Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Beware, For Here Be…Beavers?

Sometimes it’s the animals you least expect that can scare the hell out of you and nearly bite off your thumb.

I don’t mean to be too flippant, since this is a shocking incident—although luckily one with a happy ending for the victim (less happy for the beaver, but since it was rabid, there’s probably no truly happy ending there):

Woman, 83, attacked by rabid beaver at Lake Barcroft in Fairfax County

Still, it’s also one of those stories that remind us that the natural world is not a pristine wonderland designed for our entertainment and protection. (An ecologist friend of mine at Yellowstone once overheard the following comment from a tourist: “The bears here must be harmless, otherwise they wouldn’t let them in.”)

Keep an eye out, folks. Nature is majestic, but it isn’t nice.

{A note: I do write all text and take all pictures. Please do not reproduce either without my permission.}


biobabbler said...

wow. amazing story. It's pretty stunning how some agents of disease DRAMATICALLY alter host behavior. Glad that woman was tough. Seems like the beaver was tougher, though. I like the part where they say it flipped over and came back to life. Does "euthanized" mean "shot in the head" I wonder?

Yes, nature can be so beautiful and wondrous, but it does not have the word mercy it its vocabulary. So, as you advise (pun intended??), keep an eye out. =)

That Yellowstone quote is pretty terrifying. (shakes head in disbelief)

Anca said...

Yes, great comment, Bioblabber, to a true and terrifying post. But let's see: administration negotiating team at my university or rabbid beaver? I'll take my chances with the latter, not that the first scare me but that they're more predictable in their aberrant behavior--what bit them, I wonder?

Olivia V. Ambrogio said...

It's true that beavers have to become diseased to be vicious, whereas humans seem so often to come by it naturally...

@Biobabbler: I did have a brief vision of zombie beavers when I read the article. I think we could have a hit movie on our hands--along with the best-selling animal-pun book!

Wendi said...

Comment from your friend at Yellowstone is great.

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