This is a rare occurrence, according to a study from the University of Cambridge, published in the journal Current Biology.
The team found that beavers living in the U.K.’s River Beavers Reserve are more vulnerable to being struck by lightning than beavers in the rest of the country.
The beavers, which are considered endangered, are not found in the North of England, but in the east and south of England.
The researchers monitored a group of beavers that have been living in a lake near the village of Dandenong, in the west of England since 2001.
The scientists found that they are most vulnerable to lightning when they are out of the water.
“These beavers have an excellent natural ability to detect and track lightning strikes, which can be used to estimate the time of day when lightning strikes and to provide warnings to their neighbours,” the team wrote.
“We found that the beavers were more vulnerable when they were out of water, which is probably because they rely on a relatively shallow, relatively dry environment for their food.”
The beaver was first spotted by a local farmer in 2002.
The study looked at the animals’ movements, including the times of day they were able to spot the lightning, as well as the number of times they were in the area.
“The beards of beaver males are often very short and very stubby, and therefore they have to use very short, stubby beaks to grab their food,” said study co-author Mark Smith.
“This allows them to stay in their homes for longer periods of time and thus allows them time to recover and rebuild their beaks, which also reduces their risk of injury.”
The study also found that in the presence of lightning, beavers are more likely to be struck by a falling tree branch than any other animal.
“Beavers are relatively poor climbers and so they are vulnerable to falling branches when they’re out of their homes,” Smith added.
“They are also less likely to have any access to water, so they need to be out of sight and able to recover quickly from a fallen branch.”