- Associated Press - Saturday, December 20, 2014

MASON, Ohio (AP) - City officials in a southwest Ohio community are eager to catch a troublesome beaver.

Mason officials say the busy beaver has felled at least three trees and gnawed on 50-plus others at Pine Hill Lakes Park. City officials say it’s a health and safety risk to people using the park’s bike path and lake. They are also concerned that the beaver could make dams, causing damaging water backups.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports (https://cin.ci/1sLIOQC ) that the northeast Cincinnati suburb contracted with a licensed trapper for $2,000 to catch and relocate the beaver.

“We don’t want a tree falling on anyone walking by on the bike path,” said Mason Service Director Richard Fair. “We were concerned, too, if he dams up the end of the lake where the inlet is, we don’t know what kind of damage that would do if backed up with water.”

Although nuisance beavers and other such animals are supposed to be destroyed because they can plague their new location, Fair believes it’s OK to move to the beaver to somewhere else on city of Mason property.

But he’s concerned that the beaver will be in jeopardy.

Animal experts say there are non-lethal alternatives such as fencing off areas or wrapping trees with inexpensive plastic tubing.

And getting rid of one beaver doesn’t mean the problem is solved.

“They can kill 10 beavers and 10 more will come in their place because that’s what the habitat will support,” said Mary Carrelli, president of Second Chance Wildlife Rescue, a nonprofit organization that promotes wildlife education and conservation.

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