Beavers get a bad rap, but Frances Backhouse, beaver enthusiast, ideacity 2017 presenter and author of  Once They Were Hats, wants us all to start embracing our long-standing national animal. Here's seven reasons you should be a fan of the great North American Beaver.


They may not be as majestic as the American bald eagle or as loveable as China's Giant Panda, but one thing is for certain—Canada's national animal, the North American Beaver, is very Canadian.

In fact, its Canadian connection is so extensive, writer and teacher, Frances Backhouse has written an entire book on the subject. In "Once They Were Hats," she explores humanity's 15, 000 year relationship with the beaver as well as it's unique influence on Canada's landscape and history.

If you ask Backhouse, she'll tell you she's proud to call the beaver Canada's national animal. "It's not just some charismatic or glamorous species like a lot of national animals," she says. "The beaver does so much for us and is so integral to the country on a historical and ecological level."

Here, 7 interesting facts that will help you embrace the beaver as our national animal.

1. Beavers are just old fashion Canadians

Beavers work hard, remain with one partner for their entire life and usually only raise one family a year.

And they certainly don't resemble the promiscuous, baby making rodents they're often compared to. As Backhouse points out in her book, the Norway rat starts breeding around two months after they're born and produces litters of six to 22 young, three to 12 times a year.

In contrast, our old fashion North American Beaver prefers to wait. Although they reach sexual maturity at a year old, most don't mate until they are two or three years old and typically raise two to four kits.

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