American Beaver

[Castor canadensis]


Quick Facts

Size: Adults weigh 40 to 60 pounds and grow up to 40 inches in length.

Lifespan: Average of 20 years in the wild

Range: Beavers are found across most of North America – excluding Florida – the Southwest, and Mexico.

Habitat: Ponds, lakes, rivers, marshes, and streams

Diet: Beavers will eat soft aquatic vegetation when available but prefer trees that grow along streams such as alders and willows. They also eat maple, poplar, beech, and aspen. At the Zoo, beavers eat yams, lettuce, carrots, and rodent chow.

The American beaver is North America’s largest rodent.

This animal has very prominent front teeth (central incisors), generally stained an amber color, which are always growing and must be used consistently to keep them trimmed back.

Female beavers are believed to be monogamous whereas some think males may breed more than one female. Gestation is 90-100 days and the female generally gives birth to 3-6 young. Kits born in the family will usually only stay for about 2 years before setting out to establish independent adult lives.

Location in the Zoo: Kids Kingdom

Schedule: Exhibit area is open in the spring, summer, and fall.