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Beavers tagged before going wild

20 May 09 01:33 GMT

A family of beavers have been tagged ahead of their release into the wild as part of a government scheme re-introducing the animals to Scotland.

The mammals are being kept at the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig.

The date of their release in Knapdale, Argyll, on a trial basis is a secret for the moment.

The Scottish Beaver Trial is being carried out by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

In February, a river foundation in southern Scotland released a report suggesting beavers could have a "severe negative impact" on salmon and sea trout.

The Tweed Foundation's findings were counter to claims that the animals pose no threat to migratory fish.

First time

Organisers of the trial have said it could help to create new wetland habitats and attract other species.

Four beaver families were brought into the UK from Norway last year as part of plans to reintroduce the mammals to Scotland for the first time in 400 years.

The beavers were flown into Heathrow Airport last November.

They were then to spend six months in quarantine before being released in Knapdale.

The beaver families - each consisting of one adult male, one adult female and between one to three yearlings or kits - were captured in the Telemark region of Norway last September.

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