It could be the most Canadian traffic jam ever.
As commuter Chris Vogl was driving down Mill Bay Road around 10:30 a.m. Sunday, he came across a lineup of vehicles and what he thought was a collision on the Trans-Canada Highway.
Only it was nothing to gnaw over — it wasn’t an accident, but rather a brownish-black critter with its broad, flat, scaly tail gliding across the road.
“So I pulled up, threw on my hazards like everyone else, and I could see big fat beaver walking out,” Vogl told CHEK News with a laugh.
“I guess he had come across the highway, and then he was walking down the way there — I thought it was really cool,” he said. “There must have been 15, 20 cars stopped on the Trans-Canada, probably half a dozen on Mill Bay. A few people trying to take pictures.”
It begged Vogl to ask the question, why did the beaver cross the road?
“Nearby, there’s an empty lot there. It used to be Pioneer Mall. On the other side, there’s a nice creek and a forest. That’s probably where (the beaver) lives,” he said. “I guess he decided he needed to cross the road.”
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Despite coming across deer and turkey in the past, it was a whole new experience for the Vancouver Island resident.
“I’ve lived up here for a few years now, but I’ve never actually seen any beavers. It was really cool,” he exclaimed. “I was there probably five minutes, but I’d figure it was at least another five or more based on the traffic that was stopped. Cars were turned off, and people were out of their cars.”
Now, Vogl’s applauding his fellow drivers for their patience, including one commuter who took it upon himself to try to shoo the beaver off the road.
“The beaver didn’t go too fast, and eventually, one smart fella on a motorbike got eight or 10 feet away from him and revved his engine to get the beaver to run. He didn’t really run, but he got to the side of the road,” he recalled.
“He was like, ‘Shoo, shoo!'”
Later Sunday, Vogel posted photos of the beaver encounter to the Shawnigan Lake Events, News, Links, Community Forum Facebook group and, to his surprise, was met with a flood of positive reactions.
“I just wanted to share this with the local community group. Everyone gave him his space and respect, and kudos to the guy on the motorbike who went out of his way to clear the road. Everyone slowly started going, and off we went,” he added.
“How Canadian, right?”
(Photos: Chris Vogl/Facebook)