Necropsy results of two beavers found dead at Meadowbrook Pond have been released, and signs point to natural causes. Chris Anderson, wildlife biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, provided this update:
Our state wildlife veterinarian performed necropsies on the two beaver WDFW and SPU obtained from Meadowbrook Pond. We suspect natural causes of death for these beaver. No evidence of disease.
One, a juvenile female, died due to a likely predator event and fallout from that. Leg was severely injured in a manner indicative of a large predator – in that area a coyote or unrestrained dog would easily explain the injury noted. The female was emaciated, possibly due to the leg injury and not being able to take care of itself that well afterward. Suspected cause of death is emaciation in this individual.
The other was an adult male. Reason for cause of death was more uncertain but appears it was hit by something. He had internal bleeding and severe hemorrhaging in his lungs. Suspected cause of death was this pulmonary hemorrhaging due to blunt trauma in this individual. Body was in good physical condition, he was eating well. No broken bones. Could have been vehicle collision, situation of getting trapped in e.g. built stormwater structures during an acute high water flood event in a system, or even something unrelated to built environment such as being in a den that partially collapsed, fallen tree/vegetation and resulting impact, defending itself against another animal, etc. I would only be speculating as to what ultimately caused demise but many situations in urban area – both built or natural environment induced, that could have resulted in the adult’s death.