Old Town Beaver Attacks Pooch

Dog walkers beware

The signs went up in Windmill Hill Park in Old Town Alexandria earlier this month, urging dog walkers to beware of what appears to be a mother beaver with an attitude.

On the sign, the unidentified dog owner claims the beaver bit the pet repeatedly during an encounter along the banks of the Potomac River.

Since that encounter, said beaver has become the stuff of local lore, though it has seldom been seen.

“I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes open,” said one dog walker who frequents the park. “I’d like to encounter it, even if it was from afar,” he added.

Fallen saplings could be found in the park, with clear signs of being gnawed by a beaver.

Beaver are relatively common up and down the river, although they may not always build dams or show themselves, said Suzanne D’Alonzo of the Alexandria Animal Welfare League.

“The beaver that have been up and down the Potomac for centuries are still here,” said D’Alonzo.

Alexandria Senior Animal Control Officer Pete Fitzgerald cautioned people and their pets about getting too close to any wildlife they may come across.

“Don’t walk up to the animal with your dog,” said Fitzgerald. “You never know what the animal’s going to do.”

Fitzgerald said he hasn’t gotten any complaints so far about beavers, though they would not be the most unusual calls he’s responded to. He’s had complaints about monkeys in trees (no monkeys were found) and a call for a raccoon that got into a house and then into a rum cake.

“He was up against a wall and clearly inebriated,” said Fitzgerald.

Meanwhile, animal authorities in Alexandria want to talk to the owner of the dog that was attacked by the beaver.  

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