First rabid beavers in Philly, now drooling raccoons in State College??? Looks like 2011 is the year of the rabid animal.
Rocky Raccoon was tooling around the main campus at Penn State University on June 30th when authorities shot the animal because it was drooling, running into things and falling down (guess only coeds are allowed to do that). The raccoon tested positive for rabies (it hadn’t crashed a frat party). This is rather alarming as there are tens of thousands of students at PSU’s main campus and a rabid raccoon throw into the mix could have been very dangerous.
So far this year there have been 8 diagnosed cases of rabies in Centre County. In all of 2010 there were only 5 cases of rabies. The next most recent rabies incident prior to last Thursday happened in nearby Gregg Township. On June 27th a dog and rabid raccoon fought. The dog was vaccinated but is being quarantined.
Three people were attacked, in two separate incidents, along Pennypack Creek in Northeast Philly by a rabid beaver(s). On Wednesday, a couple was subjected to an unprovoked beaver attack while fishing. The wife was bitten on the leg. The husband was bitten on both arms and his chest (egad!). On Thursday, a child was bitten by a beaver (also along Pennypack Creek). Fortunately, a park ranger was nearby Thursday and killed the beaver, which tested positive for rabies. It is believed to be the same beaver responsible for Wednesday’s attack.
In April, a fisherman was attacked in Chester County by a rabid beaver. The man drowned the beaver but not before being bitten on the leg and hand in the process. It too tested positive for rabies.
During 2009 and 2010, no rabid beaver cases were reported in Pennsylvania.
I would suspect being bitten by a beaver is quite painful judging by the size of their teeth! Getting rabies shots is not exactly high on anyone’s fun meter either.
A word of caution; if you see any beavers – steer clear. If one moves toward you, run like hell!