Beaver Attacks: How Common Are They?

On April 11, 2013 by Tim Newman

Evil Beaver Belarus Killer

Some time back, a gentleman was on his way to a fishing spot near Lake Shestakov, Belarus with a couple of friends.

He spotted a beaver at the side of the road and took the opportunity to take a photo. As wholesome as this sounds, unfortunately, this is not the start of Countryfile, it’s the start of Casualty.

The enraged beaver lurched at him and sunk its oversized teeth deep into his thigh. These teeth are used to cut trees, so a human leg is no challenge. The beaver hit a major artery and, despite his friends’ attempts to stop the flow, he bled out.

Beaver attacks are pretty rare according to experts, they’re much more inclined to run than charge. But, earlier this week, another video, this time from Russia appeared.

Russian beaver attack

The video has since been deleted, but it showed a beaver charging at a guy called Alexander Targon. Perhaps there’s some rabid beavers on the prowl.

Beavers are the second biggest rodents in the world, but rodents aren’t normaly known for their aggression. Under the original video, it says:

“Last year in the US, two girls were mauled by a beaver in a lake in Virginia as they swam. They suffered serious bite and scratch injuries. A man was also attacked in New York and an elderly woman in Washington. In 2003 in Belarus, a farm manager and farmhand were bitten by a rabid beaver as they tried to chase it from a barn. They survived the attack.”

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Attacking the elderly

The elderly woman from Washington they mentioned was 83. She’d been swimming in the lake and once she’d got out to dry herself, the beast knocked her off her feet.

She and a friend repeatedly hit the beaver with canoe paddles, a walking stick, and their bare hands, but it refused to let go of her leg. She was left with some impressive bite marks and a rabies jab.

Rochester beaver attack

In late June 2014, Michael Cavanaugh was in a kayak on Irondequoit Creek, about 7 miles outside of Rochester. He was also set upon by a beaver. The attack was bad enough that he was hospitalised.

Here’s the report from their local news crew. Take note of the facial furniture:

I’m sure you keep expecting this article to end, but it won’t, there’s simply too many beaver attacks to even begin to comprehend. 

Surprise Lake surprise

Karen and Barry Rubinstein were enjoying a stroll by Surprise Lake in Union County’s Watchung Reservation, New Jersey. They saw a beaver head pop out the water. Instead of going about its beaver business, it charged straight at them, chasing them into their car. No injuries occurred, but the couple were “shook up.”

Other beaver attacks

  • In Nova Scotia, a marine diver was attacked. This is particularly unusual as beavers tend to prefer freshwater.
  • In Pennsylvania, a scout leader was attacked by a beaver. The boy scouts ended the attack by stoning the animal to death.
  • In 2013, a Croatian man was attacked, leaving him with some serious injuries.
  • In 2021, a 73-year-old man in Massachusetts was hospitalised by a beaver attack.

Why is this happening?

As humans increasingly encroach on beaver territory, the number of attacks is increasing. It’s also possible that as their territory shrinks, they start living closer together, making the transmission of rabies more likely.

Maybe soon, smaller and smaller animals will start fighting us for their land. Give it 6 months and the squirrels will be having a go. Watch your nuts.




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