Beaver Dam Stops Oil Spill
Beaver lodges, like this one in Wyoming, can help preserve local watersheds and habitat for wildlife.
Credit: Wildlife Conservation Society

Although they didn't have much of a choice, the beavers saved the day.

A beaver dam helped prevent a large quantity of oil from spilling into a reservoir of fresh water in northern Utah. The leak, from a Chevron pipeline, spilled 27,000 gallons (102,200 liters) of crude oil into soil and marshes at Willard Bay State Park. Between the spill and the bay is where the unlikely heroes had made their home.

"That dam absolutely saved the bay," Dalyn Erickson, a wildlife specialist, told the Associated Press. The dam held fuel in place and kept it from going any further, she said.

Unfortunately for the beavers, a half-dozen of the animals suffered severe burns to their bodies from the oil, and they are currently being treated at local animal shelters. Chevron Pipe Line Co. on Friday donated $10,000 to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah to help treat the animals, according to the Salt Lake Tribune