Beavers, builders at the Elbe

Beavers,  builders at the Elbe

Movie details

Production: Germany, 2020
Produced by: Medienkontor Movie GmbH
Series: ARTE Geo Reportage
First broadcast: 03/2021 ARTE
Channel: ARTE.TV
Director: Bernadette Hauke
Camera: Luana Knipfer
Additional camera: Chris Völschow, Michael Heinz
Sound: Tom Claudon
Music: Markus Wegmann
Editing: Wolfgang Hemmann
Length: 40 min.

Movie description

The beaver was almost extinct in Germany for many decades. Only just under 200 animals had survived along the Elbe. It is thanks to the commitment of committed animal rights activists that their population has recovered. Thousands of beavers are populating the rivers and lakes of Germany again. There are even so many of them that they cause conflicts in some places - including on the Elbe.

Peter Ibe is a passionate beaver protector. As early as the 1970s, the biologist was committed to the Elbe and helped with resettlement projects to save the last native beavers. He caught hundreds of animals back then. And his efforts have paid off, because to date the number of beavers has increased to several thousand. A big success. But despite all the joy about the successful comeback, there are now also critical voices calling for population regulation and the shooting of "problem animals" if they damm up rivers or cause damage to agriculture. Increasing traffic and the return of wolves are also a threat to the beaver. Peter Ibe and his colleagues are observing these developments very closely and hope that the balance in nature will regulate itself. Until then, they will continue to rely on saving the beavers and are on hand if one of them has broken into a garden again, for example. Ibe's colleague, the beaver consultant Annett Schumacher, has just caught an injured young beaver, which she now wants to nurse back to health and release again.