It has been dubbed a “uniquely Canadian turn of events”.
About 900 residents of Tumbler Ridge, a small community in the foothills of the British Columbia Rockies, were left without internet over the weekend after a beaver chewed through a crucial fibre cable.
Internet provider Telus said it appeared the beaver was digging underground alongside a creek when it came across the cables, which were buried about one metre deep and protected by an 11-centimetre conduit.
Upon further inspection – and in what the company described as a “very bizarre and uniquely Canadian turn of events” – workers found evidence the beaver had used material from the cables to build its dam, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
“Just after 4am [Saturday], our fibre cable serving Tumbler Ridge was damaged, which disrupted internet, TV and mobile service for some of our customers in the area,” the company said in a statement.
“Our team immediately worked to identify the locations of the damage and discovered that the cause of this fibre cut is fairly unique – beavers have chewed through our fibre cable at multiple points, causing extensive damage.”
Services were restored to Tumbler Ridge – a town of about 2000 people – some 12 hours later, the CBC noted, but it’s unclear if the beaver was relocated.
A symbol of Canada, the beaver is renowned for its dam-building abilities.
Alberta’s Wood Buffalo National Park is home to the world’s largest beaver dam, with a depth of 850 metres.