Poor Beave ...
A moment of silence for the Lewis Ginter beaver please.
Now, let's all come to our senses. I, as much as anyone, hate to think of one of God's creatures being unceremoniously whacked among the Christmas lights, but Lewis Ginter did what it had to do. It seems like they did everything they could to relocate the beaver. Even state game officials say that to release it into the wild was most likely to condemn it to a crueler death. You had one rocket scientist in the Times-Dispatch's Your Two Cents section acknowledging that state officials said not to move it but "too bad -- do it anyway." Yes, let's let the poor thing die a prolonged death of stress and starvation because of our guilt over shooting it.
Lewis Ginter had to protect its property. What would you all do if squirrels were tearing up your attic or termites were eating away at your house's foundation? More to the point, what should the art museum do if mice were gnawing at precious works of art? Plants and trees and flora and fauna of every type are Lewis Ginter's raison d'etre. This beaver alone was said to have done $25,000 in damage to the gardens.
The Lewis Ginter beaver was like a death-row inmate who becomes a cause celebre. Are PETA or the SPCA's Robin Starr out there protesting every time the USDA kills one of the 300 or so nuisance beavers it does each year in Virginia?
But even PETA didn't come down on Lewis Ginter as stridently as it usually does. The group acknowledged a gunshot was the most humane way to dispatch the creature but asked the botanical gardens to portion off some of its property just for beavers. In a statement, the garden replied that such a move would be "comparable to asking a homeowner to establish a niche for termites." Touche.
Still, the ball is now in Lewis Ginter's court to fence off the area near the lake where the beavers gained entrance to the gardens. They have to do everything in their power to make sure it doesn't keep happening.