A father-daughter kayaking excursion took an unexpected turn when the two were attacked by a rabid beaver, according to CBS News.
Dan Wherley was with his 7-year-old daughter Layla. The two were kayaking on a creek near their Adams County home when they felt a bump on their kayak and initially assumed it was their dog.
“It was a big a** crazy beaver,” the father said in a Facebook post quoted by CBS News.
The situation escalated from there. The beaver kept trying to climb into their kayak, while Wherley beat it back with his paddle.
“It wouldn’t give up,” Wherley continued in his Facebook post.
“Finally it swam to the opposite side of creek and turned and saw Layla on her kayak who is now 30 yards in front of me. It takes off straight after her,” Wherley said.
Wherley yelled for his daughter to get to shore, then jumped out of his kayak to help his daughter. The beaver made it to the kayak first and was starting to climb in the back.
Layla was “screaming bloody murder,” Wherley wrote.
Wherley punched the animal, but it continued to fight back. He ran to the bank of the creek with his daughter. Once they reached land, the beaver continued to attack. He resorted to hitting the beaver with rocks. After several hits, the beaver kept coming.
Finally, Wherley says, “I grabbed a big stick and smacked it on the head 5 times as hard as I could and the last hit crushed it’s [sic] skull.”
Wherley compared the experience to a horror movie and expressed gratitude that neither of them was bitten and that his dog had remained safely away from the scene.
After the incident, Wherly contacted the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The commission told him to go to a hospital to get a rabies shot.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Pennsylvania Health Department, and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture all confirmed that the beaver tested positive for rabies.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rabies is a “preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bit of a rabid animal.” Rabies infects the central nervous system and can result in death if it is not treated.
Rabies is most common in wild animals, including bats, skunks, and raccoons. Any wild animal bite should receive prompt medical attention.
Wherly has started his treatment regiment of rabies shots and has three more shots to go.