A Canadian senator is calling for the country to remove the beaver, which she called a "dentally defective rat," from its national emblem.
Sen. Nicole Eaton of the Conservative Party said she wants the "dentally defective rat" removed from the emblem in favor of the polar bear, the National Post reported Friday.
"It is high time that the beaver step aside as a Canadian emblem or, at the least, share the honor with the stately polar bear," Eaton said Thursday. "A country's symbols are not constant and can change over time as long as they reflect the ethos of the people and the spirit of the nation."
"The polar bear, with its strength, courage, resourcefulness and dignity, is perfect for the part. The polar bear is the world's largest terrestrial carnivore and Canada's most majestic and splendid mammal, holding reign over the Arctic for thousands of years," Eaton said.
Glynnis Hood, a professor of environmental science at the University of Alberta and author of "The Beaver Manifesto," defended the beaver's right to its national emblem status.
"I'd like to see it remain as the national emblem. The beaver represents tenacity, intelligence and an ability to survive even the harshest climates," she said Thursday.
"No animal can change the landscape like a beaver can," she said. "I think the beaver is probably -- by comparative size -- stronger than polar bears."