- A girl in Georgia was attacked by a 55-pound rabid beaver on Saturday as she was swimming.
- Her father had to step in and kill the beaver “using blunt-force trauma,” authorities said.
- There was no indication the beaver was trying to protect baby beavers nearby, per officials.
A girl was attacked by a huge, rabid beaver on Saturday evening as she was swimming in a lake in Georgia.
She ended up being rescued by her father, who beat the animal to death, authorities told local outlet WDUN-AM.
The beaver bit the girl’s leg as she was swimming on private property in Lake Lanier near Gainesville, Hall County Animal Control field supervisor Kevin Beucker told the outlet.
It was the “biggest beaver” the investigating game warden had ever seen, DNR Wildlife Resources Supervisor Don McGowan told WSB-TV.
“He estimated it at 50 or 55 pounds, which is about as big as they get in Georgia,” McGowan said.
According to Buecker, the father of the girl “intervened and killed the beaver using blunt-force trauma,” per WDUN-AM. Neither the girl nor her father were named.
There was no indication that the attacking beaver was trying to protect any baby beavers in the area, authorities told the outlet.
The carcass was brought to the Georgia Public Health Lab, where it tested positive for rabies, WDUN-AM reported.
Local wildlife biologists told WSB-TV that beaver attacks are rare in the area, and that the last incident they could remember at Lake Lanier occurred 13 years ago.
North American beavers typically weigh between 35 and 65 pounds, though the heaviest beaver on record weighed 110 pounds, per the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
Beavers are rarely aggressive to humans unless provoked, and attacks are often attributed to rabies.
In a similar case, a 73-year-old man in Massachusetts was attacked in September 2021 by a beaver that was presumed to be rabid. The attack lasted around five minutes, and the man, who tried to punch the beaver multiple times in self-defense, sustained lacerations on his arms and legs and a fractured finger.
In 2012, a group of boy scouts stoned a rabid beaver to death after it attacked a 51-year-old man swimming in Pennsylvania. The boy scouts helped the man get out of the water, at which point the beaver switched tack and attacked a pool noodle.