Beavers released into wild after Utah fuel spill

A Tuesday, March 26, 2013 photo provided by the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah shows a baby beaver receiving its first bath just after it's arrival at the Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. Gov. Gary Herbert is calling Chevron's latest pipeline spill unacceptable. Herbert appeared angry Thursday, March 28, 2013, telling reporters he will make certain Chevron cleans up the mess. The leak is Chevron's third in Utah in the last three years. State officials are crediting a beaver dam for containing the fuel spill at Willard Bay State Park, but it left a family of beavers with petroleum burns. (AP Photo/Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah)

WILLARD (AP) – Five beavers contaminated in a March diesel fuel spill in Utah are being released into the wild Tuesday.

The state Division of Wildlife Resources and Wildlife Rehabilitation Center are releasing the beavers Tuesday morning on the north slope of the Uinta Mountains.

Wildlife officials recovered the animals in March when a Chevron pipeline failed and leaked about 20,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

The beavers were burned by petroleum and suffered respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, but a beaver dam is credited with holding back much of the fuel from drifting into Willard Bay in Box Elder County.

A sixth beaver underwent surgery to remove a toe that was injured while in captivity. That animal is still recovering and is expected to be released in two weeks.

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