A man has died in Belarus following a rare and unlikely beaver attack. The unidentified 60-year-old victim was a former member of the army.
According to The Telegraph, the fisherman died in the Minkovichi area in Brest. Sky News adds that he was trying to snap a photograph of the beaver when it launched itself on him.
Officials cite lack of caution in approaching the beaver as the catalyst for the incident. The attack took place during daytime, with the beaver biting the man’s thigh.
“It was early morning and already light when they saw a beaver by the road, which was unusual because beavers are nocturnal.
“One of them went up to be photographed with it, and the animal attacked him and bit him twice, cutting an artery in his thigh, before running away,” Shtyk states.
The man was accompanied by a group of friends who alerted medical emergency operators and stepped in to try to stop the bleeding.
“The man’s friends tried to bandage him and find a doctor in a nearby village but he died from blood loss before help arrived,” Shtyk adds.
Deaths by beaver attacks are not a common occurrence in the area, and this is the first fatal incident of this type ever recorded in Brest.
“People have lost fingers — that’s the worst I’ve come across. The beaver is not normally aggressive, but it does have big teeth and immensely powerful jaws; it can cut down a tree three feet wide,” notes Sergei Shilinchuk, deputy head of the environmental protection committee in Brest.
Shilinchuk describes that an increasing number of beavers have been spotted in the area, almost twice as many as there were five years ago.
“We’re making efforts to stimulate commercial use of beaver meat but that hasn’t taken off yet,” he explains.