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Baby beavers raised with stuffed animals

July 24, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A couple of orphaned beavers are getting some much needed "TLC," in the form of stuffed animals.The baby beavers, called "kits" were found when they were barely two weeks old. They were underweight and hypothermic.

An organization in Lynwood, Washington called PAWS is taking care of the little beavers.

Caretakers have had to come up with creative ways to help the animals thrive, and so far it has been working.

Experts say beavers are very social animals. "In the wild they're with their mom and some older siblings so they can become depressed if they're by themselves," said Dondi Byrne, a Wildlife Rehab Manager at PAWS.

Caretakers got a stuffed toy beaver and placed bottles in it, tricking the beavers into thinking they were feeding from a real animal.

They also put a floating toy bear in water for the little beavers. The kits learned how to climb on; something they would also do in their natural state. "They might need a little more practice time than if they'd be out in the wild," said Byrne.

PAWS officials say it make take two years of rehabilitation before the beavers can be released back into the wild.

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