The Limburg water board has been given the green light to shoot between ‘two and nine’ beavers which are causing tens of thousands of euros worth of damage to dykes and river banks, the local Limburger paper reported on Wednesday.
The exact number and the location of the beavers is being kept secret because of fears that the operation could be ‘frustrated’ and the equipment used to monitor the animals damaged, spokesman Har Frenken told the paper.
In the early 00s, concerted efforts were made to re-establish a beaver population in the province and 33 animals were released into the wild between 2002 and 2004.
Now an estimated 650 animals live in Limburg alone, but the list of damage they cause has also been getting bigger.
In particular, beavers burrow into the dykes and river banks, weakening the structures and putting them at risk of collapse when the water level is high, the paper said. In one case, a bike path threatens to collapse because of the burrowing.
Limburg has now become the first province in the Netherlands to approve a cull, the paper said.