Beaver spotted at Antwerp marina

A beaver has been spotted swimming in the marina on Antwerp’s Left Bank. Although sightings of beavers have become more common in recent years it is the first time that one has been spotted in the heart of Antwerp. Speaking on VRT Radio 2 Antwerp’s morning programme “Start je Dag” Kristrijn Swinnen of the nature organisation Natuurpunt said “We know from experience in other cities that increasingly often beavers are coming to places where there are a lot of people. However, this is the first time that we have seen one at this location. This is new”.  

The film below shows the beaver swimming around at the marina on Antwerp’s Left Bank.

Kristijn Swinnen "We know from in Bruges and Leuven that beavers feel at home in cities. We used to think that they stay in rural areas, but apparently they are increasingly going to areas with a large presence of humans”.

But where could the beaver have come from? “We know that there are beavers further upstream. Maybe it came here on an outing from there. It could also be a young animal that is looking to find a territory of its own. Beavers have to leave their nest once they are two years old”.

Does the beaver have a future on Antwerp’s Left Bank? “The situation isn’t ideal for a beaver to set up home there permanently. In the spring they eat all kinds of plants and in the winter, they need a lot of trees and bark. Consequently, it is not likely that the beaver will stay. However, I do think that we will see beavers passing through the centre of Antwerp more often in the future”. 

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