Beaver Kills Fisherman: What Provoked The Deadly Attack? [UPDATED]
[UPDATE, Wed., May 29, 2013] Attacks from hostile beavers in Belarus are on the rise. Although once hunted almost to extinction, beaver populations have rebounded due to hunting restrictions and the reintroduction of beavers into the wild. Beavers in Belarus now number in the tens of thousands.
According to AP, this large beaver population is partly responsible for the upsurge in beaver attacks on humans. With spring in the air, more young beavers are out to forge their own ways, and they can be more aggressive when doing so. As beavers and humans increasingly come into contact, quarrelsome encounters are almost certain to occur.
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A beaver attacked and killed a man on a fishing trip in Belarus, a small landlocked country in Eastern Europe. The beaver managed to sever an artery when it sunk its teeth into the fisherman's thigh, causing him to bleed out. The fatal encounter with the angry beaver took place Wednesday.
Usually harmless creatures, beavers rarely attack humans, preferring to chew on bark and twigs. Unfortunately for the fisherman who was bit to death in Belarus, something spooked the beaver and caused it to attack. What could have provoked the deadly beaver?
According to The Telegraph, the man killed by a beaver was a 60-year-old former serviceman who was headed out on a fishing trip with two friends to Lake Shestakov. When he stopped to take a photo of a beaver, the beaver lunged at the man, whose name has not been released, and clamped onto his thigh, severing the main artery and causing him to bleed to death within minutes.
The femoral artery runs down both human legs and is the main highway for oxygen and nutrients traveling to the lower half of the body.
"Whenever this artery is injured, it becomes a life and death situation," Wise Geek reports. According to the website, when the femoral artery is damaged, a person can bleed to death within ten to 15 minutes.
Beavers are the largest of the rodent family, ranging in size from 23 to 39 inches - one-third of which is a beaver's tail.
Second only to humans, beavers are the most industrious of the animal kingdom in terms of their ability to transform the environment around them, according to National Geographic. Their lodges, the domelike homes they create from branches and mud, house extended families, young kits and the parents.
While normally placid creatures, beavers do have dangerously sharp teeth and strong jaws, which they use to fell and gnaw trees. Should a beaver decide to attack a human, possibly out of fear, his teeth would be strong enough to puncture skin and even bone - as the man who was bitten to death in Belarus found out.
The International Business Times reports that in July 2012, a "crazed" beaver attacked two young girls while they were swimming in a lake in Virginia. According to the online newspaper, a month later, a Boy Scout leader was attacked in the Delaware River.
Perhaps it's best to leave a wild beaver be.
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