Fig leaving the crate and exploring his new home (c) Beaver Trust

Scottish SPCA successfully rescue, rehabilitate and release shot beaver

The Scottish SPCA has been caring for an adult beaver, after he was sadly found shot in the Perthshire area on 15 January.

The beaver was shot in the face taking out his top two incisors, and has undergone an extensive rehabilitation programme over the last few months at the charity’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre, where he has been named Fig. 

Fig was successfully released back in to the wild at the Argaty Red Kites Centre on 18 March in collaboration with The Beaver Trust.

Scottish SPCA National Wildlife Centre manager, Chris Hogsden, said, “Fig was found wandering at the side of the road by a member of the public. 

“Due to the injuries he sustained, he has undergone extensive rehabilitation at our wildlife hospital. 

“He was shot in the face, taking out his top two incisors and wounding his face.

 “Luckily the root wasn’t damaged so his teeth grew back during his time with us.

“There are some small fragments of shrapnel that have been left in situ on welfare grounds, after our expert veterinary team concluded that trying to remove them could have posed a greater risk to Fig. 

“It’s quite rare for a beaver to come to us, and we’re so pleased to report that Fig’s rehab has been a success. 

“Since 2020, we have only had three beavers come in to our wildlife hospital for rehabilitation.

“Fig was successfully released back into the wild last weekend with the landowner’s permissions along with the appropriate licences in conjunction with the Beaver Trust.

“He was released with a female beaver who has been in the care of the Beaver Trust.

“It has been amazing to see Fig go from strength to strength under the care of our dedicated team. 

“Ensuring the welfare of beavers is paramount. It is vital that any shot beaver is x-rayed and sent for post mortem, and we would like to see this become mandatory as a condition of licensing.

“If you come across an injured or sick beaver, please contact our helpline on 03000 999 999.

“If you come across a beaver kit that you suspect has been orphaned, please monitor from a safe distance. If no parent returns, contact our helpline for advice. Please do not attempt to pick up the kit yourself.”

Dr Roisin Campbell-Palmer, Head of Restoration at Beaver Trust, said, “We’re really happy to have supported the release of Fig back into the wild at Argaty Red Kites. His incredible recovery is a testament to the hard work the SSPCA team has put into his rehabilitation.

“We now hope Fig will bond with the female he has been released with and they can live a life free from conflict.”

Tom Bowser of Argaty Red Kites said, “We are so pleased to have worked with the SSPCA and Beaver Trust to release Fig back into the wild on Argaty. 

“The SSPCA deserve huge credit for their incredible work to rehabilitate him after this appalling injury. Thanks too to NatureScot for making the release possible.

“This has been a happy ending to a shameful incident which underlines, once again, huge animal welfare concerns regarding the shooting of beavers. 

“We hope that the Scottish Government now implements recommendations of its own Animal Welfare Commission report, such as banning the shooting of beavers over water, as well as making the recovery of beavers for post-mortem examination a mandatory condition of licensing. Stories like Fig’s cannot go unaddressed.”

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