Riga beavers pose puzzling urban problem

Thu Jun 3, 2010 10:21am EDT
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RIGA (Reuters Life!) - Officials in Latvia's capital city are to seek suggestions from people about how to deal with an unusual city center problem: a colony of beavers.

The online version of Diena newspaper said Thursday that a Riga city committee had been asked by the parks and gardens department to come up with funds to get rid of the beavers, which have been damaging the sides of a canal which runs through parts of the picturesque city center.

But because some members of the committee did not want to be associated with killing the animals, the panel decided to launch a competition for ideas on how to deal with the beavers.

"If by the autumn a better way is found to deal with the situation than catching these beavers and putting them down, then that could be done," Diena quoted Riga city official Askolds Klavins as telling the committee.

The parks and gardens department has long complained that the beavers are damaging trees and the sides of the canal.

The department has suggested using local hunters to catch the beavers, but the council has so far stopped short of taking such action.

(Reporting by Patrick Lannin; Editing by Steve Addison)