More beavers released into wild

A fourth pair of beavers has been released into the wild in Scotland as part of a trial reintroducing the animals to the UK.

Their release comes a year after three families of European beavers, 11 in all, were freed at Knapdale Forest in mid-Argyll, where the pilot project is taking place.

The trial, a partnership project between the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, aims to find out how beavers will cope in Scottish habitats and to assess their impact in the country's environment by monitoring them over a five-year period.

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The new male and female beaver were caught in the wild in Norway and spent six months in quarantine in England before being transported to the Highland Wildlife Park near Kingussie for a few months' acclimatisation to the Scottish weather.

They were released into the wild at Knapdale on May 4, it was announced yesterday, after the project team had built them two artificial lodges.

Of the three families released last year, two seem to be doing well but one has broken up as the females disappeared and the male was taken back into captivity with health problems.