I know I shouldn't, but this makes me laugh.
The project to reintroduce beavers to Scotland was in disarray today after it emerged that one of the animals had vanished, two had gone on the run and another had died. Police are investigating in the first case after wildlife agencies claimed the beaver might have been shot.
So let's have a look at the evidence for this, shall we? Bullets? Nope. A carcass full of shot? Nope. Man seen shooting at beaver (quiet at the back there)? Nope.
A Strathclyde Police spokeswoman said the force had been made aware of the allegations and was investigating. She added: "At this time there is no evidence of a beaver having been shot."
No evidence. So why the dramatic headline: "Police called in amid fears reintroduced beaver shot in Scotland"?
Whose fears? Back to the first quotation:
... wildlife agencies claimed the beaver might have been shot.
"Might" have been shot.
Come on, guys, you can do better then this. The police have found no evidence, but a "wildlife agency" (names, please) "claim" something, and suddenly it's headline news. It's either the silly season, or someone on The Times has a thing about beavers. (Be quiet, Thompson.)
I don't wish any harm to the little furry toothy things, but I regard this experiment as one of the more risible eco-mental experiments of recent times. Beavers died out from the area 400 years ago. It is not respecting nature, or Gaia, or whatever, to replace them artificially. It's just silly.
What next, buffalo in the Yorkshire Dales? There were some there once, I'm sure.