First beaver sighting in 75 years

February 18, 2009 5:33:04 AM PST
Wildlife officials are celebrating the sighting of a beaver in the Detroit River for the first time in decades, signaling that efforts to clean up the waterway are paying off.

The Detroit Free Press reports that a beaver lodge has been discovered in an intake canal at a Detroit Edison riverfront plant. Officials believe the beaver spotted by the utility's motion-sensitive camera marks the animal's return to the river for the first time in at least 75 years.

Photos and video were taken in November, but Detroit Edison didn't want to release them until they could ensure the animal's safety.

John Hartig, Detroit River refuge manager for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says the cleanup along the river has also brought back sturgeons, peregrine falcons and other species.

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