A beaver swam in the Hudson River on Monday morning around West 71st Street, a happy sight that would have been unthinkable just over a decade ago. Ralph Stone took the photos above and below just after 10 a.m. as he walked his dog. He said he’s never seen beavers before in the area.
The beaver is the official New York state mammal, because the animals were ubiquitous in the state when Europeans arrived, and the beaver trade was key to the local economy.
But as humans do, we trapped too many and cut down too many forests, and the beavers died off fast. For over 200 years, they disappeared from the area around the city.
Luckily, the waters around the city have gotten cleaner in recent years, inviting all sorts of wildlife back to the area, including whales. A few beavers have returned to the New York City area in the past decade. In 2007, a beaver was spotted in the Bronx River.
But where are your pals, beaver friend?