Special Alfriston dad celebrates Fathers’ Day

editorial image

One special dad will be celebrating at Drusillas Park this Sunday after becoming a father for the very first time.

Two North American beaver kits were born on Wednesday June 5 and since then proud dad Gnasher has barely left their side.

Gnasher arrived from Brno Zoo in the Czech Republic in May 2012, to be introduced to Gnawer at the award-winning attraction.

The pair have been getting on swimmingly ever since and the baby bundles are the first of their kind to be born at the park in over 20 years.

Head Keeper Mark Kenward commented: “It’s always difficult to know how an animal will cope with becoming a parent for the first time but in Gnasher’s case there really was no need to worry.

“From the moment the kits were born he has protected and cared for them and even cut the umbilical cord with his teeth.

“He has proven himself to be a fantastic dad and deserves to be thoroughly spoilt this Fathers’ Day.”

In the wild, North American beavers are found in rivers and lakes from Alaska to Florida and Mexico.

They mate for life and live in pairs and usually have two or three kits at a time born in late spring.

The babies are already mini replicas of their dad, with tiny webbed-feet, flat tails and semi developed incisors.

For now they remain within the safety of the lodge but in no time at all they will be out and about, taking their first swimming lessons with proud parent Gnasher paddling alongside.

Drusillas is the only zoo in the UK to look after North American beavers, making the new arrivals even more precious. Whiskers crossed they will be the first of many buck-toothed babies born at the Park and beaver fever will strike again soon.

Located just off the A27 in Alfriston, Drusillas Park is open daily from 10am. For more information please visit www.drusillas.co.uk or telephone 01323 874100.