Rabid Beaver Attacks Swimmer at Virginia Lake

Woman attacked while swimming in Bailey's Crossroads

Thursday, Sep 6, 2012  |  Updated 12:09 AM EDT
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A warning after a terrifying ordeal for an elderly woman in Falls Church.  People are being advised not to swim in Lake Barcroft after the 83-year-old swimmer was attacked by a rabid beaver.  Jim Rosenfield reports.

Jim Rosenfield

A warning after a terrifying ordeal for an elderly woman in Falls Church. People are being advised not to swim in Lake Barcroft after the 83-year-old swimmer was attacked by a rabid beaver. Jim Rosenfield reports.

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Woman Attacked by Rabid Beaver in Northern Virginia

Police say an 83-year-old woman was attacked by a rabid beaver while swimming in Lake Barcroft in Bailey's Crossroads around 6 p.m. Tuesday.
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Rabid bats at a football game? Turns out that's a  valid concern. Coyotes in Fairfax County? Gotta watch out. Fox stealing a sweater? Yeah, it happened.

But a rabid beaver attack?

Actually, yes.

Police say an 83-year-old woman was attacked by one while swimming in Lake Barcroft in Bailey's Crossroads around 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The woman was able to swim to shore, and a nearby witness stunned the animal with a branch until Animal Control Officers arrived. They euthanized the beaver, which tested positive for rabies.

The victim was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

In July, two young sisters, ages 8 and 11, were bitten by a rabid beaver while swimming in Lake Anna.

"I’ve been around a long time, and I’ve never really heard of anybody getting bit by a beaver," Louisa Sheriff’s Maj. Donald Lowe told Fredericksburg.com.

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