YOU MAY remember that a few months ago, when a family of beavers was forcibly removed from the Tidal Basin -- where it had been busily destroying the nation's famous cherry trees -- there was some concern about whether the animals could survive in a new location. Experts warned that established beavers in the new neighborhood might chase the newcomers away. It now appears, however, that there was no cause for worry. The National Park Service reports that what was briefly the most notorious animal family in the Western Hemisphere is doing fine in its new environs -- which is to say it is doing pretty much what it got kicked out of the city for: downing trees and building dams.
The beavers -- mother, father and one-year-old -- were caught and released within 18 hours of one another, so they were apparently able to find each other through their scent. The evidence of their work has not been hard to find. "There are a lot of nicked trees there, where there hadn't been any before," Julia Long, a biological services technician with the park service, told the Associated Press.
The park service is, wisely enough, treating the beaver family as if they were members of the witness protection program, refusing to disclose their location other than to say it is a wet, wooded place somewhere in the Washington metropolitan area. We'd guess -- given the preference of the breed for simple living and its penchant for physical labor that they've been placed somewhere beyond the Beltway.
Old Washington habits die hard, though, so if you should happen to be in some wet place around here in the near future and see several beavers officiously attempting to impose a regulatory code on their neighbors' dam-building by invoking the authority of the Interswamp Commerce Claws, you can be pretty sure you've found the new home of the Cherry Blossom Three.