The dogs that were attacked had been swimming after the beavers. (CBC)
People in Red Deer, Alta., want the city to move, rather than kill, beavers that have attacked at least six dogs in an off-leash park.
Six beaver attacks in the last two weeks have been confirmed at Three Mile Bend, an off-leash park in the central Alberta city. A husky died of its injuries, while other dogs are recovering from their tangles with the rodents.
Most dogs were swimming after the beavers in the park's ponds when the attacks occurred.
Penny, an eight-year-old Labrador cross, suffered a 7.5-centimetre wound on her backside, said owner Trudy Maygard. When the bleeding dog was taken to the vet the next day, seven wounds were found.
Parks supervisor Trevor Poth said Wednesday that the beavers would have to be trapped and killed because of the severity of the attacks. But most dog owners said they don't blame the beavers.
"I don't think killing an animal is going to be a solution to anything," said Janelle McMurray.Three Mile Bend is a popular off-leash area for dogs, and the pond is also home to up to a dozen beavers. (CBC)
"It is a natural animal. It is up to dog owners around here to make sure their dogs aren't bugging it," said Brad Cotter.
Added Carrie McAunaul: "They're protecting their kids, and you can't blame them."
Media attention has led to offers from private property owners to allow the beavers to live on their land, Poth told CBC News on Thursday. Parks staff are exploring those options, but killing the beavers has not been ruled out as a worst-case scenario.
This is the first time there have been any problems with aggressive wildlife in the park's 20-year history, said Poth. About six to 12 beavers live at Three Mile Bend, he said.
The city is expected to decide on the beavers' fate in the next two weeks.
Save the beavers! Unfortunately, the dogs are following their instincts,but the owners are not controlling them. I've seen a dog chase a swan, which can be vicious and will keep swimming in circles until the dog drowns because it won't stop chasing a bird even when it's exhausted. Even in a dog park where the dogs are allowed off the leash, the owners are responsible for controlling their pets.