A beaver killed an elderly fisherman in Europe earlier this year and now the Forestry Ministry believes that they know the reason: Beavers are aggressive.
According to MSNBC, the 60-year-old fisherman, whose name has not been released, was driving to Shestakovskoye Lake in Belarus when he spotted a beaver at the side of the road. The man stopped to take a photograph of the animal and ended up with fatal bite wounds on his leg.
The beaver bit the fisherman and hit a major artery in his leg. The man’s friends tried to stop the bleeding as they drove him to a nearby clinic but the man died before arriving at the hospital.
Village doctor Leonty Sulim said: “The character of the wound was totally shocking for us medical professionals… We had never run into anything like this before.”
The beaver population has more than tripled in the last decade and encounters with humans have grown increasingly common. The Forestry Ministry said that it has seen a rash of beaver attacks this year as the animals have moved into more populated areas.
The Ministry believes that young beavers are sent away from lakes and rivers in order to establish a territory. When humans encroach on their territory, beavers can become aggressive and may attack.
The Ministry also said that Beavers are largely nocturnal and can be disoriented in the daytime. Viktor Kozlovsky, a wildlife expert, said that beavers may attack out of fear when they are approached in the daytime.
The Forest Ministry has been encouraging beaver hunting in Belarus to curb the population growth but hunters have shown little interest in hunting the animal. Spokesman Alexander Kozores said that “beaver hunting holds little sporting interest” since they are such easy targets.
Here’s a video of another beaver attack that occurred earlier this year in Russia.