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Some people in a small Saskatchewan community say they are disgusted and disappointed after a beaver was beaten to death with a chair.

Residents say surveillance video from a bakery in Wolseley showed four men leaving a bar on Friday and going after the rodent.

Resident Joselyn Linnell says the beaver had been hanging out around the village for about a year.

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Linnell says the animal appears to have hissed at the men before it was killed.

She says it's sad to think there are people in Wolesley who would do that sort of thing.

RCMP say they're investigating.

Animal Protection Services says anyone found guilty of inhumanely killing an animal faces a maximum penalty of 18 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $25,000.

"Very ashamed. This is a good town with good people in it," said another resident, Candice Malo. "Doing that to an animal is disgusting."

Linnell said the beaver was considered to be "a friendly guy."

"We have beavers in town because we have a lake and a dam," she said. "They are here naturally."

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The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals has written a letter to Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall asking him to come out strongly against what happened.

"Although your government would never condone such actions, we fear that attitudes leading toward such behaviour (are) endorsed by policy," the letter says.

"Promotion of ongoing beaver culls, and a lack of humane education or compassionate planning options have, even if subconsciously to the public, encouraged the idea that beavers are disposable pests or commodities."

The national organization says it will offer a reward to anyone who can help identify the culprits and is willing to work with the province to develop educational material about beavers.

Linnell said the community is divided over the beaver's death, but she felt strongly about speaking out.

"I think you have to be pretty hardened to ... not feel that this was unjustly done."

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Wolseley is about 100 kilometres east of Regina.

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