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The Beaver Whisperer

While kayaking down the Whitewater River on the Ohio/Indiana border a couple of years ago I saw what appeared to be a muskrat swimming across the river in front of me. As it reached the riverbank and climbed out, I could see that it had a flat tail. I was amazed to see a beaver in this area and fought the fast running current to get a closer look.

There were two dens built into the sloping riverbank, and when I got too close, the beaver came out, slid into the water, and was holding onto tree roots which were half in half out of the water. About this time I saw 4 or 5 little heads pop up over at one of the holes in the river bank.

The "mother" beaver then charged my kayak and had her "hand" on the side of the craft about 3 feet away from me. She began to coo at me as if to say "stay away". I coo-ed back and re-assured her that I wouldn't hurt her or the little ones.

The little ones were turning their heads side to side looking at her and me. Then realizing that I wasn't a threat, she began cooing to them. The next thing I knew they all slid into the water and were swimming around my kayak! I was even able to lean over and pick one up! He was just adorable and carried on a conversation with me as I tickled his nose and tweaked his ears!

Realizing that I had a disposable/waterproof camera on board, I grabbed it and took what were the last two exposures.

A friend of mine who's a conservationist didn't believe the story until I showed him the pictures. Not long after the encounter I saw the film "Grey Owl" starring Pierce Brosnan. The beavers I encountered were just like the ones in the film! They truly are "little talking brothers".

Submitted by Andy D. Butterfly - Cincinnati, OH

For more great stories: See the Archive!


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