On the International Beaver Day, 7th of April 2022, we prepared beaver themed workshops for all nine of the classes held at primary school Gornji Petrovci – each class age is in need of a different approach. We met at Peskovski stream, where the beaver moved in during the winter and is now cohabiting with the otter in the area, which came down from Goričko tributaries. We compared the two mammals, beaver and otter, rodent and carnivore, and presented the differences in their anatomy, ecological needs and lifestyle. The pupils also learned of the history of beaver in Slovenia and Europe and its return from the brink of extinction. We had stuffed animals with us (all killed as the result of traffic), skulls, excrements, footprints as well as castoreum liquid which they could smell from a sample in a vile. Castoreum was used in the past as a highly renowned compound in traditional medicine for various ailments. What was not possible to present »live«, was presented through detailed drawings and photographs. After the detailed lecture, we also made our way along a local water course and searched for beaver signs in the wild, such as the beaver dam, beaver hut and gnawed branches. We discussed about why beavers are important to the environment as well as what role they play in fighting against the climate change and why humans must preserve the areas along the river banks.
Lutra Institute carries out such and similar workshops for children as well as adults – if you wish to receive more information and are interested in organising such an event in your local area or school, you can e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org.