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Beavers shut down town's internet for 36 hours after chewing through and stealing cables to build a dam

Nature: Beavers
Nature: Beavers 02:40

Well, dam. A group of eager beavers shut down internet service in a western Canadian town over the weekend after they chewed through fiber cables and used them to build their home. 

The outage wreaked havoc on the internet, cable television and local cell phone service of about 1,000 Telus customers in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia — a town with only about 2,000 people total. The service provider described the 36-hour outage as a "very rare and uniquely Canadian disruption." 

"Our team immediately worked to identify the location of the damage and discovered that the cause of this fiber cut is fairly unique — beavers have chewed through our fiber cable at multiple points, causing extensive damage," Telus spokesperson Liz Sauvé told CBS News on Monday. "Our team located a nearby dam, and it appears the beavers dug underground alongside the creek to reach our cable, which is buried about three feet underground and protected by a 4.5-inch thick conduit."

A photo, provided to CBS News by Telus, shows that the beavers used some of the cable material to build their dam. Liz Sauvé / Telus
A photo, provided to CBS News by Telus, shows some of the damage.  Liz Sauvé / Telus

Sauvé said that the beavers chewed through both the conduit and the cable in multiple locations. Photos of the incident show some of the damage, including some of the fiber marking tape the beavers used to build their dam. 

"Our crews brought in additional equipment and technicians to help expose the cable and determine how far the damage continued up the line," Sauvé said. "We have some overlapping wireless service in the community from other nearby cell towers, but cell phone service will be spotty or disrupted for many of our customers in the area." 

Sauvé said that a crew worked "around the clock under challenging conditions" to fix the issue. Service was first interrupted to the area early Saturday morning and finally restored around 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday. 

"We know how critical connectivity is to our customers, and we are very sorry for this interruption," Sauvé said. 

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