The beaver-deceiver isn't stopping these beavers

"I like to do two things."
A big beaver statue in Massachusetts

In Lawrence, Massachusetts, officials are trying to be kind to beavers while stopping them from being as industrious as, well, beavers. The animals keep flooding a section of road, so highway workers installed a beaver-deceiver into their dam.

When beavers hear water flowing at a certain velocity, they're compelled to build or patch up a dam. The beaver-deceiver is a metal wire mesh box wrapped around the end of a corrugated pipe which is inserted into the beaver dam. The theory is that the beavers can build their dam, but the beaver-deceiver device allows water to flow unnoticed through the dam and lower the pond's level so it won't overflow.

The beavers, they don't care about your stinking road.

Unfortunately, over the winter the beavers figured out a way to choke off the device. When spring came, the ice melted and the highway flooded.

So workers used rakes to notch a V into the top and lower the pond's water level. And then the beavers do what they do and rebuilt the damaged dam.

Officials could try just getting rid of the beavers. But the beavers are more than industrious workers, they're also prolific breeders. If they move one family out, another will move right in. And if they tear down the entire dam... well, see "industrious."

They're going to try and find a solution.

A beaver-deceiver in Virginia

- Busy beavers deceive the deceiver, force flooding of thoroughfare, Eagle-Tribune, Massachsetts>>
- "Guidelines for Controlling Beavers and Preventing Roadway Damage," Road Management & Engineering Journal,, TranSafety>>
- "Beaver Deceivers" Hide Moving Water from Dam-Building Beavers, U.S. Department of Transportation>>
- Giant beaver statue photo from Flickr>>
- More on the big beaver statue from Roadside America>>

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