Detroit River again becoming home to beaver

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DETROIT (AP) -- There's new evidence that the Detroit River once again is becoming home to the beaver, according to officials working to improve the health of the river.

A trail camera set up at DTE Energy Co.'s River Rouge Power Plant earlier this year recorded images of a beaver dragging a small tree into the river, the Detroit Free Press reported (http://on.freep.com/146tqQM ) Monday. It could be part of a sustained comeback.

"They could be expanding their range," said John Hartig, manager of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.

Following a long absence, a beaver sighting was reported in 2009 at DTE's Conners Creek power plant along the Detroit River. He moved on during that summer, but later was spotted having returned with a family. Beaver sightings also have been reported on Belle Isle.

Jason Cousino, a DTE safety expert at the River Rouge plant and an outdoor enthusiast, said he noticed gnawed branches and other evidence of a beaver along the shoreline over the winter. He set up the trail camera that captured several images.

Detroit once was a fur-trading outpost, but trapping and industrial pollution contributed to wipe out the beaver in the area along with its habitat. The cleanup of the Detroit River in recent decades has seen many species making a comeback, including lake sturgeon, bald eagles and peregrine falcons.

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