A camera-shy Belorussian beaver killed a man on Wednesday, biting into an artery in his leg and causing him to bleed to death.
The 60-year-old fisherman was trying to photograph the crazy critter when it suddenly attacked, according to an Associated Press report.
“The character of the wound was totally shocking for us medical professionals,” village Dr. Leonty Sulim, who treated the man, said of the incident. “We had never run into anything like this before.”
The victim was bitten several times when he tried to grab the beaver. He later died at Dr. Sulim’s clinic in Ostromechevo.
Though the fatality was a first, it is one of several beaver-on-human attacks in Belarus. The country’s beaver population has tripled to 80,000 in the past 10 years, and it is speculated that the increasing numbers have caused these beavers to move towards heavily populated areas.
Experts say that seasonal changes trigger the elevated beaver violence, as the change from winter to spring has led to territorial aggression while beavers are trying to stake out new homes. Because they are nocturnal creatures, beavers, who are the world’s second largest rodents, often become disoriented during the day and also attack out of fear.
A Daily Mail story points out that beaver attacks in the United States have also been on the rise, particularly on the East Coast. In 2011 and 2012, instances of beaver-based brutality were reported in several locations in New York and Pennsylvania.