I’m not sure I would want to be remembered as "that old lady that got attacked by a rabid beaver." We’ve all done things in the outdoors that looking back on, we might think we’re glad it turned out all right. Like the time I hunted for a television show (not Realtree) and agreed to sit under a big tree by a rushing creek while a thunder and lightning storm passed over. I could just hear my kids saying, “Yeah, my mom … she was hit by lightning because she sat under a tree in a storm holding a long metal rod (aka, shotgun barrel).”
But Lillian Peterson, of suburban Washington D.C., now is branded as “the old lady that got bit by a beaver.” She sounds like she really doesn’t deserve this description. She is 83 and she still swims in a lake for exercise and works as a real estate agent.
According to an article in The Washington Post, Peterson had just about finished her swim and was near the shore, when a rabid beaver swam toward her and took a bite out of her calf. A friend and co-worker, Mike Korin, was on the lake giving a fishing lesson. He heard her screams and started out after her. The beaver then came at him in his boat. He beat it back with a paddle. He thought he’d killed it, and then, just like a scene from “Fatal Attraction,” the beaver flipped over and let’s just say, it was not a happy camper. One of the paramedics now on the scene grabbed another canoe paddle and beat the animal again, and then they trapped it with a net and animal control officers euthanized it. Oh, for one little .22 round, right?
For now, the home owners’ association near the lake has advised its homeowners not to swim in the lake.
Realtree writer Stephanie Mallory wrote a fine blogpost about rabies on the rise. It’s definitely something we hunters need to be uber aware of when we’re outdoors. And also, just a bit of trivia here, beavers are North America's "largest rodents."
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Brian Lovett, Realtree's news blogger, has been an outdoors reporter, writer, magazine editor and book author for 27 years. Spring turkey hunting and autumn waterfowling take up most of his outside time, but he also enjoys fishing, deer hunting and upland-bird hunting. Lovett lives in Oshkosh, Wis., with his wife, Jenny, and their retriever.