On November 29, 2017, the City informed Klahanie residents of the need to remove a beaver den (including a food cache) from a City storm sewer pipe at Pigeon Creek (under Klahanie Drive near the Canoe Club) in the Klahanie neighbourhood. This work has now been completed. The debris has been removed from the pipe and, to prevent any future blockage, a permanent screen has been installed over the pipe outlet to exclude beavers. Some further work to clean the pipe will be required in the future, but this work will be planned so that is has minimal impact or no impact on Pigeon Creek.
This work was necessary to prevent a potential blockage that could cause flooding and damage to property in the Klahanie neighbourhood. The City took this action because it is responsible for managing storm water, mitigating the risk of flood-related damage to private property, and protecting our valuable community infrastructure. The amount of debris removed from the drainage pipe was significant and much greater than anticipated; leaving the debris in place any longer could have resulted in a serious blockage and flooding during heavy rainfall.
City staff worked with consultants – experts in the fields of engineering and biology – for months before the work began, to develop a plan that prioritized the well-being of the beavers living in Pigeon Creek. At the start of the work in December, and throughout the process, highly qualified consultants and staff have worked extremely hard to ensure the impact on the beavers would be minimal. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, and despite the City’s best intentions and efforts to protect the beavers, only three of the four beavers were successfully excluded from the pipe. Over the weekend of December 16, 2017, the fourth beaver, a kit, died during our efforts to remove it from the pipe. We are deeply saddened by this tragic accident, and we know that Klahanie residents will be deeply saddened as well. We understand this is very difficult news to hear, but felt it was important to tell the community. It is the opposite of what we had all hoped for.
The other beavers were safely excluded from the drainage pipe and were observed in Pigeon Creek on December 16. Moving forward, the City will continue to monitor the remaining beavers, should they choose to stay in Pigeon Creek.
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