Rabid beaver attacks father, daughter on kayak trip


A father and his daughter were attacked Sunday by a rabid beaver while they were kayaking along a creek in Pennsylvania, officials said.

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Dan Wherley, his 7-year-old daughter, Layla, and their dog, Ellie May, were on Conewago Creek kayaking when he saw a beaver next to his kayak, WPMT reported.

"I looked, and it was a beaver scratching at it, and I thought, 'Wow, that's pretty cool -- a beaver came up to us,” Wherley told WPMT. “It wouldn't stop, so I used my paddle tried to hit it to get it away, and it just wouldn't stop, wouldn't stop. I hit him with (the paddle) a lot, but once I knew he wasn't stopping, I pulled it in half and was holding it like this and hitting him with the metal part. I figured that would do more.”

The beaver gave up and started after the kayak Layla was paddling. Wherley jumped out of his vessel and got to his daughter’s kayak at the same time as the crazed beaver. 

“I had to punch it to get it off because I didn’t have anything with me,” Wherley told WPMT.

Eventually, Wherley got to shore and killed the beaver, which Pennsylvania Game Commission officials said Thursday was rabid after conducting tests on it. 

No one was bitten but Wherley is getting rabies shots as a precaution. Although frightened, Layla told WPMT she may one day go kayaking again. 

During the fight, Ellie May sat in the bushes hiding.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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