Icebreaker! An amazing moment when a beaver breaks through the lake’s ice surface to grab a branch and then dives back under in Canada.
A courageous beaver emerges from a frozen pond at this precise moment to grasp a limb before slipping back into the icy water. For the past six months, Michael Digout has been documenting the family of animals that resides in a pond close to his Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, home.
On October 25, he released a video of a female beaver breaking through the ice on the pond to his Facebook page.
As she struggles to gain enough traction to raise her body out of the water, she stumbles around on the ice before finally using her front paw to grasp hold of a limb. She pulls the branch free and places it in her teeth after the animal is finally upright on the ice. With her new acquisition firmly in her teeth, she dives back through the ice hole.
The same beaver can then be seen swimming beneath the ice before breaking through again in the video. The adult female, according to Mr. Digout, “had a regular ritual of swimming around the pond and breaking the ice at specific areas.”
Read more Why was the beaver chosen to be Canada’s national animal?
The official animal of Canada, the beaver, makes a brief round before disappearing back below the water. The big semi-aquatic mammals are herbivores that mostly eat tree bark and frequently chop down trees for their wood. They create dams and lodges out of this and gather things like mud, rocks, and sticks with it.
Given their abundance, beavers are regarded as keystone species, meaning they have an outsized impact on the environment. The animals always reside in burrows with aquatic entrances. However, during the winter, ice formation might limit their mobility.