Most would assume that the gnawed trees surrounding the Berounka River in Plzeň are the work of the local beaver population. But a most unusual find earlier this week challenges that notion.
In one of the more bizarre stories to make waves in Czech media this week, human dentures have been found at the base of a tree presumed have thought to have been gnawed at by a beaver by animal rescuers during an annual bird census.
“Our little ornithologist Hana found a human dentures in the lower part of the Berounka River on the left bank under Bukovec in the Háj forest, near one of the fresh bites,” said Karel Makoň of Plzeň’s Animal Rescue Station (Záchranná stanice živočichů Plzeň) on social media.
On Facebook, the Animal Rescue Station posted photos of the discovery:
While the juxtaposition may suggest a cartoonish image of an elderly beaver making use of found teeth, the reality of the situation could be more serious.
Makoň later consulted a dentist, who confirmed that the dentures did indeed belong to a human, and were an upper set.
In the Facebook post, he revealed that the dentures have been handed over to police, who may discover the owner of the dentures traced through dental records. If located, they could be charged with a crime.
“The person that the dentures will fit, and who will at least be able to bite through a pencil [with them], could be punished under the law on the protection of nature and the landscape by impacting the natural development of a protected species, in this case the European beaver,” Makoň says.
According to the animal rescuer, other unidentified evidence found at the scene suggests that the dentures belong to someone from the nearby villages of Bukovec or Druztová.