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Beavers and deer reenact 'the great escape' at Latvian park

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A Latvian animal park experienced a "great escape" of Hollywood proportions when resident beavers chewed down trees in a diversion tactic that allowed some 157 deer to escape into the nearby countryside, a local paper reported

MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) - A Latvian animal park experienced a "great escape" of Hollywood proportions when resident beavers chewed down trees in a diversion tactic that allowed some 157 deer to escape into the nearby countryside, a local paper reported.

However the setting of this mass breakout was not an allied POW camp, but the Buku Audzetava animal park in Latvia's central Valgunde municipality. The beavers gnawed trees in the park, which flattened the fences around the deer enclosure as they fell, giving the animals the opportunity to make a run for it, the Novaja Gazeta reported.

The paper said that although the park "guards" had managed to round up four deer and enticed another 72 back with apples and grain, the remaining deer are still at large, although it is unlikely that they will try to make their way to Switzerland on a motorbike like Hollywood star Steve McQueen in the 1963 film.

The park owners said that they were anxious to capture the remaining escapees as a buck is worth 1,000-2,000 euros and a doe some 700 euros, the paper reported.

There are no reports on whether any of the beavers escaped.

Late last year a love-hungry beaver's tree felling antics caused havoc in the village of Gunnislake in southwest England after it escaped over a fence. Dubbed Derek by locals the 40-kg (84lb) male chewed through trees, causing damage along the banks of the River Tamar in an attempt to attract a girlfriend.

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