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Beaver responsible for mysteriously fallen campus tree

Sophie Smith

Editor-in-chief

slsmith@willamette.edu


In a recent Campus Safety report published in the Collegian, it was noted that a tree in the Botanical Gardens had been mysteriously felled on the night of April 14. Since the report’s April 21 publication, Grounds Manager Jim Andersen has discovered that, in fact, a beaver is responsible for the damage.


Andersen first believed the tree had been cut by a hatchet, since the marks on the tree (pictured) were so uniform, and because the tree had been unharmed when Andersen passed through the gardens the night before.


“It looked more like someone tried to make it look like a beaver,” said Andersen. “So, I was convinced it was vandalism.”


Later, Andersen encountered biology professor David Craig in the garden, who said a beaver must have taken down the tree. He pointed out nearby shrubs with similar “hatchet” marks on them, as well as branches that appeared to be dragged toward the water of the Mill Race. 

“I then remembered weeks earlier other bushes that were in the Mill Race, then it dawned on me and I realized it was a beaver,” said Andersen.


Andersen suspects the beaver, whom he calls Benny, has arrived since campus quieted in mid-March, although Andersen has not yet spotted him.

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