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  1. ITV Report

Beavers released at Devon secret location

Two beavers have been released to join existing wild colony on River Otter. Photo: Nick Upton

England’s only breeding wild population of beavers has grown thanks to the release of two further animals at a secret location in East Devon.

One adult female and one adult male beaver have been released on private land close to the River Otter.

Beavers being carried to the secret release site in East Devon. Credit: Nick Upton
Female beaver taking a swim. Credit: Nick Upton

The release was sanctioned by Natural England and was made by Devon Wildlife Trust as part of the River Otter Beaver Trial – a five year project being led by the charity which is studying the impact of England’s only wild beaver population.

Devon Wildlife Trust’s Peter Burgess was overseeing the operation and explained why the release of more beavers was made:

The genetic diversity of the beavers needed to be increased to ensure that we have a healthy population.

So tonight’s release was a crucial and exciting next step in the story of reintroducing this keystone species back to the wild, restoring our river catchments.

– Peter Burgess
The female beaver enters the water for a dip. Credit: Nick Upton

The Trust plans to monitor the progress of the beavers over the coming weeks.

Their new home has been equipped with cameras, allowing the charity to get vital insights into beaver behaviour.

The male beaver taking a peek at his new home prior to release. Credit: Nick Upton