Jaws: The Wild Side of North Dallas

Residents of the city’s wealthiest neighborhood, near Walnut Hill and the Dallas North Tollway, are finding life there isn’t as tame as one might think. Beavers have moved into the neighborhood and have been chopping down trees in the yards of such people as sports magnate Lamar Hunt and LTV chairman Paul Thayer.

Life for the beavers has been relatively easy near the Hunt home, where the creek is permanently dammed up. Consequently the beavers don’t have to build their own dams and can spend most of their time living in the creek bank during the day, and venturing out to cut down trees at night. They’ve chopped down willows at the Hunt home up to 18 inches thick, which a single beaver can handle in about 20 or 30 minutes.

Because the beavers have been chopping down quite a few trees, some of the neighbors have asked the US. Fish &Wild-life Commission to set some beaver traps along the creek, which feeds into Bach-man Creek. Before the commission’s Jan Loven can set any traps, he first must organize the neighborhood and explain what has to be done to catch the beavers, which weigh about 60 pounds. Homeowners must grant permission before Loven can set traps in the neighbors’ backyards, but not all homeowners readily agree. Unfortunately the traps kill the beavers, but even if they were caught alive the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Commission has nowhere to relocate the beavers.

“So far all we’ve caught out there,” Loven says, “is some snapping turtles.” The beavers probably have it made for the summer because the Fish & Wildlife Commission usually won’t set traps during the summer months for fear children wading in the creeks might injure themselves in the traps, which are set just below the water line. Beavers also are living in the creeks near Hillcrest and Royal Lane in North Dallas and at Bruton Road and St. Augustine in Pleasant Grove.


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