A baby beaver was spotted in the San Francisco Bay area for the first time in 160 years.
Footage of the young beaver was posted to YouTube by Palo Alto Online and displays the little creature scampering through the area.
The Good News Network reported the footage was taken at Matadero Creek near Palo Alto, just south of San Francisco.
Bill Leikam, president and co-founder of the Urban Wildlife Research Project, noted he was unsure what it could be at first.
“Finally, it hit me in the head,” he noted. “Could that be a baby beaver?”
The Urban Wildlife research project has documented the return of other mammals to the area and specialized in documenting the return of the gray fox.
The new beaver footage was unexpected, being that beavers have not bred in the area for so long, but in 2022, a pair of beavers were spotted by trail cameras.
This was shortly after the CA Fish and Wildlife reintroduced a group of beavers to Los Gatos Creek, which is south of Palo Alto.
Now, Leikam believes this young beaver is their baby due to its immature size.
He said, “It’s taken them this long to disperse, have babies, and spread, and spread and spread.”
“It looks like they’re going along the northwestern edge of San Francisco Bay,” he added.
Beavers are known for their positive effect on riverine environments. The ponds they create by building dams help combat droughts and provide water to other creatures, which promotes a healthy ecosystem.
Dr. Rick Lanman, president of the Institute for Historical Ecology, noted that beavers are called “a keystone species” that “create habitat for all manner of birds, amphibians, bats, and will serve as an insect cafeteria for trout and salmon.”
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