A pit bull is lucky to be alive after he was attacked by a group of beavers in Fort Saskatchewan, according to a local wildlife expert.

Gabbie Andrews was walking her three dogs on a trail near the Highway 15 bridge when three beavers attacked eight-year-old Kilo in the North Saskatchewan River.

“As he was chasing the stick in the water, [Kilo] and his daughter must have ran into a beaver dam that we didn’t see because it was under the mud,” Andrews told CTV News.

Kilo required 42 stitches: 36 in his belly and six in his leg.

“We were worried that that was going to be the end,” Andrews said. “We didn’t think he was going to make it through.”

“It’s not uncommon for a beaver to attack and kill a dog in the water, so that dog should count itself very lucky,” Bill Abercrombie, a wildlife control expert, said.

Abercrombie explained to CTV News that beavers breed in February and their kits are born in later April or early May.

“The beavers are just out with their young kits now, and they can be quite aggressive with dogs any time of year,” Abercrombie said. “But this time, if there are young kits around … they will be very, very aggressive.

Andrews said she would not have taken her dogs to the specific area is she had known there were beavers there. Abercrombie explained most people don’t recognize the signs that point to their presence.

“If they’re around a body of water and they see a lot of peeled white sticks, they should stay away and that’s a sign of beavers feeding in the area,” Abercrombie said. “They chew off the bark just like corn on the cob and leave the white sticks on the shore. If you see that, you know you’re in an active beaver area and you should be very careful with kids or dogs at that point.”

Andrews is warning other people to prevent more beavers from hurting their pets.

“I don’t want anybody else’s dog to go through that.”

With files from Angela Jung