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According to Doctoral candidate Garret Langlois, beavers have returned to the South Plains in Lubbock, Texas for the first time in 5,000 years.
Garret spends his free time exploring the wooded areas of Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock and said that he has not only found one beaver but a whole colony of them.
Beavers are the largest rodent in North America so it was very surprising to find the animals. He said the first beaver carcass was found in the area in November of 2015 which kicked started his interest in trying to find out if there was more of them.
It wasn’t until he set up night-vision cameras near a wildlife path on the edge of a river water bank where remains of a tree was chewed down, that he was able to capture them on camera swimming in the water at night.
“These beaver are particularly cryptic in their behavior. They really like to keep a low profile. These beaver are kind of like ghosts. I’ve only seen the beaver in person three times and only two of those times did I get a good look at it,” Garret told Everything Lubbock.
Garret believes the beavers must have migrated to the area after a rare and heavy rain hit in 2015. He theorizes that they probably came from the east on the North Fork of the Double Mountain Forks of the Brazos River.
“It took them a little while, but they made it back … There’s a lot of lakeshore here, a lot of habitat, and so who knows how many could really be here?” Garret said.
Garret contacted Phil Gipson, the Kleberg Professor in the Department of the National Resources Management, and Phil was very excited to hear the news.
“When I saw the glow on his face, and mine too …. My god, those beavers had just set me on fire and he was enjoying the flame. It was real,” Gipson said in a YouTube video about the discovery.