Riga buys off beavers to prevent them terrorizing capital

Take note – story published 6 years ago

The Riga City Council will spend €12,000 to feed, monitor and prevent beavers from felling trees this year, LTV7 reported March 28. 

The step comes after a successful scheme was used last year, which established that if the beavers are fed, monitored and generally not aggravated they are less likely to spread chaos and destruction across the city. 

Beavers abound in Riga's canals and are often seen in the very heart of the city to the amusement and occasional puzzlement of visitors. But don't be fooled: they will stop at nothing. 

The city will eschew catching the beavers and setting them free, because it does not guarantee these mammalian Mafiosi will not return in order to wreak fresh havoc. 

While Riga previously spent about €5,000 each year to feed its beavers, the animals evidently were not satisfied with such a paltry level of payment and still felled trees to show who was in charge.

To prevent this, the city installed metal fences around the trees but this merely served to provoke the timber-obsessed mammals to vandalize the city's wooden benches in response. 

In true Cosa Nostra style a single beaver family consisting of four individuals dominates the Riga canal, which passes the Freedom Monument and other landmarks. It's the city's old moat that once protected the medieval interior from invaders and now provides them with the ability to poke their heads up and cause trouble across a wide swathe of the capital then slip away undetected. By the time the Feds show up they are invariably sitting innocently on the bank, nibbling twigs and giving each other alibis. 

The beaver family does not take kindly to strangers, and they fiercely protect their turf from others -- understandable given the increasingly lucrative protection racket they run. 

As yet, there have been no reports of the beavers attacking humans in Riga, though their relatives in Daugavpils are not averse to the odd spot of hostage taking, as previously reported by LSM. 

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