Some suburban Glenview residents are worried about the steps their homeowner's association could take to remove beavers from a neighborhood retention pond.
Resident Katerina Pestova shared photos of the beavers, which often appear to be chewing on trees near the retention pond at the Concord at the Glen. The manager of the HOA said the beavers would be trapped and removed, but it's unclear what methods might be used.
In Illinois, underwater cages are one option.
"They are stuck in there, and they can take up to 20 minutes to slowly and painfully die," resident Kara Busiel explained.
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Multiple residents said they're hoping for a more humane solution that eventually would push the beavers to leave the area.
Some have suggested planting trees the beavers won't eat or having a trapper catch them and move them to an approved area.
"Rodents can become a nuisance, but they can be dealt with in an ethical way," said Jackie Barrett, a Northbook resident.
The HOA manager told NBC 5 that the Concord at the Glen homeowner's association and its board are continuing their due diligence in the matter, and a final decision will be made after thorough research and careful consideration.
"The actual trees that were damaged, there are not many of them," Barret explained. "They could very easily be replaced with evergreen trees and any type of tree that does not attract the beaver."
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources said wrapping trees to prevent chewing can be a deterrent, but it only goes so far.
The IDNR provided NBC 5 the following information regarding beaver removal:
Beaver populations in Illinois are very healthy, so removing animals which are causing damage does not harm the overall population. Unfortunately, nuisance beavers can cause quite a bit of damage to property and homes, including cutting or damaging trees, flooding roads and homes and further damaging infrastructure (plugging culverts, drains, etc.).
Beavers are protected in the State of Illinois, so removal must be conducted per state statute (ILCS 520). One option to do so is to hire a Nuisance Wildlife Control Operation (NWCO) to remove the nuisance animals. NWCOs work to resolve wildlife conflicts while humanely and ethically protecting property and public safety. Additionally, most NWCOs work with homeowners, businesses and HOAs to educate landowners if they see other ways to reduce conflict with wildlife rather than removing problem animals.
When it comes to beavers, wrapping trees to prevent chewing or cutting and installing structures in dams to maintain low water levels can be a deterrent, but those options only go so far. When nuisance animals cannot be deterred, they must be removed and the public have a legal right to do so (you can find more info in the Wildlife Code and Ad Rule 525).