You’re gassing up at Hess or waiting for your pager to buzz at Panera and suddenly it happens: You’re attacked by a rabid beaver. Will you know what to do?
It happened last week near Rochester. A man was taking a kayaking lesson on a local creek when a beaver jumped out of the water and knocked him overboard. The victim was pulled underwater, bitten on his back and suffered deep puncture wounds to his arm.
“It was like watching a horror film,” a witness stated.
Poor Rachacha. Just when it seemed to be turning the corner — with its precious downtown ballpark, Trader Joe’s and snotty boutique colleges that focus excessively on “academics” — The Flower City” has a new, not-so-flattering calling card: Crazed Beaver Attack Capital of Northern Appalachia.
Kinda puts our March Madness flop in perspective, doesn’t it?
But this is no time to be smug. If a beaver attack can happen in Rochester, it can happen in Syracuse. In fact, one was spotted last month downtown at the 400 block of South Warren Street. The beaver was not aggressive and skittered away before it could be questioned. A pest control expert theorized that the beaver was just looking for love. Where? At the downtown YMCA?
Come on, people. Smell the wood chips! The beavers hate us. They’ve been furious since we almost eradicated them. Now they’re back in big numbers and they want blood. The Internet hums with videos of beavers lunging after people. A beaver killed a fisherman last year in Belarus. No less an authority on mindless savagery than Fox News reported, “It was the most serious in a string of beaver attacks on humans in Belarus, as the rodents have turned increasingly aggressive when confronted by humans after wandering near homes, shops and schools.”
European beavers are similar to North American beavers, but they have larger heads, more voluminous anal glands and better coffee. Both species are quite damp.
What should you do if you’re assaulted by a beaver on either continent?
“Run away,” advises Stephen Litwhiler, a spokesman with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. He noted that beavers are clumsy on land and don’t see well.
But they’re quick and clever. Comedian Jeff Foxworthy has a bit about a couple who hit a beaver in their truck and thought they’d killed it. When the man tried to pick up the beaver to take it to a taxidermist, it bit off one of his nipples. Who knows if the story is true, but I always err on the side of caution here. Whenever I’m surrounded by beaver, which is almost never, I prefer NipGuard brand nipple protectors, available at Amazon.com. Trust NipGuard for all your man nipple protection needs — because man nipples matter. I think.
It’s worth noting that many beavers serve a useful environmental function and mean us no harm. Still, the list of casualties is surging: A woman in her 80s. Two young girls at a Virginia lake. A scout leader. During a festival in the northern California town of Martinez, a huge inflatable beaver attacked its owner. Google it.
Educating the public is key, although I don’t really know why. It never works. As media professionals, we have to say that. Here then are some important beavers facts:
1) Beavers mate for life, but they quarrel constantly — mostly about money.
2) Beavers chew down trees, but contrary to widespread belief they do not know which way the tree will fall. When they guess wrong, it can be very bad for the beaver.
3) Beavers let muskrats share their lodges. It’s not clear why. Why would you let a disgusting muskrat move into your house unless it had something on you? A drug thing is my guess.
4) As with the case of another industrious developer of waterfront property we know, beavers don’t pay property taxes.
Whatever you do, never shoot a beaver. They’re protected in New York. If you’re under beaver attack, tie a tourniquet tightly around your neck and use a pole — not a wood pole, you idiot: a metal or fiberglass one! — to guide the crazed beaver into your neighbor’s car.
It will then be your neighbor’s responsibility to return the psychotic killer beaver to Rochester where it belongs.
Here is a video from the Discovery Channel about the giant prehistoric beaver that once inhabited what is now NYC. It makes the crazed Rochester beaver look like a bunny: