Orphan 'Justin Beaver' Can't Go Back to Wild, Builds Dams Out of Toys & Shoes


No matter how cool you think your first pet was, it was probably not as impressive as Brigette Brouillard’s latest animal companion.

Instead of opting for a cat or dog, she found herself with something a bit more exotic.

As the founder and director of Second Chances Wildlife Center in Mt. Washington, Kentucky, she has had the opportunity to help rehabilitate all sorts of wild animals.

When some of these animals were deemed unfit to return to the wild, she has even raised a number of them as pets.

After bringing an armadillo and two skunks under her roof, Brouillard rescued her first beaver! She fittingly named the cutie Justin Beaver, or JB for short.

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Having been orphaned at eight weeks old, Brouillard brought JB under her direct supervision this past summer. She has since cared for him throughout the first year of his life.

This first year is an especially important year for beavers, as their infancy lasts for its duration. But as you might imagine, a baby beaver can be quite a handful.

When JB is not enjoying his favorite snacks of sweet potatoes and kale, he has a bad habit of munching on other things.

He often finds himself in trouble after teething on paper goods and furniture.

Brouillard likens his mischief to, “a toddler, only more destructive.”

However, not all of JB’s antics are purely destructive. His instincts have led him to build dams out of anything he is able to find — lining up random objects across the living room floor.

Brouillard hopes to get JB into a more natural environment in the coming year. She plans to build an enclosure at the Wildlife Center, providing everything he needs to build a dam in his own little pond.

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Because he cannot go back into the wild, Brouillard will also use JB as an educational tool. When he is older, he will teach children more about mammals in their surrounding ecosystems.

Second Chances Wildlife Center’s Facebook page defines this mission: “We take in injured, displaced, and orphaned native mammals [and] offer exciting educational programs to community organizations and schools.”

We hope that JB is able to have a comfortable home in his new enclosure, and is able to build dams to his heart’s content.

We also wish Brouillard patience with her precious instigator in the months to follow.

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