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  Beaver has Toothy Grin Back

CONTACT: Darin Watkins (509) 335-4456 or

PULLMAN, Wash.—A beaver who lost her front teeth after being struck by a car, has plenty to smile about. Veterinarians at Washington State University say all four front teeth have re-grown, and that chances are good the young animal will be returned to the wild.

The 41-pound juvenile beaver was struck accidentally by a motorist in early spring near Lewiston, Idaho. The accident resulted in the young female breaking off her four front teeth and suffering numerous bruises and scrapes.

Bailey the Beaver

At just one-and-a-half years old the beaver, knick-named “Bailey,” has been recuperating nicely at WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “I have really been pleased with Bailey’s progress,” said Dr. Nickol Finch, who heads up the exotic animal service for the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. “A beaver’s front teeth grow constantly throughout their life, and all four of her front teeth are all growing back and will soon be a healthy length.”

The biggest concern now is Bailey’s weight. The beaver currently spends a few hours a day in a hydrotherapy sink, but requires a larger facility that helps re-create the animal’s natural environment. “Baily has dropped quite a bit of muscle mass,” said Angela Teal, a veterinary technician in the WSU exotic animal ward. Dr. Finch believes Bailey will be best served by moving to a larger wildlife rehabilitation facility where she will receive additional care until she fully recovers. After that, the juvenile beaver can be released back into the wild near it’s home outside Lewistown, ID. “I really expect her to do well“, said Dr. Finch.

All four of Bailey’s new teeth are orange. The orange color comes from the replacement of Calcium in the tooth enamel with Iron. This makes the front surface of the teeth much stronger than the rest enabling the teeth to stay constantly chisel like and sharp.

The WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital treats hundreds of wildlife cases each year at no charge. Support for the animals often comes from donations, while the veterinary care is provided with the dual goal of treating and releasing wild animals whenever possible as well as training the next generation of veterinarians who will carry on this important work.


Bailey’s new teeth (click for larger view):    

Place your mouse over the video icon to hear from Dr. Finch:
 Video of Bailey the Beaver


Revised May 31, 2006     |     Printer Friendly Version

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