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Workplace accident fatal for Price beaver

Sun Advocate associate editor

A construction crew working on the Price River Trail in south Price discovered the remains of a beaver that was apparently killed by the tree it had been demolishing.

There is no way of telling exactly when the victim, identified as Castor Canadensis, logged out for the last time. "It was quite dehydrated when it was discovered," said Price Public Works Director Gary Sonntag, "so we assume this happened more than a month ago, before our construction began."

Evidence showed that the beaver had been busy on the site for some time before the accident occurred.

Sonntag said the victim had apparently gotten out on a limb that had been previously felled so it could chew on the trunk of a new tree. "This limited its avenue of escape," he said. The beaver was on the leeward side of the tree and was fatally crushed when either the wind or poor execution of the cut caused the tree to collapse right on the rodent.

"We refer to this as a workplace accident," Sonntag concluded.

The family of Canadensis, who was an undocumented worker, is ineligible for Worker's Compensation. However, a Darwin Award, always given posthumously, is a possibility.

Castor Canadensis was honored as the Canadian National Animal in 1975.

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