Whether it’s moose or beaver in Acadia National Park, rare and unusual wildlife sightings can sometimes become the talk of the town, the chatter on Facebook, and the lore of the islands.
Take the cases of beaver on Isle au Haut, or the young bull moose that once wandered all over that remote island outpost of Acadia, and then the moose that followed hikers in the woods of Mount Desert Island.
Are there beaver on Isle au Haut? A management plan by the National Park Service says that beaver are absent from the Maine island, but a newly-released photo and recent sightings suggest otherwise.
One island resident says he has long seen beaver activity on the island, half of which is included in Acadia National Park.
Other compelling evidence includes a recent photo of a beaver on the banks of Eli’s Creek on the southwest side of Isle au Haut.
The photo of the beaver was taken during a rain storm in July 2014 near a work cabin for Acadia rangers, said Acadia National Park Ranger Alison Richardson, who provided a copy of the photo.
Isle au Haut is in Penobscot Bay in the Gulf of Maine, about 7 miles south of Stonington. Richardson said she did not know how the lone beaver made it to the island.
“I don’t know if I would say beaver live on Isle au Haut,” but the single beaver was on the island somehow, she said. Fellow Ranger Nick Freedman said he thought it might be a transient.