Canadian Animal Services Officers Rescue Pudgy Beaver Stuck in Fence 

After a long winter filled with more food than exercise, we feel for this beaver that got stuck in a wrought iron fence in Hamilton, Ontario, because its butt was too big to wriggle through the bars

As The National Post reports, an animal services officer named Sarah Mombourquette was called to a private home on Tuesday, where she found the rodent trapped between two fence posts. Its sharp teeth—designed to fell trees and gnaw through logs—were no match for the metal: “Unfortunately for this beaver, his sharp incisors were not helpful in cutting through the iron fence," The City of Hamilton Animal Services recounted in a Facebook post. "He landed, as the Canadian-ism goes, arse over teakettle through the fence onto a lower section of ground and couldn’t pull his rear-end through with his tiny front paws."

Mombourquette used liquid soap to help the beleaguered beaver squirm its way to freedom. After the animal was liberated, officials brought it to a local shelter and treated it to “a well-deserved veggie buffet,” according to Hamilton Animal Services.

Mombourquette thinks the beaver is under three years old, meaning it's a “teenage” rodent. Due to its age, it's more adventurous and curious than older beavers. This may help explain how it ended up in a private yard, far away from the forest.

Contrary to reports, the rotund critter wasn’t pudgy from months of hibernation: Beavers are mainly nocturnal, but they do remain active during the winter. They continue to eat and build—but just like us, they spend more time inside their cozy homes once the temperature drops. They chow down on stockpiled sticks and branches, which they stack just outside their lodges during the fall months. And to stay warm, they gain weight—particularly in their tails, which are specially designed to store fat. As winter progresses, beavers use up this fat, and the tail shrinks.

The unfortunate beaver was transferred to Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge in Jarvis, Ontario. There, it will recover from injuries (and a very public fat-shaming) before being re-released into the wild.

[h/t The National Post]

Primary image courtesy of iStock.

Save Up to 93 Percent on 8 Gaming Accessories and Enter to Win a Free Nintendo Switch Bundle

Stackcommerce
Stackcommerce

The Nintendo Switch is one of the hottest video game consoles of the past few decades, with worldwide sales topping 55 million (that's more than the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64, and it's only a few million behind the original NES). The problem with a console being so popular is that it's not always easy to spot one on store shelves. If you haven't had luck finding one in recent months, you can enter this contest to win your very own Nintendo Switch, along with a copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a pair of Switch-compatible Logitech wireless headphones, and a $300 Nintendo gift card. Head here for more details.

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Prices subject to change.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. If you haven't received your voucher or have a question about your order, contact the Mental Floss shop here.



Surprise: Cows Poop Corn Kernels, Too

Cows—they're just like us.
Cows—they're just like us.
freestocks.org, Pexels

Hours after chowing down on an ear or two of buttery corn on the cob, you glance down in the toilet bowl and think, “I swear I chewed that.” Many of us have found ourselves in similar situations; the fact that corn kernels appear unchanged by their journey through our bodies is one of humanity’s open secrets.

According to The Takeout, the phenomenon isn’t specific to humans—cows experience it, too. This is somewhat surprising, since cows are ruminant animals whose digestive systems can break down tough materials better than ours can. When cows swallow their food, it softens in a special digestive chamber called a rumen and then gets sent back up for another round of mastication. (This also explains why it seems like cows are always munching on something.) But scientists have discovered that corn sometimes manages to emerge partially unscathed from this process of “chewing the cud.”

Not entirely unscathed, though. As University of Nebraska-Lincoln ruminant nutritionist Andrea Watson told Live Science, it’s only the thin yellow exterior of each kernel that escapes digestion. This is made of cellulose, a durable fiber that helps shield corn from bad weather, pests, and other potential damage. Humans can’t break down cellulose, but cows usually do a pretty good job—a testament to corn’s resilience.

Watson explained that about 10 percent of each kernel comprises cellulose, so whatever corn you detect in your poop isn’t quite as whole as you might think. The other 90 percent—a combination of starch, antioxidants, and other nutritional elements—does get digested. And if you’re consuming corn in a different form, like tortilla chips or popcorn, you can rest assured that the cellulose has already been processed enough that you won’t see evidence of your snack later.

[h/t The Takeout]