A Canadian senator made headlines recently because of disparaging remarks she made about the animal that is depicted on our national emblem. Conservative Senator Nicole Eaton called the beaver an "outdated dentally defective rat", among other things. She suggested the image of a polar bear would better represent Canada. The nation responded with a resounding "No way! We won't allow you to disrespect our beaver."
The misguided senator wants to "pretty up" the emblem by getting rid of the beaver and adding what she called "the majestic polar bear". Such a project would cost millions of dollars I'm sure. Those millions would be better spent keeping polar bears alive. The picture below demonstrates how global warming is melting the ice that the bears need for their survival. It's a good thing they can swim long distances (up to 100 miles); however, four polar bears where recently found drowned near Alaska and authorities believe it was because they got caught in a bad storm. This is where the ice would have come in handy had it been there.
At one time beavers where close to extinction because of over trapping. In some places they still haven't come back.
|Grey Owl and baby beaver|
The beaver conservation movement began in the late 1930s with the writings and lectures of Grey Owl. A native of England who posed as a Métis, Grey Owl created passionate stories of the plight of the Canadian forests and wildlife, and particularly the beaver. Governments responded by closing the beaver trapping seasons for many years
More recently, conservation plans have been put into effect by federal and provincial governments, with the co-operation of trappers, and beavers have been reintroduced into many areas that were stripped by early trappers. As a result, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of beavers in Canada, and their population is now a healthy one. ~ Hinterland Who's Who
I will let Grey Owl have the last word. Although he has passed, he still has a lot to teach us about respecting our environment and wildlife.
"The Wilderness should now no longer be considered as a playground for vandals, or a rich treasure trove to be ruthlessly exploited for the personal gain of the few – to be grabbed off by whoever happens to get there first." - Grey Owl, Tales of an Empty Cabin