A plague of unruly animals in Croatia. They haven't been seen here for a century

A plague of unruly animals in Croatia.  They haven't been seen here for a century

There have been no beavers in Croatia for a whole century. Now they are back, in huge numbers, and causing nothing but problems. See what the inhabitants of the southern European country are struggling with.

Residents of one of the Croatian regions have been complaining for some time about the damage caused by beavers. Animals that have not been seen here for a century are destroying the gardens and backyards of local communities. Their presence was recorded, among others, in the Koprivnica area.

Beaver plague in Croatia

A beaver can reach up to a meter in length and weigh as much as 30 kg. People often confuse this animal with a dog – when they see a beaver in the water, they think it is a dog seeking shelter from the sun.

As Krešimir Krapinec, professor at the Faculty of Forestry in Zagreb, explains to Hina, beavers were released into the wild in several places in Croatia to restore their presence. Among the sites where the beaver was released in 1997 is the Drava River near Legrad. It didn't take long for it to spread like wildfire and become an invasive species.

Beavers are spreading faster than expected and are causing increasing problems for residents living near rivers, streams and lakes, as well as for specialists who care for the balance of animal species. Especially since there is still no management plan for this largest rodent. Beavers are wreaking havoc in northern Croatia. And it's hard to believe that this inconspicuous mammal can cause so much damage.

Beavers cause damage in Croatia

The European beaver has not been present in Croatia since the end of the 19th century. However, in the 1990s it had to be brought back here. At that time, 85 representatives of the species were brought to the region. Unfortunately, this mammal has no natural predator in this region, so it spreads uncontrollably. Currently, its population reaches up to 10,000. The greatest damage has so far been recorded in Koprovnica, around the Plitvice Lakes, and in Gorski Kotar near Rijeka.

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