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Suspected rabid beaver killed in city park

PHILADELPHIA, June 3 (UPI) -- Health officials in Pennsylvania say a suspected rabid beaver has been captured and killed near a park in northeast Philadelphia.

Wildlife agents were searching the area around Pennypack Creek for any more menacing beavers and were warning the public to remain clear of the area, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Friday.

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A husband and wife fishing in Pennypack Creek Wednesday were attacked by a large beaver that bit the woman on her leg and then bit the husband on both arms and his chest, Jerry Czech, a wildlife conservation officer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said.

On Thursday, a beaver, assumed to be the same animal, bit a young child.

A Fairmount Park ranger captured a beaver 500 yards from where the child was bitten, and Czech went to the scene and killed the animal.

The University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center in Chester County was testing the dead beaver for rabies.

"At this time, we have no specific information about what has caused this beaver to attack humans," Czech said. "However, all indications are that this likely is a case of rabies.

"While we are attempting to search the area for other animals that may be infected, we are asking people to not enter the area along Pennypack Creek until further notice."

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