Cornwall tea plantation wild beaver sighting a 'first'

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image copyrightJames Broughton
image captionThe beaver was pictured feeding on the bank of the River Fal on the Tregothnan estate near Truro

A beaver which has been spotted at a Cornish tea plantation is thought to be the first in the county sighted in the wild since the creatures' reintroduction.

The beaver was pictured feeding on the bank of the River Fal on the Tregothnan estate near Truro.

Tregothnan manager Jonathon Jones said: "We are just hoping it does not have too much of an appetite for tea."

The Cornwall Beaver Project said it was "delighted" and "surprised".

'A complete mystery'

image copyrightJames Broughton
image captionJonathan Jones of the Tregothnan estate said he was "very excited"

The roaming rodent was spotted on Thursday by plantation worker James Broughton.

Mr Jones said: "It appears to be the first wild beaver in Cornwall. We're very excited.

"There is a complete canopy made by the tea plants, so you would have a tough job finding it if it wanted to hide."

Beavers were first brought back to Cornwall after 400 years in 2017 by the beaver project, a conservation group, with the release of a male and female at Woodland Valley Farm near Ladock.

Since then there have been two more releases including a beaver on Bodmin Moor in 2020.

However the project said none of its beavers have been reported missing, leaving the sighting of the wild beaver "a complete mystery".

Chris Jones, from the project, said he was "surprised" to hear of the wild beaver.

"We have no idea where it has come from," he said.

image copyrightJames Broughton
image captionThe tea plantation will provide cover for the beaver, the estate said

Mr Jones urged people to treat the creature with respect.

"I'm really excited by it and my advice is that if it is not bothering anyone, leave it alone," he said.

image copyrightJames Broughton
image captionAnyone spotting the beaver is urged to treat it with respect

The beaver could be trapped and taken away if it was reported to be causing a nuisance, he added.

In the meantime the project is keen to hear of any more sightings.

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