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This unusual South Whatcom Library visitor devours his share of pulp fiction

A North American beaver has been delighting patrons at the South Whatcom Library branch in Sudden Valley.
A North American beaver has been delighting patrons at the South Whatcom Library branch in Sudden Valley. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

He doesn’t have a card to borrow books, but South Whatcom Library has welcomed their unusual visitor.

A lumbering old beaver has been been gnawing away at a tree outside the Whatcom County Library System branch in Sudden Valley, said branch manager Lizz Roberts.

“People have been just going crazy out there and watching,” Roberts said.

“He’s been just chewing away — and he doesn’t seem to care,” she said in an interview.

She said the usually nocturnal rodent favors a late afternoon snack, where he’s gobbled a sizable chunk from the trunk.

No one has named the beaver, but Roberts said the library staff is considering a contest.

Roberts recalled that in C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” it was the character of Mr. Beaver who explained a prophecy that one day Aslan would return to Narnia and end the White Witch’s reign of endless winter.

“What a fun angle about Mr. Beaver and the prophecy,” Roberts said in an email.

Perhaps the library beaver — like its cousin the groundhog — could make a prediction about the weeks-long cold snap that’s gripped Western Washington?

In any case, beavers — whose numbers are growing after being hunted and trapped nearly to extinction — are fairly common in the Lake Whatcom watershed.

They’re found in the nearby Stimpson Family Nature Reserve and in Whatcom Falls Park.

Employees at the Cumberland Farms convenience store in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, dealt with an interesting pair of customer in the early morning of November 27. The footage shows one beaver leisurely exploring the store.

Robert Mittendorf covers civic issues, weather, traffic and how people are coping with the high cost of housing for The Bellingham Herald. A journalist since 1984, he’s also a volunteer firefighter for South Whatcom Fire Authority.
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