A father and his young daughter were attacked by a rabid beaver while they were kayaking near their home. The girl was not bitten but is said to be traumatized by the attack.
What was supposed to be an enjoyable day in the water turned out to be a nightmare for father and daughter Dan and 7-year-old Layla Wherley when a beaver came to attack them while they were kayaking in a creek close to their house. It all began when Dan felt something grab his kayak, and what he thought to be his dog turned out to be a massive beaver.
He states that he was glad to see wildlife at first but immediately knew something was wrong when the beaver began biting his kayak and trying to get onto it. He yelled for his daughter to get away and began trying to get the beaver off his kayak by repeatedly hitting it with a paddle for several minutes.
However, when the beaver finally left his kayak, it swam straight for his daughter’s kayak and began to climb on it. Fearful that the beaver might attack his daughter, he jumped into the water and began fighting the beaver with his bare hands as he had nothing else to fight it with. Even after they were able to run to the bank, the beaver still followed them and tried to attack.
It was then that Dan used a rock to hit the beaver repeatedly and made it swim away for a while. However, it immediately returned, so he used a big stick to hit it, this time killing the animal.
Dan immediately contacted the PA Game Commission to inform them of what happened, and he was instructed to get rabies shots because he got the beaver’s blood all over him. Eventually, the PA Game Commission, PA Department of Agriculture, and PA Department of Health confirmed that the beaver tested positive for rabies, the first ever reported rabies-positive beaver in Adams County.
In a Facebook post, he states that his daughter is still traumatized, but he is just glad that the beaver did not bite her.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wild animals accounted for over 92 percent of all reported rabies cases in the United States in 2015, with bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes as the most frequently reported rabid wildlife. As such, all wild animal bites must be considered a potential rabies exposure and must be treated with postexposure prophylaxis until the treatment is complete or when the animal tests negative for rabies.