Bye bye beavers, and scholarships - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Carbondale, IL

Bye bye beavers, and scholarships

Bye bye beavers, and scholarships
By: Arnold Wyrick

CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Campus Lake at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale attracts a number of species of wildlife.  And it's also a place on campus where many people go to relax, and or exercise.

But one particular species can no longer call the lake home.  And that saddens Lorie Allen who watched the family of beavers grow.

"I witnessed three babies being born last Summer.  And them being taught to swim and eating branches.  Generally I'd see them over on that bank where there's a lot of tees down, eating lots of dead stuff," Allen said.

But SIU's administrators say the beavers were doing more damage to the lake, then good.

"They eat into the vegetation.  They borrow into the dam.  They could potentially cause the dam to break, if enough beavers start borrowing in there, the dam could be damaged beyond repair," says Rod Sievers at SIU media communications.

So instead of risking losing the lake and all of the other species in and around it, they removed the beavers.  And Allen took the university out of her will.

"It caused me to put another institution in my will when ever that future time comes.  I'm a huge supporter of education," Allen said.

Now some other students on another campus will be the benefactors of Allen's $200,000. And she wasn't the only one who hated to see the beavers taken from Campus Lake. "It's their natural habitat.  I realize they're doing a lot of damage.  But then they've got a place also.  But it's a shame, I think we have to compromise some how," says Sue Kohler of Carbondale.

Unfortunately the beavers couldn't be relocated to another location.  Illinois' laws prohibit that from happening. "And no one wants to see that.  But you have to manage these certain species of wildlife in order to keep, not only the species of wildlife and keep their health up, but also to maintain some of the manmade structures," Sievers said.

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