Animal Control officers from the West Springfield Police District responded to a report of a beaver that was chasing children at the Hidden Pond Nature Center on Saturday, Sept. 8 around 11:30 a.m.
The children had just finished a fishing competition when they noticed a beaver in the water swimming towards the dock they were standing on. The beaver leapt out of the water onto the dock and was seen acting aggressively and chasing the children. An animal control officer responded to the scene, cleared the area, and shot the beaver.
No one was bitten and there were no injuries, according to police. However, because of another rare incident in which an 83-year-old woman was attacked by a beaver while she was swimming in Lake Barcroft last week, Animal Control officers decided that the animal should be tested for rabies. Officials were notified that the beaver was rabid on Tuesday, Sept. 11.
In an unrelated incident, officials were also notified of a rabid raccoon in the Lake Barcroft area on Sunday, Sept. 9. It was seen acting strangely and walking up towards people near their homes around 2:30 p.m. in the 6300 block of Lakeview Drive, police said. Due to the concern of the previous beaver incident, animal control officers will again canvass the area with educational flyers on the rabies virus.
For more information on rabies, see http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/animal/rabies.htm.