Suspected rabid beaver killed near Pennypack Park

Posted: June 03, 2011

A rodent biting spree was halted Thursday with the capture and killing of a suspected rabid beaver in Northeast Philadelphia, officials said.

Wildlife agents were searching the Pennypack Creek area between Bustleton Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard for any more menacing beavers.

In the meantime, the public should stay clear of the area, officials said.

The dead beaver was being tested for rabies at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center in Chester County, said Jerry Czech, a wildlife conservation officer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

A husband and wife were fishing in Pennypack Creek on Wednesday when a large beaver bit the woman on a leg, Czech said. The beaver then bit the woman's husband on both arms and his chest.

On Thursday, a beaver bit a young child. A Fairmount Park ranger later captured a beaver 500 yards from where the child was bitten.

Czech responded to the scene and killed the animal.

"At this time, we have no specific information about what has caused this beaver to attack humans," Czech said. "However, all indications are that this likely is a case of rabies. While we are attempting to search the area for other animals that may be infected, we are asking people to not enter the area along Pennypack Creek until further notice."

In April, a rabid beaver attacked a fisherman in Chester County. The beaver swam up to the man and bit him on a leg.


Contact staff writer Robert Moran at 215-854-5983 or bmoran@phillynews.com.

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