Beaver found in Plymouth among first to be reintroduced to wild in Britain for 400 years

Police officers shared a photo of the runaway beaver in Plymouth on Twitter - SWNS
Police officers shared a photo of the runaway beaver in Plymouth on Twitter - SWNS

A beaver rescued by police this week was among the first of its kind to be reintroduced to the wild in Britain for nearly 400 years

The 20kg creature had escaped from a specially designed re-wilding enclosure near Poole Farm in Plymouth.

Local officers say they were confronted with the “unusual sight” of the beaver at large on Monday and posted a photograph on social media of the runaway creature in the city.

They tweeted yesterday: “An unusual sight for one of our crews on Monday night shift: Plymouth's resident beaver spotted out and about!

“He has apparently been caught since and is back home for Christmas.”

The male had been released into the wild at Forder Valley in November – the first in the city for 400 years.

The Eurasian Beaver was originally caught in late September in the wild from the Tay Catchment in Scotland and was released as part of a nationwide trend to reintroduce beavers in the wild.

The beaver’s behaviour and actions will now be monitored in the hope that its actions will reduce flooding further downstream and create habitats for wildlife in the Bircham Valley.

This comes after a 25kg young male beaver was spotted in Italy for the first time in nearly 500 years, after it walked over the border from Austria or Slovenia into the Dolomites.

The first clues that the rodent might be back on Italian soil were noticed by a hunting guide who spends his days roaming the mountains and forests.

Forester Reinhard Pipperger had noticed at the time young trees had been felled along a stretch of the Sesto river in Northern Italy.

The beaver was later photographed by a camera set up along the river by wildlife rangers.