Baby, baby, baby!
A second beaver has been found living in the Bronx River, and after a contest to name the local creature, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo has revealed the winner of its naming contest: Justin Beaver.
Get it? The discovery came thanks to a rare, lucky photograph captured by a resident and sent to the zoo. The picture reveals two beavers side by side, which zoo staffers said is the only proof that two do coexist in the river.
Without the photograph, sources said, we could never be sure that a second beaver sighting would not just be the same animal as before. The photo confirms there are at least these two.
“The return of beavers to the Bronx River is a true testament to nature’s ability to rebound even in the most urban setting,” said John Calvelli, WCS executive vice president of public affairs.
“The fact that the river is once again supporting a thriving population of beavers as well as other wildlife is more than encouraging. It is proof that nature can succeed if given the opportunity.”
The first time a beaver was found living in the river, back in 2007, zoo employees named it José, after Congressman José Serrano, a friend to the zoo and advocate for cleaning up the Bronx River. This time around, a contest was held for the naming. Options included: Castor, which is from the Latin name for the North American beaver; Bobbie, a gender-neutral name; Chompers, after a beaver’s powerful jaws; Wally, a reference to the television show Leave it to Beaver; and Justin Beaver, a reference to the mega-star singer Justin Bieber.
New Yorkers were able to vote on names at BronxZoo.com.
Not only is the discovery of two beavers a comforting sign for the state of the Bronx River, but it also means that the beaver, which adorns the state seal as New York’s official mammal, is making a comeback after being considered “locally extinct” since colonial times.
“Doubling the beaver population of the Bronx River with the arrival of a new friend for José the Beaver is great news,” said Serrano at the time of the discovery. “The ongoing return of wildlife to the Bronx River is a sign that our environmental restoration project is an unqualified success.”
Linda Cox, Bronx River Administrator for the Parks Department, said that Justin might even be a mate for José. After all, the genders of the beavers are not known.
She added that groups such as the Bronx River Alliance, community cleanup groups, and Serrano’s WCS-NOAA Lower Bronx River Partnership, “have transformed what was once a trash-strewn, weed-choked river into a viable habitat for new wildlife.”
©2010 Community News Group