Hikers Learn Hard Way Not to Mess With Beaver Dams

2 men hospitalized in Oregon after beaver attack
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2015 11:14 AM CDT
In this Sept. 12, 2014, photo, a young beaver explores an old beaver lodge near Ellensburg, Wash.   (AP Photo/Manuel Valdes)
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(Newser) – For those still operating under the at-times very misguided notion that beavers are just busy little critters with eccentric tails: KBND reports that two men hiking along Oregon's Deschutes River this week came upon a beaver dam and decided to explore, ending in both being hospitalized after a resident beaver emerged to defend its territory. Clayton Mitchell, 23, told cops the beaver knocked him into the water, while 31-year-old friend John Bailey became entangled in logs.

Mitchell called for help, which arrived just as Bailey freed himself. "I was just getting off shift when the report came in, and I didn't believe it," a Deschutes County Sheriff's Department rep tells Reuters, which calls the attack "virtually unprecedented" in the area. "I'm a city boy from the East Coast, and every day in Deschutes County I learn something new. This time, I learned, don't mess with a beaver." Both men's injuries were considered non-life threatening; other recent victims have been seriously mauled or killed.

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