Posted: Sep 17, 2010 6:57 PM by Shawn Kline
Updated: Sep 17, 2010 7:05 PM
They're invading the bayous.
"They'll come out at night to feed, to eat," Tony Vidrine says.
They reroute the rivers.
"They'll flood crops."
And- in Louisiana alone, they've caused millions of dollars in damage.
"The water can't drain." Vidrine says, "it'll just back up the water."
It sounds like a horror story about some swamp monster waiting to prey on it's next victim.
It's the common beaver.
Due to rising urbanization and a nearly extinct fur industry, the rodent is now building dams in public drainage systems.
For local public works departments, removal and reconstruction costs are now adding-up.
"It can add-up to be quite a bit," Vidrine said.
Dwight LeBlanc is a trapper for USDA. He says some surveys post more than $13-million of damage dealt by beavers in Louisiana.
Drainage for a reservoir in St. Landry parish has had to be checked a number of times this week.
The beavers built a dam- covering the drainage pipe. When trappers removed the dam, the beavers simply began to build another one.
"They're the best engineers there are in the world." Vidrine says. "They can build a dam in one night and if you destroy it, the next night it will be built back."
Some parishes even have full-time trappers on the payroll to get-rid of the beavers but the damages are still racking-up.
"It's just an on-going problem." Vidrine says, "it'll never go away."
A problem that could be flooding the bayou in your own backyard.