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Beaver attacks man: Kayaker knocked over by beaver, suffers deep bite wounds

A beaver attacks a man and leaves him with deep puncture wounds while the kayaker was simply paddling his way through a New York creek this week. The wild animal has since been found and is being tested for possible rabies. Although the victim, Mr. Michael Cavanaugh, is expected to make a recovery and is currently in stable condition, United Press International News shares this June 17 that the incident was not unlike a “horror story,” and this is one vicious beaver the man will likely never forget.

Beaver attacks man, rabid animal bites and knocks him over
Beaver attacks man, rabid animal bites and knocks him over
Wikimedia Commons

While kayaking out at Irondequoit Creek in Rochester, N.Y., over the weekend, Michael Cavanaugh was brutally attacked by a beaver that knocked him clear out of his boat and into the water, biting him repeatedly. The reason for the sudden beaver attack has not been determined, as these animals are rarely aggressive. The few known instances of violent beaver encounters occur when they are rabid or attempting to protect a perceived threat towards their offspring.

The man was rushed to a local New York hospital. Doctors said that he needed immediate medical treatment after suffering deep puncture wounds on his arm as well as several bite wounds to the back. As an additional precaution, Cavanaugh was also provided with a rabies shot booster. One witness said that the vicious beaver attack on the kayaker was frightening to behold.

"It was like watching a horror film," said Nate Reynolds of BayCreek Paddling Center last week.

Once the very angry beaver had knocked the man out of his kayak and clear into the water, Fox News says that the witness added that Cavanaugh attempted to swim to safety by getting to a nearby dock. However, for reasons unexplained, the possibly rabid wild animal continued to bite him and refused to let go. Reynolds was forced to reach for a nearby kayaking paddle, and finally smacked the beaver enough so that it would release him.

"The paddle broke and the beaver let go," Reynolds attested. "He kind of disappeared for a few seconds but came back up so I hit him again."

Michael Cavanaugh is currently in recovery after the vicious attack, and is fortunately said to be healing from the deep bites he suffered. The beaver carcass has been located and is being tested for rabies, among other possible diseases. An older but related case of a beaver attack resulted in the man dying from the incident and can be seen in the video above. The victim said to a news outlet:

"In general I feel like you do after having surgery. My body is focusing on healing the wounds. I've slept quite a bit. Though the event was scary I haven't felt much in the way of traumatic emotional reactions which I'm thankful for. As a matter of fact I feel a lot of gratitude to God. First, that my injuries were not worse. Second, that the beaver did not attack Terri who would have been severely hurt as she was a great distance from the dock. Third, that I was surrounded by so many helpful people."