A beaver has attacked a 60-year-old fisherman in Belarus, slicing an artery and causing him to bleed to death.
It was the latest in a series of beaver attacks on humans in the country, as the rodents, who have razor-sharp teeth, have turned increasingly aggressive after wandering near homes, shops and schools.
“The character of the wound was totally shocking,” said the village doctor Leonty Sulim. “We had never run into anything like this before.”
Once hunted nearly to extinction in Europe, beavers have made a comeback as hunting has been banned or restricted and new populations were introduced.
In Belarus, a former Soviet republic between Russia and Poland, the beaver population has tripled in the past decade to an estimated 80,000, according to wildlife experts. That has caused beavers increasingly to encroach on populated areas.
The Belarusian emergency services said they have received a rash of reports of aggression by beavers, which can weigh up to 30kg (65lbs) and stand about a metre (3ft) high. Officials have responded to some calls by sending out crews to drive …