1. The Eastern European country of Belarus has reportedly seen a massive increase in beavers — the rodents once hunted to near regional extinction.
A beaver swims in a pond in the forest near the village of Lovtsevichi, 50 km northwest of Minsk, Belarus.
2. Wildlife experts say the Belarus beaver population is about 80,000, or three times what it was 10 years ago. And the Belarus human population has noticed.
A dam built by beavers near the village of Pleshchanitsy.
3. In March, a 60-year-old fisherman who stopped to take a photo of a beaver was bitten and bled to death.
A birch tree with its bark nibbled by beavers stands next to the dam.
4. WARNING: Graphic image of his bite below.
A cell phone photo by village doctor Leonty Sulim, taken in Ostromechevo, Belarus.
5. Here’s footage of a close call with another aggressive beaver, captured in Moscow in early April.
There have been more reported beaver attacks around the world, from Europe to Virginia and New York. But in Belarus and the surrounding region, where beavers are no longer considered valuable game for hunting, the increasing population is a serious problem for local authorities.
From the Associated Press:
The Belarusian emergency services said that this year, for the first time, they have received a rash of reports of aggression by beavers, which can weigh up to 30 kilograms (about 65 pounds) and stand about a meter (three feet) high. Officials have responded to some calls by sending out crews to drive away the animals, often by spraying them with water from a fire-hose.
7. Experts told the AP that beavers often attack out of fear. The generally nocturnal animals are particularly aggressive in the springtime.
A beaver is on the trunk of a tree during spring flood in Snyadin near Pripyat river on April 16.