One of the first beavers to be released into the wild in Britain in 400 years is run over by car and killed
- Eurasian beavers Beryl and Brian were released on the weekend but Beryl died
- She was killed in a car crash after her home of Plymouth suffered flash flooding
- Male beaver Brian has since been found safe and sound after the release
One of the first beavers to be released into the wild in Britain in 400 years was run over by a car and killed.
Eurasian beavers Beryl and Brian were the first urban release of beavers anywhere in the UK when they took up residence at the Forder Valley Nature Reserve.
But Beryl was tragically killed in a car crash after her home city of Plymouth, Devon, suffered horrendous flash flooding at the weekend.
Plymouth City Council confirmed that Beryl managed to escape from her enclosure on Sunday night and was subsequently believed to have been hit by a car.
Heavy rain and flooding had caused significant damage to the beaver enclosure fence which allowed the two to escape.
Male beaver Brian was found safe – but Beryl was hit by a vehicle on Forder Valley Road in the early hours of Monday morning.
Eurasian beavers Beryl (pictured) and Brian were the first urban release of beavers anywhere in the UK when they took up residence at the Forder Valley Nature Reserve
Plymouth City Council said: ‘We are deeply sad to report that Beryl, our female beaver, escaped from her enclosure on Sunday night and has been found dead.
‘Following the extremely heavy overnight rain on Sunday morning and the resulting current of the river, our teams arrived on Sunday morning to find a lot of damage to the beaver enclosure fence.
‘Repairs were carried out repairs on Sunday when water levels dropped to a safe level but unfortunately there was more damage below the water line which allowed both beavers to escape through at some point on Sunday night.
‘The team have identified where Brian, our male beaver, has found refuge and they are currently working to capture him and bring him back to a safe location.
‘But sadly we think that Beryl made her way to the Forder Valley Nature Reserve and was hit by a car on Forder Valley Road at around 3.30am.
‘We continue to work with the expert team of advisers who have guided the project from its inception and will now take some time to review the situation and decide what is best for Brian going forward.
‘We are all really upset and we know that many residents who have been following Brian and Beryl’s progress will be equally distressed about this news.’
Beryl was one of the Scottish beavers released in the Forder Valley as part of a nature scheme to re-create natural habitats lost after hundreds of trees were chopped down.
The beavers were introduced to a specially-built re-wilding enclosure near Poole Farm so their activity could be monitored to access how their behaviour and actions reduce flooding and habitats for wildlife further downstream.
They arrived last year in what was the first urban release of beavers in the UK.