Beaver attack sends New York man to the hospital with deep puncture wounds

"It was like watching a horror film," witness says.
By Evan Bleier  |  June 17, 2014 at 7:52 AM
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ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 17 (UPI) -- A beaver attacked a New York man who was paddling through the Irondequoit Creek last week and knocked him out of the boat and into the water.

Beavers are not usually aggressive toward humans unless they are rabid or trying to protect their young.

Michael Cavanaugh was taken to the hospital to receive treatment for deep puncture wounds on his arm and bite wounds on his back. He was also given a rabies booster.

"It was like watching a horror film," said Nate Reynolds of BayCreek Paddling Center, who witnessed the attack.

After getting knocked into the water, Cavanaugh tried to get to the safety of the dock but the beaver would not release him. Reynolds grabbed a boat paddle and whacked the animal.

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

Cavanaugh sent the following statement to 13WHAM:

"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."

The beaver's carcass has been discovered and it is being tested for rabies.

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