Bustling Baby Beaver Can Distinguish Tools From Toys

Jane Newhouse of Newhouse Wildlife Rescue in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, shared what it’s like raising a bustling baby beaver named Nibi, who can distinguish dam-building tools from her play toys. Nibi came to the Rescue at only a week old. She had been separated from her mother, but no one came forward when Newhouse took Nibi back to the water and let her call out.

Nibi was found walking along a side of a very busy road she was only about a week old someone pulled over and called us we made efforts over the next few days to try to reunite her but reuniting with beavers is very rare maybe we went to the nearest Beaver Dam and we let her cry out and we waited to see if any beavers would come but nobody did and she’s been with us ever since.

Nibi has instinctively been building dams around her enclosure using branches of wood that she arranges in a particular way. She never uses her toys to build the dams, as those are for play.

She’s very particular about what she builds dams with so she only puts six in it to arrange them in very specific ways. When she’s playing, she only plays with her toys. She won’t play with the sticks. She’ll separate them if they’re all in one pile together. she will separate the toys from the sticks.

Newhouse has since been raising the active Nibi and hopes to release her into the wild when she’s older. For this reason, Newhouse has been trying to maintain enough distance so Nibi doesn’t become reliant upon or too trusting of humans. She finds it difficult, though, because Nibi is so cute.

The goal is when she’s two or three to release her and hopefully she can live a life free out there in the wild she has lots of energy she’s a great swimmer she’s good with dams …the only thing we have to work on with maybe is getting her to distrust people we try to keep an emotional distance but obviously it’s hard especially because we had to be so loving to her when she first came in,  yet I don’t want to see her in an enclosure her whole life.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.