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Lillian Peterson, 83, Attacked By Rabid Beaver While Swimming In Virginia Lake

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This 35-pound beaver attacked Lillian Peterson, 83, just after she was done swimming a half-mile in Barcroft Lake in Falls Church, Va.
This 35-pound beaver attacked Lillian Peterson, 83, just after she was done swimming a half-mile in Barcroft Lake in Falls Church, Va.

Ever have an incident that really gnaws at you?

Lillian Peterson can relate. The 83-year-old real estate agent in Falls Church, Va., can't forget the rabid beaver that attacked her on Tuesday night as she was climbing out of a lake near her house.

"The animal jumped on me," she told WUSA-TV. "He hit me so hard it knocked me over and started chewing on my leg. All I wanted was to get rid of the g** damn thing and that was it."

Peterson does regular half-mile swims at Barcroft Lake and usually has no problems.

This time was a different. The beaver, which weighed 35 pounds and was nearly two feet long, used Peterson as a chew toy for more than 20 minutes even as she and a friend battled fiercely with canoe paddles, a stick and their bare hands, according to the Washington Post.

Finally, Peterson's friend, Mike Korin, managed to pound the beaver with his paddle until it appeared dead.

At that point, an emergency medical crew arrived on the scene and began treating Peterson. Then, all of a sudden, the beaver flipped over and came back to life, Korin told the paper.

A paramedic grabbed a canoe paddle to beat the beaver yet again while Korin tossed a fishing net over the creature and tethered it to a light pole on the lake shore.

Animal control officers arrived on the scene and euthanized the beaver. Tests later confirmed it was infected with rabies, WJLA-TV reported.

Peterson suffered various bites and puncture wounds on her feet and almost lost her thumb. The injuries are considered minor, but she will have to undergo a few rounds of rabies shots before she's out of the woods.

But at least she is out of the lake.

“There is no way I will swim in that place again,” she said.

Peterson's case isn't the first reported beaver attack this year.

In July, two sisters, ages 8 and 11, were attacked by a beaver in Virginia's Lake Anna, and suffered serious injuries.

In early August, a rabid beaver attacked Normand Brousseau, a boy scout leader in Pines Plains, N.Y., biting him in the leg, buttocks, arm, hand and torso before he managed to grab it and hold its jaw closed.

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