Friday, April 26, 2013

When Beavers Attack

Several years ago, a friend and I were fishing at the extreme North end of Lake Conroe in a creek that feeds into the lake.  The lake was down several feet and a great deal of the structure along the bank that was normally underwater was exposed.  We paddled the tiny 3' x 10' jon boat past a particularly nasty looking snag which would have been ideal crappie habitat had it been submerged.  As we both commented on the fish holding capacity of the snag, IT happened.

Something exploded from this tangle and plunged into the water like an possessed depth charge, only to disappear into the dark, uninviting waters.  Alligator?  Hippo?  Leviathan?

Here were two yahoos in some secluded backwater in a tiny, marginally sea worthy boat with a large, unidentified creature lurking underneath us.... somewhere.  Was it going to swim away and hide?  Capsize the boat with the amount of water it displaced and then skeletonize our bodies?

We laughed a bit but it was nervous laughter.

After comparing notes on what we thought we saw, we realized that deep in the recesses of this snag lived the biggest beaver we had ever seen.  OK, this made sense.  Ha ha ha.  Beavers are harmless, right?  We fished on with only the occasional reference to Beaversaurus.

Perhaps we should have been more concerned since I had no idea beavers can be so darn dangerous!!!

American Hunter recently had an article about a man who was attacked by a beaver and DIED.  Not a cape buffalo, not a sow grizzly protecting her cubs, not a black or green mamba but a "beaver"... those goofy looking, 30lb rodents with the big teeth and flat tails.

The take-home from the article is:
According to the report, a still unidentified 60-year-old man from the country of Belarus was out with friends when someone spotted a nearby beaver. As he moved closer to the animal in an effort to have his photo taken alongside it, the beaver turned and latched itself onto his leg. The attack severed an artery, and the fisherman bled to death before his nearby friends could get him to medical attention.
Since I'm not aware of Belarusians having a genetic predisposition for large aquatic rodent attacks, I have to assume this individual was an idiot.  In fact, I think we might have a candidate for this year's Darwin Awards.

Just another sad example of folks not appreciating wild animals for what they are... wild.  Reminds me of the Buffalo attacks brought to light last summer.

As an aside, I request that my friends, after the nearly uncontrollable laughter dies down, to PLEASE provide me with prompt medical attention in the unlikely event I'm attacked by a beaver, nutria, muskrat or other wetlands varmint.  And IF it does happen and IF I actually expire as a result, PLEASE make up a cooler story about how I was saving orphans from a burning bus and was drug into the swamp by an 11' alligator or how I was attacked by a bear.  Anything but "he was killed by a beaver"...

+++++

A Man in the Woods

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