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Beaver sighting wows park-goers in Waterloo

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A beaver, spotted swimming across Silver Lake in Waterloo Park, made quite an impression on onlookers Monday.

Matt Morris was on a walk when he saw what he thought was log moving in the lake. He quickly realized it was alive.

“Sure enough, it was a beaver. I watched it swim right from the mill, right up through the centre of Silver Lake here and up underneath the bridge,” he recalled.

Morris said people in the park quickly moved toward the water to get a look at the water-loving rodent.

"What a moment when I saw a beaver swimming. And in the background, the LRT ringing its bell – a beautiful coming together of an urban landscape and nature," he said.

Morris said he saw evidence of a beaver chewing trees upstream last year. But Monday was the first time he saw the animal in the park.

City plans to let beaver be

The City of Waterloo said it’s not unusual for beavers to be in local waterways and city staff try to manage any problems.

“We want to coexist with wildlife as best as possible,” said Jessica Kellerman, manager of storm water operations and construction for the City of Waterloo.

“There are times where dams are built and we need to go in and manage that so that we don't have flooding within the urbanized areas of the city."

Beavers can block pipes and take down trees. But so far, the city said this rodent has not caused any issues in Waterloo Park. If it does cause problems, staff will contact a licensed wildlife regulator.

“It would really only become a concern if there was see dams being built where it would cause flooding or any type of risk or threat to private property structures, other wildlife etc.," Kellerman said.

CTV’s Colton Wiens spent around two hours in the park on Tuesday looking for the creature without success.

If you do catch a glimpse of it, Kellerman has this advice: "Keep your distance because they can be quite aggressive. So don't approach them.”

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