Rabid beaver that attacked Boy Scout leader stoned to death by teenage troop members, A Boy Scout leader of a New York-based troop is recovering after being savagely attacked by a rabid beaver at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Pennsylvania.
Normand Brousseau, 51, of Pine Plains, New York, was swimming in the river with a floating device known as a 'noodle' when the beaver latched onto his chest.
After being bitten and clawed at several times, Mr Brousseau was finally pulled to shore by Nick Hedges, 16, who joined his three fellow Scouts in pelting the deranged creature with stones until it died. Mr Brousseau has received over 20 rabies shots and is said to be recovering well since being treated at Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
The assistant scoutmaster had been co-leading a field trip in the Dutchess County park when he felt the animal between his legs in the water. Recalling the moment the beaver attached itself to his chest, he told the Poughkeepsie Journal: 'I thought it was a giant carp fish.'
But any such thoughts of over-sized goldfish were soon dispelled as the beaver took a bite at him.
Grabbing hold of his aggressor and attempting to cast it away from his body proved only a temporary solution as the rabid creature came back for more, biting at his leg, buttocks, arm, hand and waist.
By then, Mr Brousseau explained, 'the adrenaline kicked in.'
Mr Hedges of Elizaville, New York, was the first on hand to help the victim and while keeping a careful eye on the beaver, pulled his leader to shore.
Safely on dry land, Mr Brousseau hurled the beaver up onto shore where it turned its attention to the noodle and began ripping it apart.
'We started throwing rocks at it,' Mr Hedges recalled. 'We could see it was still dangerous.'
While the young men wrestled with the beaver, passing canoeists offered to take Mr Brousseau to the other side of the river and to get help and another park visitor witnessing the scene called 911.
Mr Brousseau has dismissed the praise bestowed upon him from parents of Troop 32's members saying he did what he had to do to keep the boys safe.
Dutchess County health officials meanwhile claim that an attack from a rabid beaver is unusual and locals to the area struggle to recall the last time something like this happened.
Stephen Capowski, director of environmental health services for Dutchess County urged people to look out for signs of unusual behaviour among animals that can point to rabies such as sightings of nocturnal animals in daylight hours or aggressive behaviour between domesticated pets.
Mr Brousseau confessed: 'I’m pretty sore' but said he has learned a valuable lesson from the incident.
'When you go out into nature, you always need to veer on the side of caution,' he said. 'Don’t assume a wild animal is not sick. You have to be on your toes at all times.'