AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - Beavers are causing some problems in the Town of Amherst. After taking down some privately-funded memorial trees along the bike path, they're being rounded up.
Along the Ellicott Creek, beavers are taking aim at the trees for food and dam building. Some have been completely cut down, while other look like they had a run in with a pencil sharpener.
Ray Lytle of the Amherst Highway Department said, "Particularly ornamental trees are going to be something that the beaver are going to remember. They're going to comeback for. It's going to be a favorite. It's going to be something they develop a taste for."
It's become such a problem the town has been nuisance trapping the creatures - which ultimately leads to their death.
Mark Kandel of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation said, "Actually become asphyxiated while they're underwater. They'll just hold their breath so long until they pass out and die. That's permitted under the law. And that's actually the preferred way to do it."
Kandel is the regional wildlife manager for the DEC and says in 2010, the state issued 53 nuisance wildlife permits in Erie County, resulting in 112 beavers dying. He says the DEC doesn't allow beavers to be trapped and moved to another area since it creates a problem for someone else. In addition to tree damage, the other concern is beaver dams.
"It'll cause a blockage of the creek, and that's something that we just can't afford to have," Lytle said.
News 4 found one dam stretching about halfway across Ellicott Creek. Lytle says it's a problem because the debris left behind will pile up downstream.
"This is something, an area that's really looked at to do anything within our powers to ever keep it from flooding again," he said.
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