Pine Plains, Penn., Boy Scout leader Normand Brousseau, 51, was on a field trip with Boy Scout Troop 32 out of Elizaville on August 2, 2012, enjoying the day at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Pennsylvania. They were swimming in the Delaware River, when Brousseau, who was floating on a noodle float, saw a dark shape in the water. According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, “It came through my legs and attached itself to my chest. I thought it was a giant carp fish.” To his surprise and horror, it was no fish, but was a rabid beaver that attacked and bit him on the chest. This is highly unusual behavior for beavers, which on average weigh 55-60 pounds as adults, and don’t usually get rabies. A stunned Brousseau managed to toss the animal away, but it attacked again, and again, biting him on the leg, buttocks, arm, hand and waist. He finally grabbed the beaver by the jaw and hurled it onto the beach, stunning it. The beaver recovered quickly and started attacking the noodle, which gave Scouts time to pelt the animal to death with rocks, while a witness called 911.
Brousseau is recovering from his injuries which were treated at the Pocono Medical Center, as well as the 20 or so rabies shots he received after the beaver tested positive for rabies. Brousseau says he was only doing his job, but at least one parent thinks he was very brave, saying “Who’d be crazy enough to hang onto a rabid beaver?”