an irritated beaver killed a man in western Belarus. The animal bit through a major artery while the man was taking a selfie with the rodent, causing fatal wounds to the photographer.

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