I don’t know about the beavers in your neck of the woods, but Montana beavers are BIG, topping out at around 60 pounds as the largest rodents in North America. Along the Clark Fork River just outside of Missoula, dogs are well aware of the beavers and the smart dogs steer clear. Monogamous parents raise up to four children (i.e., “kits”) per year, and the yearlings (last year’s kits) babysit for the new litter when the parents are away. Although the draining of wetlands for the purpose of raising livestock has had a dramatic effect on beaver populations, it was hunting and trapping in the 19th century that nearly wiped out beavers across North America, Europe, and Asia. Current populations are around 5% of what they were prior to European settlement. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be soft and cuddly.
**UPDATE 1/24/18: Check out our new Beaver Tree gallery.