Beaver Goes to College to Get New Teeth
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- If a beaver needed dental work, where would it go? In this case, a beaver who lost her four front teeth in an encounter with a car has been checked into Washington State University's Veterinary Teaching Hospital to recuperate.
The 41-pound animal, nicknamed Bailey, lost her chewing teeth when struck by a car last week near Lewiston, Idaho, about 30 miles southeast of Pullman. A retired Idaho Fish and Game agent brought the injured beaver to the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine.
Nickol Finch, the veterinarian who heads the veterinary hospital's Exotics and Wildlife Department, said the beaver's prognosis is good, and treatment will be to let nature take its course as her choppers grow back.
"Her four front teeth are expected to grow back in about three months, and she should be able to be released into the wild without any problems," Finch said.
A beaver's front teeth grow continually throughout its life and require constant gnawing to keep them at a healthy length. Beavers in the wild usually eat the bark of poplar, willow, birch and maple trees, using the wood for their dams.
So what does a beaver without teeth eat?
"Since she doesn't have her incisors, we've been feeding her salad greens, applesauce and vegetable-based baby foods," Finch said by e-mail Wednesday. "She's not eating much on her own, doesn't recognize what we have as a food source, so we've been syringe-feeding her."
Once the bumps and bruises she suffered from the encounter with the car are healed in a few weeks, Bailey will be taken to a wildlife rehabilitation facility for long-term care and eventual release near where she was found, Finch said.
Meanwhile, Bailey is recuperating by spending time swimming in a hydrotherapy sink.
If it was an endangered species, I wouldn't have a problem but for a fur bearing animal that is hunted & trapped and that is often a cause of other problems????
and you wonder why tuition is off the charts....
If there's one thing I can't stand, it's a beaver with bad teeth.
What the hell's wrong with you man?