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One of the first beavers living in London for around 400 years has been found dead.
The two Eurasian beavers, one male and one female, became the first of its species to be reintroduced in the capital.
It was hoped the pair would mate and produce baby beavers, or kits, by the end of 2022.
But the male was discovered dead last week near Forty Hall Farm in Enfield, north London, after being reintroduced in March.
A post mortem revealed he had died from natural causes.
An Enfield Council spokesman said: “We are saddened and sorry to confirm one of the two beavers at Forty Hall Farm has died.
“The results of a post mortem have confirmed that the male beaver died of natural causes.
“In conjunction with experts the beaver enclosure was designed and built to the highest standards to meet Natural England’s requirements in order to obtain the requisite licence.
“These experts are confident that the environment that has been created is good.”
Beavers were once very common across Europe and Asia, the Eurasian beaver was hunted to near-extinction after being hunted for its fur and meat in the 16th century.
But they have been reappearing in the UK with small groups in England, Scotland and Wales.
The hunt is now on for a replacement male to accompany the female, who is still alive and is being monitored by wildlife experts, as part of the reintroduction project.
The spokesperson added: ‘It is our intention to find a suitable replacement beaver as soon as it is feasible.
“Enfield Council is in discussions in respect to another beaver release at the appropriate season.
“This will also give us time to make some adjustments to the enclosure to further enhance the conditions for the inhabitants.
“In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the remaining female beaver as closely as possible without disturbing her or the habitat.”