After a long day of travel, it's good to take a break. That's true for beavers, too. But in Berlin's 112 miles' worth of waterways, there was nary a place for the critters to rest. The banks of the Spree and Havel rivers and six canals are just too steep for them to climb, so the excellent swimmers were succumbing to sheer exhaustion.
The solution? A rest stop. The city of Berlin just placed a steel platform in the Spree River for the beavers to take a breather. "The city had to come up with a solution to protect the beavers. Because they can't rest on the banks of the rivers in Berlin, the beavers needed a spot where they could rest," Carmen Schultze, spokeswoman for BUND, Friends of the Earth Germany organization, tells PEOPLEPets.com.
A century ago Berlin had a thriving population of beavers, but the creatures were hunted for food and fur. Today their numbers have dwindled to 25 to 30, putting them on the red list of threatened species.
The rest stop is the first step in ensuring happier trails. Next up is an alternative waterway for the beavers to bypass a dangerous channel lock. "The city is required by European Union guidelines to ensure that the rivers are passable for the animals," says Schultze.
Berliners are looking forward to the day when the beavers discover their new rest stop, but that probably won't be before spring. Although the furry creatures don't hibernate, they hang out in their lodges for much of the winter.