This Critter Hasn't Been Seen in London in 400 Years

Animals were hunted to extinction long ago, and now British capital is looking to improve biodiversity
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 13, 2023 11:12 AM CDT
After 400 Years, Beavers Return to London
One of a family of beavers released at Paradise Fields swims, in Ealing, west London, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023. Environmentalists and London’s mayor have helped beavers return to the British capital for the first time in some 400 years in a bid to improve London’s biodiversity.   (James Manning/PA via AP)

Environmentalists and London's mayor have helped bring beavers back to the city for the first time in some 400 years in an effort to improve the British capital's biodiversity. As the AP reports, Mayor Sadiq Khan participated in releasing a family of beavers into a wetland area in Ealing, a residential area of west London, this week. Sky News notes that the family is an adult pair, a juvenile daughter, and two wee ones; their new home is a few hundred yards from a McDonald's and a highway, but they seem to be getting along. The hope is that the rodents will help improve the wetland's ecosystem and establish habitats for other creatures, including fish, birds, and amphibians.

The initiative was part of Khan's Rewild London Fund, which aims to create or restore green spaces and to encourage wildlife in the capital. "I am committed to ensuring that London is at the forefront of reversing the trends of declining biodiversity and the destruction of nature," he said. Beavers were hunted to extinction in England around 400 years ago, but environmentalists have reintroduced them in areas across the country.

(More beavers stories.)

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