Trapped beaver

This beaver was trapped off Sunnyside Drive in Cumberland.

CUMBERLAND – The town of Cumberland has hired a professional trapper who has caught three beavers off Sunnyside Drive, where rising water is threatening properties.

Highway Supt. Dennis Vadenais said additional traps are being set up at the Monastery and elsewhere.

It’s the most aggressive approach to date toward limiting beaver activity in a town where their work has repeatedly been responsible for washing out trails, flooding yards, and threatening the integrity of roadways.

Other communities, such as Foster, have been trapping beavers for years. Work to clear away beaver dams has taken up huge amounts of time and resources from town employees as the situation has grown worse than ever this year, said Vadenais, creating an unsustainable situation.

After being trapped, the creatures are humanely euthanized, said Vadenais. Trappers, he said, are not allowed by law to capture and transport the animals to release in other locations.

“I love wildlife, but when they’re creating problems, then you have to do what you have to do so you can get on with the normal flow of the community,” he said. “We need to get a handle on it so they’re not disturbing the waterways.”

After the Monastery, said Vadenais, traps will be placed off Sumner Brown Road and elsewhere. Traps are set up within the dam after workers create a small void in the structure for the beavers to come back to and repair. Once all the beavers are gone from an area, workers will put on waders and bust open the dams and the water levels will go down, but if it’s done too soon, it can be impossible to know where the beavers will surface next, said Vadenais.

The trapper has figured out the travel lanes, and when the beavers follow them, it’s “game on, he’s got them.”

Trapped beavers have shown a lot of orange in their teeth, he said, evidence of all the iron contained in them.

Vadenais said no one previously seemed to get a handle on the beaver situation, and it’s past time to deal with it, similar to how people would deal with any other nuisance animal situation.

Beavers began slowly multiplying in this area in the 1990s, he said, and the problem has gotten to the point, with drainage outfalls and yards routinely being flooded, where it simply has to be taken care of.

“It’s time. We’re not acting too soon,” he said.

Asked how many beavers he thinks are responsible for the problems being faced in Cumberland, Vadenais said it’s fair to say that it’s probably a few dozen. A large colony is about six, he said.

The Breeze reported last month on how rising water from beaver activity pushed standing water some 30 feet up one family’s yard on Sunnyside Drive, with saturated ground extending beyond that. Heavy rains make the problem worse, according to resident, who say they’re fortunate that their yards are as sloped downwards as they are or their homes themselves would be being flooded.

(10) comments


These things are rodents nothing more nothing less. They have all but taken over the Monastery flooded acres and acres of pastures not to mention creating liability to the town if that dam that they built were to let go people downstream would have their property flooded. Beavers belong in heavily wooded areas. You know like Cumberland USE TO BE.


Cumberland is the fastest growing town in Rhode Island. A moratorium on building, commercial and residential, is necessary to stop taking more and more woodland and open space…. The natural habitats of these animals.

This is a disgrace.


Just to be clear, as an herbivore, beavers are not predators.


Why not first try to live with them with management techniques:

People are always so quick to just kill things that are inconveniencing them. Also I love how we are so quick to say they are invading here when they lived here long before us. People complain about the coyotes and kill them too, but they would keep these kinds of animals in check.


Please elevate us all to your moral high ground by sharing the “inconveniences” that you allow to destroy the property people work their whole lives for.




A flooded yard is hardly destroying people's life savings.


My parents have lived in Nate Whipple for 50+ years and there were never beavers in that area. Over 7 years ago they built dams and my parents back yard floods every year. All of their trees are dead. Deer used to pass thru and have now been getting hit by cars because the woodlands are being flooded.

This is not “knee jerk”. This is years and thousands of dollars trying to take conservative measures while tax paying residents have had their property destroyed. If we don’t control their population the predator population will increase. And there are very limited restrictions on predator hunting. Hence why people complain about the predators. Conservation is a balance and effort for all species to cohabitate alongside humans (where appropriate).


How about Nate Whipple HWY? Residents have been dealing with that for 7 years. And have approval from DEM to trap.


If the predator population increased, wouldn't that by definition take care of the problem? I don't understand that argument.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.