Skip to comments.‘Beaver’ gets all the blame
Posted on 06/13/2007 7:38:33 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
'Beaver gets all the blame
British driver pins Grand Prix loss on wrong rodent
CanWest News Service
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Davidson blamed the wrong rodent for ruining his race when it wandered into the path of his car. It turns out a poor groundhog got in the way of the car.
What, exactly, was that buck-toothed blur?
The final, unfortunate act in the life of an unwitting Canadian rodent has grabbed headlines around the world after British Formula One driver Anthony Davidson blamed a "beaver" for wandering into the path of his car and ruining his race at Sunday's crash-marred Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.
"It's such a shame about the beaver," a miffed Davidson told reporters after his 11th-place finish, describing how the lap-37 collision with said mammal damaged the front wing of his Super Aguri Honda, forced him to make an unscheduled pit stop, and scuttled his chances of a podium finish.
The animal "had it in for me, for sure," accused Davidson, who was running third at the point of impact. "I couldn't even see it at high speed and I could not understand why suddenly I locked up the front tires."
"Beaver blamed for wrecking race hopes" blared a New Zealand newspaper on Monday. "Beaver collision robs Brit" noted the Fox Sports website. Sports Illustrated reported how Montreal's "wandering wildlife" took Davidson and his pit crew by surprise.
But despite setting a possible Canadian record for roadkill velocity, Davidson has also committed one of the most common wildlife identification errors among visitors to this country.
Attention all wishful-thinking American tourists, international news agencies and would-be European motorsport stars: a groundhog is not a beaver.
The furry creature obliterated in Sunday's race was not Castor canadensis, Canada's dam-building national icon, but the common hole-dwelling Marmota monax -- a.k.a. the marmot, the woodchuck or Punxsutawney Phil, the shadow-fearing furball made famous each Feb. 2.
"Yes, it was a groundhog," Grand Prix spokesman Normand Prieur told CanWest News Service. "A beaver? Give me a break. I think the last time there was a beaver in Montreal was 1649. This is all because of [British journalists] who have probably never seen a beaver in their lives."
Prieur said that in the weeks leading up the Grand Prix, city officials trapped as many groundhogs as they could around the race course and transported the animals to nearby Ile Ste-Helene.
Unfortunately, said Prieur, "probably some of them weren't found and one of them happened to cross the track and Davidson hit it."
WHO'S WHO IN THE CANADIAN HINTERLAND
Here's a short primer to help Anthony Davidson with his wildlife identification the next time he comes to Canada.
Beaver (Castor canadensis)
- Lives in lodge built in aquatic environments.
- Weighs up to 32 kilograms.
- Up to 1.3 metres long.
- Has distinctive flat tail.
- Appears on the Canadian nickel.
Groundhog (Marmota monax)
- Lives in burrows in rural fields and urban parkland.
- Weighs up to five kilograms.
- Up to 65 centimetres long.
- Bushy tail.
CanWest News Service
“Davidson blames a beaver for wrecking his race”
What a wuss!
"Wasn't me! I was down in Florida!"
The nastiest words heard on TV in the 60’s...
Ward, you were pretty hard on the “Beaver” last night.
If he’d hit a beaver with an F1 car, the results would have been a lot uglier (as in, probably torn the wing and a front wheel right off the car). Beavers are big, like the article says. It’d be like hitting a dog.