One special dad celebrated at the UK's Drusillas Park this past Sunday (Father’s Day) after becoming a father for the very first time. North American Beaver Gnasher saw his two kits born on June 5. Since then the proud pop has barely left their side. The babies are already mini replicas of him, with tiny webbed feet, flat tails, and semi-developed incisors. For now they remain within the safety of the lodge, but in no time they will be taking their first swimming lessons with Gnasher paddling alongside.
Head Keeper Mark Kenward commented: “It’s always difficult to know how an animal will cope with becoming a parent for the first time but in Gnasher’s case there really was no need to worry. From the moment the kits were born, he has protected and cared for them and even cut the umbilical cord with his teeth. He has proven himself to be a fantastic dad and deserves to be thoroughly spoilt this Father's Day.”
Photo Credit: Drusillas Park
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In the wild, North American Beavers are found in rivers and lakes from Alaska to Florida, and in Mexico. They mate for life and usually have two or three kits at a time, born in late spring.
Gnasher arrived from Brno Zoo in the Czech Republic in May 2012, to be introduced to Gnawer at the award-winning attraction. The pair have been getting on swimmingly ever since and the baby bundles are the first of their kind to be born at the park in over 20 years.