In case you needed it, here’s something to celebrate: You now live in a world where the sentence “I’m a hairdresser and live beaver trapper” has been uttered in earnest.

Sherri Tippie is just an ordinary Colorado jail barber who happens to love beavers – so much so that she’s become one of the top live trappers in North America. As of 2010, Tippie had safely rescued and relocated 1,000 beavers over the course of 25 years. In all of that time only two beavers died, and that was because she was caught in a flash flood.

What’s so great about an animal that’s essentially just a cross between a really ugly cat and an oversized spatula? According to Tippie, beavers are essential to supporting life in creeks and rivers:

Beaver are definitely a keystone species to an aquatic ecosystem … if you pull that one stone out, it all collapses in on itself.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

In the suburbs of Colorado, where Tippie lives, beavers have ended up in places they’re not wanted, and property owners aren’t fond of dams and felled trees on their land. For example, Tippie first started live trapping confused beavers found on local golf courses. Before she came around, they were being killed by local authorities.

With Denver ranking in as the sixth-fastest growing city in the country, urban and suburban development is only expected to increase, leaving fewer hospitable options for beavers. As the only licensed beaver live trapper in the state, however, Tippie is singlehandedly saving her furry friends from the wrath of Bree Van De Camps all across the Denver metro area.

Tippie is so passionate about saving nature’s most dentally blessed mammal that in 2010, she published a 30-page guide to beaver live trapping in collaboration with Wildlife 2000, the beaver-rescue organization she founded in 1987, and the Grand Canyon Trust.

But do not for one second presume that she’s some granola-crunching, Tom’s-of-Maine-using hippie:

I am a hairdresser, honey. I like HBO, I want a toilet that flushes, OK? I do not camp out, baby.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

You and me both, girl! To witness Tippie tenderly cradle a squirming water rodent as if it were her own child, watch the video above.