Society

Beaver Attacks New York Man, Pulls Him From His Kayak

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

An upstate New York man is recovering from an unprovoked beaver attack after the animal grabbed him from his kayak and pulled him into a Monroe County creek.

Michael Cavanaugh of Lima, New York, is recovering from deep punctures on his arm and bite wounds on his back. He is being treated for rabies as a precaution.

"I heard my name called out from the shop and I ran out the door to see a guy getting pulled into the water," BayCreek Paddling Center trainer Nate Reynolds told 13 WHAM. "It was like watching a horror film."

Cavanaugh managed to get to the dock in Irondequoit Creek, but the beaver would not let go of him.

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Reynolds hit the beaver with a paddle several times.

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

The Paddling Center closed temporarily after the incident in order to find the animal. Eventually they found the beaver’s carcass, presumably after succumbing to injuries from the paddle blows. Animal control is now testing it for rabies.

BayCreek Paddling Center has reopened.

Cavanaugh says he is relieved that his injuries "were not worse."

"In general I feel like you do after having surgery,” he said in a statement to 13 WHAM. “Though the event was scary I haven't felt much in the way of traumatic emotional reactions, which I'm thankful for."

The Paddling Center say they have never seen anything like this before.

"It's absolutely first of a kind," said owner Ken Altfather, who has operated BayCreek Paddling Center for more than 20 years. "I think the rarity of this is the main thing, the beaver was upset for some reason, we don't know."

New York Department of Environmental Conservation Biologist Art Kirsch told 13 WHAM that beaver attacks on humans are extremely rare.

Sources: New York Daily News, 13 WHAM

Photo Source: New York Daily News