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Beaver Bites Man to Death After He Tries to Take a Photo of It

Update Date: Apr 12, 2013 07:52 AM EDT

A man was killed by a beaver after he tried to take a picture of it.

The 60-year-old former serviceman was enjoying a fishing trip with his two friends at Lake Shestakov in Belarus when he and his friends spotted the aquatic rodent by the side of the road. 

According to Sky News, as the man from Brest inched toward the creature to take a quick picture, the beaver jumped on him and sunk its razor-sharp teeth into his thigh and severed the main artery, causing the man to bleed to death within minutes.

The man's friends had desperately tried to stop the blood from spilling from his wound, but the man eventually bled to death.

"It was early morning and already light when they saw a beaver by the road, which was unusual because beavers are nocturnal," said Sergei Shtyk, the deputy head of the region's wildlife inspectorate, told The Daily Telegraph.

"One of them went up to be photographed with it, and the animal attacked him and bit him twice, cutting an artery in his thigh, before running away," he said.

"The man's friends tried to bandage him and find a doctor in a nearby village but he died from blood loss before help arrived," Shtyk added.

Sergei Shilinchuk, deputy head of Brest's environmental protection committee, told The Daily Telegraph that while he had heard of some accidents, he had never heard of a fatal beaver attack before.

"People have lost fingers - that's the worst I've come across," he said. "The beaver is not normally aggressive, but it does have big teeth and immensely powerful jaws; it can cut down a tree three feet wide."

Shilinchuk believes that there was a chance the beaver in the recent attack was rabid, or that it was a young beaver looking for new territory after being forced out by its parents. 

However, officials said the man was partly to blame for his death because he had approached the beaver.

"A beaver is a wild animal, after all," Shtyk said. 

According to a local doctor, the man might have lived if a tourniquet had been applied to his leg, The Daily Telegraph reported.

In 2012, a beaver attacked two girls and left them with serious injuries as they swam in a lake at a popular beauty spot in Virginia, according to Daily Mail.  In 2012, a 51-year-old man was also brutally attacked by a beaver as he swam in a lake in Pennsylvania. 

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