Beavers are big family Castoridae rodents who are kin to critters such as marmots and gophers. They're not innately aggressive creatures, but like most animals have the potential to behave fiercely. Never assume that any unfamiliar animal -- beaver or otherwise -- is 100 percent gentle.
Generally Not Aggressive
Beavers, for the most part, are not aggressive animals. They don't usually go out of their way to attack people. In spite of that, they are capable of biting, and their bites can be extremely painful. When beavers feel in trapped by others, they sometimes resort to truculent measures such as biting.
A fisherman in the eastern European nation of Belarus died after a meeting with a beaver in 2013. When the man attempted to get a picture of himself with the beaver, the rodent responded by biting him twice. The bites cut up an artery and brought upon intense bleeding that ultimately took the victim's life. Avoid the possibility of danger by steering clear of beavers. Never give a beaver the impression that you're surrounding him or attempting to capture him.
When beavers are nervous, surprised and on the verge of aggression, they often give off "alert" signals beforehand. If beavers suspect that danger is coming in the water, they often snarl in its direction. This snarling behavior is particularly common in male specimens. When beavers think that others are invading their personal turf, they often hit their sizable tails against the water as a means of driving the outsiders away. Never go close to a beaver who is giving off any fierce hints at all. Keep children far away from beavers at all times.
Territorial With Animals
Beavers are highly territorial animals. Beaver aggression is in no way restricted to their interactions with strange human beings. They are extremely concerned with their turf. If a beaver heads onto a fellow beaver's home grounds, the occupant might expend a lot of effort to protect it. Physical fights can happen between beavers, although they're not overly common. When these scuffles occur, they can end in deadly results. Beavers also occasionally attack other members of the animal kingdom, including domestic dogs. Never allow Fido near any beavers, period. Beavers are common sights in a handful of habitats, including creeks, lakes and ponds.
- West Virginia Division of Natural Resources: Beaver
- Fox News: Fisherman Dies as Increasingly Aggressive Beavers Attack People in Belarus
- University of Illinois Extension: Beaver
- ESF Adirondack Ecological Center: Beaver
- The Telegraph: Beaver "Bites Man to Death"
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: Beaver Damage Control
- CBC News: Dog Attacked by Beavers in North Saskatchewan River
- The Natural History of Canadian Mammals; Donna Naughton
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