Several years ago we acquired the fountain in the photo at the top of the page from Turtle Fountains in Gallaway, Tennessee. We've enjoyed it immensely. It is extremely well engineered and built to take the expected abuse from floating full time in the middle of a lake. Unfortunately, the fountain suddenly quit working last summer. We contacted the manufacturer to have them repair it. We and they fully expected a rare but inevitable component failure. To everyone's surprise they discovered it had suffered a fate similar to the hacking of our web sites, and about as senseless. Except this time it was one or more four-legged varmints. The wiring and light covers had been destroyed by some yet unidentified animal gnawing through the hard plastic protective coverings. The owner of the fountain company, Tom Hurley, strongly suspected beavers, because he had seen similar damage at other places.
While they were totally rewiring and replacing light fixtures back at the plant we contacted a professional trapper to identify the type of varmint and recommend an elimination plan. After a thorough search of the property he could find no indication of any animal capable of doing such damage. So, after the fountain repair was finished we decided to take the chance that it was a transient varmint that had hopefully moved on.
A few days ago our son had a small boat in our lake testing his repairs to the motor. We asked him to take a look and make sure there had been no further damage to the fountain. Auck-Oh! The culprit had either not moved on or it had decided to make another soiree through our peaceful little neck of the woods. The rest of the story is in the pictures below.
(Click small images for close up view)
- Fresh teeth marks in light fixtures. Fresh teeth marks in light fixtures.
- All four lights were similarly marked. All four lights were similarly marked.
- Chewed through the special wrapping and almost to the bare wires. Chewed through the special wrapping and almost to the bare wires.
- Okay, this calls for a new approach Okay, this calls for a new approach
- Hardware cloth across the bottom Hardware cloth across the bottom
- Vertical sides attached to the bottom Vertical sides attached to the bottom
- A top added with necessary holes for wires and pipes. A top added with necessary holes for wires and pipes.
- Back in operation just before sunset. Back in operation just before sunset.
- Written by Chuck Jones
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