For Leslee Hamilton, being executive director of the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy usually means board meetings, river cleanups and the occasional event in the park. But her job was a lot more exciting this week thanks to a daring beaver rescue.
In case you missed it, Greg Kerekes of the Urban Wildlife Research Project has been using trail cameras to monitor a beaver and her two offspring that were recently discovered at San Jose's Guadalupe River. But he noticed last week that the adult female had something wrapped around her midsection. Experts at Wildlife Emergency Services helped determine that it was probably a plastic packing strap, which was keeping her from moving well and would eventually cut into her skin. It's the same kind of strap used to bundle newspapers, but let's not start pointing fingers.
Hamilton was part of a rescue team that was assembled, which also included volunteers from Wildlife Emergency Services, animal handlers from Happy Hollow Park & Zoo and volunteers from the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy. After days of trying unsuccessfully to catch her, Mama Beaver was captured Tuesday night, had the plastic removed and was given a clean bill of health.
It was particularly exciting for Hamilton, who was the person who spotted the beaver on a favorite bank and radioed in the sighting around 9:50 p.m.
"It was a fantastic feeling to free her from the strap and get her back to the river within an hour," Hamilton said. To celebrate a job well done, the crew headed over to Patty's Inn on Montgomery Street and told their tale to an incredulous bartender.
TOAST OF MORGAN HILL: Mike Cox, founder and CEO of Anaerobe Systems, is being honored July 27 with Leadership Morgan Hill's Excellence Award.
Cox and his wife, Mary Cox, are well known in the close-knit town for hosting events for various community groups at their home overlooking Lake Silveira. They actually hosted last year's Leadership Morgan Hill event honoring Rosy Bergin but will get to take a break from the hosting duties this year, as the event will be held at Guglielmo Winery.
Morgan Hill Mayor Steve Tate tells me that Cox shares many of the vegetables he grows with local restaurants and that the restaurant owners have put together a little surprise for him at the event. You'll have to be there to find out what it is. Get more information or make reservations at www.leadershipmorganhill.org.