Beavers credited with containing fuel spill closer to recovering

Posted at 3:54 PM, Mar 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-25 18:01:03-04

OGDEN, Utah -- Conditions are improving for the three beavers that were trapped in a fuel spill near Willard Bay last week.

A spill from a Chevron pipeline was discovered near Willard Bay last Monday. The spill is estimated to have released at least 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel.  An 8-inch pipeline burst, and fuel spread throughout the area. The beavers' dam is credited with helping to contain the spill. 

The beavers are now in recovery at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. Their recovery involves a two-part process: swim time and feeding time.

The beavers are monitored as they swim through the water for about 45 minutes at a time. Dalyn Erickson, executive director of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, said being in the water helps the beavers get comfortable swimming again. She also said it helps them heal.

"We're looking for them to start grooming, so we want to see them removing the water from their fur and reconditioning the fur with oils and natural water primping," she said.

The health of a beaver’s fur is important because the fur helps them stay afloat, keeps them warm and also protects them from predators.

Step two, feeding time, requires fluid injections in addition to regular foods because the beavers are still not drinking enough. This is also when the beavers are medicated. The two-step process will be repeated as the beavers move toward recovery.

“Each day that passes, we're seeing them progress a little bit more and get a little stronger," Erickson said.

It is unknown for now whether or not the beavers will survive, but Erickson is optimistic.

“We're feeling pretty confident that these guys will recover," she said.

For more information about the beaver's recovery, visit the wildlife center's Facebook page.