You know what London doesn’t have enough of? (Apart from evenly distributed tube stations, Greggs’ sausage rolls and £3 pints.) Beavers.
As rodents go, they’re some of the good guys. They’re goofy and fluffy and you’re unlikely to find one nibbling on the Ferrero Rocher you left in your office drawer pre-pandemic.
The lucky folk of Tottenham will soon be getting a few more of ’em, thanks to Citizen Zoo, who are on a mission to reintroduce wild animals to the area.
Because we humans are 96.7 percent terrible, we hunted Britain’s beaver population into extinction more than 400 years ago, wearing their fur as a fashion statement and using their oil for lathering up in bubble baths.
Beavers are classified as a ‘keystone species’ by rewilding campaigners, meaning they are symbols of biodiversity and a healthy natural environment. It’s hoped they will help build dams to reduce drought and flooding in the area, as well as levelling out the footie-fan-to-naturalist ratio.
The urban reintroduction is hoped to be the UK’s most significant, but rodents have been running free across the British Isles over the last few years: 200 water voles have been released in Richmond, with Plymouth, Cornwall, Dorset and Powys also welcoming a barrage of beavers into their communities.
Fun fact: beavers will travel eight to 12 kilometres to find ‘new territory’, so next time you find a toothy furry creature gnawing at your ankle in your local takeaway, leave the Food Standards Agency out of it and remember: Nature. Is. Healing.