Friday, December 19, 2014

Beaver Attacks are Serious

I had missed this article when it came out in June of 2014.   It was particularly startling because there is no mention of the beaver having rabies.  The animal literally jumped out of the water, grabbed the kayaker by the arm, and pulled him from the boat.  From
“It’s just a freak thing. This beaver was upset about something and went after him,” kayaking trainer Nate Reynolds said. “I heard him yell my name, so I come running out. As soon as I came out, I see the boat flip over, so the beaver had actually jumped up, grabbed his arm, and pulled him right out of his kayak.”

The beaver was still attached to Mike’s arm after it flipped him out of the kayak. That’s when Nate came down with the paddle. He hit the beaver with so much force it knocked the blade off the shaft.
The beaver, presumably the one who attacked, was later found, dead in the water.  Humans are much deadlier than beavers.  But as I started looking to see if there were any other beaver attacks on record, it became clear that there were several in the last three years.  In April, 2013 a man was reported killed by a beaver in Belarus.  From USAtoday:
A fisherman in Belarus was bitten to death by a beaver, and all he was doing was trying to take its picture, Sky News reports. The man spotted the beaver while fishing with friends at Lake Shestakov, but as he approached to take a photograph, the beaver bit him on the thigh. The animal managed to sever an artery, and his friends couldn't stop the blood flow.
 2012 was a banner year for beaver attacks.   Two young girls were attacked in Lake Anna by a rabid beaver in July.   The bites were severe.

The 8-year-old girl is shown above.   From
Alyssa received around 15 stitches on her upper thigh and Annabella sustained three wounds just above her knee, Wendy Radnovich told

The Spotsylvania County girls have since been released from the hospital.

The girls’ uncle shot the beaver with a BB gun, then killed it with a knife, the mother told

This is the only attack where  a gun (another report says it was a pellet gun, not a BB gun;  I find the pellet gun more likely) was used in defense against the beaver.   The beaver pictured was rabid and weighed 65 pounds, a large specimen.   It seems likely that most of the victims would have been well served with a personal defensive firearm.

In August, 2012, Boy Scouts resorted to rocks to defend their scoutmaster.  From
After initially throwing the animal from his body, it returned to continue the attack, biting Brousseau in the leg, buttocks, arm, hand and torso before he managed to grab it and hold its jaw closed.

Brousseau threw the beaver ashore while Scouts helped him out of the water. After being momentarily stunned, the beaver began attacking a pool noodle.
It was a rabid animal.  The scouts killed it with thrown rocks.

An 83-Year-Old Woman, Lillian Peterson, was attacked by a beaver in September of  2012.  From
A 35-pound, 24-inch rabid beaver had bitten her on the back of the leg and would not let go, sparking an ordeal that lasted more than 20 minutes Tuesday evening. The Falls Church woman and a friend battled the animal with canoe paddles, a stick and bare hands as it came at them again and again. Peterson was seriously injured.

Lillian credits her friend with saving her life.  She believes that the beaver would have killed her if she were the only one fighting it.

While I do not normally think of beavers as dangerous, it is clear that they sometimes are;  normally the dangerous ones turn out to be rabid, but that only makes them more dangerous, not less. 

It appears that the attacks are less frequent than dog attacks, but more frequent than attacks by mountain lions.  There are simply a lot more beaver than there are mountain lions.  The world is a bit more dangerous than I thought.

 ©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


FUBO said...

Everyone knows beaver is dangerous .

Wireless.Phil said...

I think the settlers killed most of them in Ohio. Still muskrats around, but seeing one is rare.