DORDRECHT - The beaver is back in the Netherlands. Bracks Minister of Agriculture this morning early in six beavers released in the Biesbosch area at Dordrecht. The last beaver in our country died in 1826.

It is a test of five years. It is intended that there be deported in the coming years more beavers in the area.

The animals are bought in East Germany. Forestry Commission has built a fortress for the two rodents. The castle is completely sealed with willow branches, so the animals themselves have to gnaw a way out. That way they get used to their new residence.

According forester Dirk Feij is the site of the fortress deliberately concealed.

"Certainly the first time we do not want any snoops. These animals need rest. They should have the opportunity at ease to find a place for the winter. "

(Ranger Dirk Feij, Vrije Volk, 22-10-1988)

According Feij is not at all certain that the beavers will use the castle. Chances are that they themselves put their own castle together.


A few years ago began the debate on the reintroduction of beavers. Not everyone saw you return the rodents.

Farmers fear that the rodents will wreak havoc.

Minister Bracks announced that all Forestry Commission will reimburse damages caused. The Beavers have a transmitter, so that action can be taken, if the animals have moved out of their territory.

According forester Dirk Feij the probability that a beaver damage caused quite small.

"He is preferably near water; he never goes far in the country "

(ranger Feij, Vrije Volk, 22-10-1988)

A muskrat catcher was back to East Germany, so he can tell the difference between a beaver and a muskrat's den, so he knows where he should fall off. Muskrats are caught because they pose a major threat to levees in our region.

The probability that the beavers build a dam is very small, according Feij. The beavers build a dam just water spouting water one side. In the creeks area in the Biesbosch that is not the case,.

In East Germany the beavers live in similar areas. There are no beaver dams.

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More than a half century

The last beaver in our country 162 years slain. A fisherman on the river IJssel saw the animal on a fish-stealing otter. He picked up a barge pole and hit the beaver on his head.

At the end of the eighteenth century there were only a handful of beavers in our country. The animal was very popular because of its fur. Also, a special substance that releases the beaver to mark his territory was sought after as a medicine. The agent is also incorporated in perfumes.

The last beaver in Biesbsoch lived about 200 jaar geleden. This one would be shot.

Hoe ging het verder?

Actually replacing the Beavers a big success, although there is not yet in the beginning seemed. Within a year there were little beavers, although the mother was already pregnant, when she was transferred to Netherlands.

But many beavers do not survive in their new habitat. There is not enough food available, making them sometimes kilometers away to look for food.

After ten years there have been about a hundred beavers in Netherlands.

The most famous beaver in the Tulipa are Buddy and Moek which houses the art castle in Merwelanden. People can see how closely the animals live. But escaped the beavers.

Also Mieneke a beaver known name in Dordrecht and surroundings. She also was a long time in the art castle also. This beaver was particularly unfortunate way of life: she got a tree on her head, omgeknaagd by another beaver.

Later beavers are also plotted in Flevoland and Limburg. It involves hundreds of copies. In the area of ​​Dordrecht, the Biesbosch is about "several dozen".


RTV Rijnmond – Vergeten Verhalen: Bevers in de Biesbosch

“The free people : democratic-socialist newspaper”. Rotterdam, 26-10-1988, p. 7

“Bever back”. “Nieuwsblad van het Noorden”. Groningen, 25-10-1988

“Beaver comes after 162 years back in the Netherlands”. “The free people : democratic-socialist newspaper”. Rotterdam, 22-10-1988.

“beaver after 163 years back in Dutch Biesbosch nature gets beaver families for natural environment management”. “Dutch newspaper”. Amersfoort, 26-10-1988

“historic day”. “The Telegraph”. Amsterdam, 29-10-1988

Text: Dave Datema

published: 01 oktober 2017

story number: 33