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A kayaker is recovering in the hospital after a beaver attacked him in a creek near Rochester, N.Y.
Witnesses told local news station 13WHAM that the beaver leapt from the water and pulled Michael Cavanaugh out of his boat. Cavanaugh is being treated for bite and puncture wounds on his arms and back.
A nearby kayak instructor rushed to Cavanaugh’s aid, hitting the animal several times with a paddle until it let go. The beaver was later found dead and its carcass will be tested for rabies.
Beaver attacks are extremely rare, given the animal’s vegetarian diet and general timidness toward humans. A local biologist told the news station that the animal was likely rabid or protecting its young.
Read more: 13WHAM Rochester