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Wildlife control operators cutting down on overpopulated beavers

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Updated: 1/08/2013 9:12 am Published: 1/07/2013 6:29 pm

Neighbors found out their properties in south Tulsa are about to be chewed down by a large rodent that is overpopulating Oklahoma. 

Beavers were chewing up and building a den in a creek along 76th Street and Mingo Road.  A company did not even realize it was happening until one of their customers, noticed the beaver teeth marks on a large tree trunk that was slowly being chewed down to fall down and crush the company’s building. 

“I have an eye for those teeth marks,” said the customer Richard Waite.  Waite is a licensed wildlife control operator and owner of Okie Wildlife Control.

“I knew the size of that tree being chewed down was going to be a problem,” said Waite.  He voluntarily offered his beaver trapping services because the company had also been good to him. 

“First, I came out here with my son, Zeke, who is also trained like I am to trap beavers and we found their dam and tore it apart a little bit only to come back the next morning and see that it was all fixed again.  That’s how we know the beavers are here.”

FOX23 walked around the creek with Waite and his son.   

“Almost all these trees are being gnawed on by the beavers' teeth.  They chew the trees down to get to the softer branches at the top, which is their food.  They live under the creek bed in this den.  They built this dam to make the water higher on the side where their dam is to protect themselves from the predators, like coyotes and bobcats.”

He uses a trap called a Conibear trap. 

“You want to take the animals out humanely as possible. You have to have the right equipment.”

The Conibear trap is the most humane way of trapping and killing a beaver.  The State Wildlife Department asks wildlife control operators to be the only one to use Conibear trap because they are so dangerous.  The trap is set in the water at the front of the den and then the beaver swims through it and triggers it to snap. 

“I am an animal lover and we have to be educated because people will say, ‘look at the cute beavers’ and people don’t want to see them extinguished but we have to have population control or else we will see the city and county dump thousands and thousands of dollars into rebuilding streets.  People will spend a fortune to fix their property if a tree falls on their home or their backyard creek builds back to their porches.  There are apartments, stores, restaurants, right here in the middle of us and these animals are tearing everything apart.” 

Waite trapped two 35 pound beavers in the south Tulsa creek along 76th and Mingo.  He won this beaver battle for now, but next year, or sooner, they will be back. 

The reason the state asks operators to euthanize them is because relocating them does not solve the problem.  The large rodent can travel up to 30 miles in a day. 

If you see the teeth markings on your trees in your neighborhood call a wildlife control operator to fix the problem before you spend thousands of dollars repairing your property.

Richard Waite’s Okie Wildlife Control can be reached at 918-804-4394 or by visiting his Facebook page.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Fox12213 - 1/17/2013 6:19 PM
0 Votes
There are lots of ways to address beaver activity without killing these animals. As long as there is habitat and a food source you will always have beavers. The killing will never stop. Check out non-lethal options instead, way better use of time/money, plus no animals are killed.

mtzbeavers - 1/8/2013 10:54 AM
0 Votes
Beavers dams raise the water table, increase fish populations and boost game species. Even their tree-chewing stimulates new growth that becomes ideal nesting habitat for migratory and songbirds. Beaver problems can be easily and cheaply managed without trapping OR relocation. Considering the drought problems that Oklahoma has, it is hard to understand why you take such an archaic approach to your own "WATER-SAVERS". Heidi Perryman Worth A Dam

USEagle - 1/8/2013 10:28 AM
0 Votes
Beaver! Its what's for dinner!

InspectorHound - 1/8/2013 10:16 AM
0 Votes
canada and great britain are supporting beaver populations upstream to limit downstream flash floods. sometimes, nature knows better than we do.
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