Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Man Killed in Fatal Beaver Attack

Angry beaver screen grab from video below.

Angry beaver screen grab from video below.

Last summer we reported the case of a Boy Scout leader who was swimming with his troop at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Pennsylvania when he was attacked and severely bitten by a rabid beaver, who actually latched on to his chest and wouldn’t let go. The beaver did not survive the encounter; the scout leader survived. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for an unnamed man from Brest in Belarus, who was recently on a fishing trip with friends at Belarus’ Lake Shestakov. They were driving, when the man saw a cute beaver walking by the side of the road. The man stopped to take a photo of the beaver, when the beaver attacked, bit him in the thigh, and severed an artery. His companions were unable to staunch the bleeding and the victim bled out before he could get medical attention.

It seems that beavers, which can weigh up to 60 lbs., are at their most dangerous when seeking for mate, they usually stay away from humans. A video of a seemingly normal beaver charging a man in Russia shows how fast an unpredictable these usually docile animals can be.

This is an unusual attack. In Russia people are more likely to be attacked by bears in the wilderness. In 2011 Russian psychology student Olga Moskalyova, 19, was mauled to death by a bear and her cubs near Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in eastern Siberia where she was camping with her stepfather, Igor Tsyganenkov. Tsyganenkov’s neck was broken by the bears and his skull crushed. She tried to run, but they caught up with her.

In a desperate move, Moskalyova called her mother, probably for comfort. Her mother was able to be “with” her daughter to the end. The first call consisted of a struggle and the daughter crying, “Mom, the bear is eating me! Mom, it’s such agony. Mom, help!” The call was cut off, but the young woman managed to call back and tell her mother “Mom, the bears are back. She came back and brought her three babies. They’re… eating me.” The third and final call signaled the end, “Mom, it’s not hurting anymore. I don’t feel the pain. Forgive me for everything. I love you so much.”

Police from the nearby village of Termalniy, alerted by Tsyganenkov of her daughter’s situation, did not arrive in time.

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