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Fairfax Sees Second Rabid Beaver Attack In A Week

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Fortunately, this beaver housed in the American Trail exhibit in the National Zoo is not at risk for rabies.
Smithsonian National Zoo
Fortunately, this beaver housed in the American Trail exhibit in the National Zoo is not at risk for rabies.

For the second time in as many weeks, a rabid beaver has tried to attack humans in Fairfax County.

This time, it was two young children who were on a fishing lesson at the Hidden Pond Nature Center in West Springfield. They saw a beaver swimming toward the dock, and according to police, the animal leaped out of the water and started chasing the children. 

An animal control officer was sent to the scene and ended up shooting the beaver. No one was hurt, but the beaver did test positive for rabies. Rabies is a fatal, viral disease that drives hosts to spread the virus by behaving aggressively and biting other animals.  

Last week, an 83-year-old woman was attacked by a rabid beaver in Lake Barcroft. Fairfax county police say it's been 12 years since the last rabid beaver attack.

Fairfax County has the highest number of cases of animal rabies of any county in Virginia, due in large part to the large number of people packed into a space with so much wildlife. Beavers are far less likely to carry rabies in Fairfax County than other animals.


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