Rabid Beaver Attacks Paddle Boarder in North Carolina


If you envision paddle boarding on a lake, the scene that comes to mind is probably a tranquil one. In most cases, that would be pretty accurate. However, one woman recently had a run-in with a beaver which was anything but relaxing.

Betsy Bent, 67, was paddle boarding on Beaver Lake when her board was contacted from below, causing her to fall. Upon hitting the water, the attack began. In three separate advances, a beaver bit her first on the leg and then on each hand. A nearby fisherman witnessed the attack and was able to assist once Bent made it to shore, whipping the animal into submission. The beaver was later captured by animal control and a Beaver Lake warden and transported for testing.

Although beaver aggression is not unheard of, it is also not very common. Beavers do defend their territory and young, but this particular beaver has been confirmed as rapid. Although Bent was enduring rabies treatment as a precaution, it has now become a necessity as part of her recovery from this incident.

The director of North Carolina’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Dr. Richard Oliver, expressed that this is the first rabid beaver he’s seen in his 31 year career although there was a rapid beaver elsewhere in North Carolina in 2015. As a result, a warning has been issued by North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Biologist Mike Carraway that caution should be exercised in the area as it is possible that other beavers could be affected.

“I would say to carry a walking stick and be sure to pay attention to your surroundings,” Carraway told the Citizen-Times. “Obviously, since this beaver tested positive, it likely could affect other beavers in the lake. People should pay attention and make sure they have their pets vaccinated.”

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