Meet Hudson — Chip the beaver’s new buddy

Hudson the beaver.

Hudson the beaver.
Katie G. Cotterill / Northwest Trek Wildlife Park

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park’s female beaver, Chip, has a new buddy just in time for Valentine’s Weekend.

Hudson, a 7-year-old male beaver from New York, has been “courting” Chip behind the scenes for the last few weeks, hoping she takes to him.

Fortunately, she did. Now, guests can see them together in their habitat in the wildlife park’s Wetlands area.

“We are overjoyed with how well the two beavers are getting along,” said keeper Wendi. “They enjoy snuggling together in their den and grooming each other.”

Beavers are social animals, and in the wild, they work together to construct elaborate dams and lodges to create ponds or wetlands.

“We expect Chip and Hudson to rearrange their den and move logs together,” said Wendi.

Keepers provide fresh logs that the beavers will chew to create their bedding. Sometimes, they also offer grass hay, which Chip has been known to rearrange to her preferred placement.

At 17 years old, Chip is the third oldest beaver in human care at an Association of Zoos & Aquariums facility. The median life expectancy for wild beavers is 10-15 years, so she’s doing exceptionally well.

“Chip has strong opinions about everything, particularly who she lives with,” said Wendi. “Fortunately, Hudson has lived with bossy older females before and has skills for that.”

Keepers say Hudson is very interactive with and vocal with them.

“They are the perfect match,” said Wendi.


Chip has dark brown fur. Hudson has lighter brown fur. He’s named after the broad Hudson River for his size and is larger than Chip. Chip weighs 39 pounds, while Hudson weighs 44.


• Beavers are engineers, second only to humans in their ability to alter their environment.

• They’re expert swimmers, building their lodges with underwater entrances.

• They have swimming superpowers like a paddle tail and can hold their breath for up to 15 minutes underwater.

• They are active anytime but are usually nocturnal around humans.

• When alarmed, a beaver slaps its tail on the water’s surface, creating a loud warning for others.

• Their massive front teeth grow throughout their lives — perfect for chewing branches as they build.


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