Three people were bitten during the first week of June by one animal that was later captured and determined to have the virus that causes rabies.
While the entire state of Pennsylvania normally has between 350 and 500 confirmed cases of the disease each year among animals such as skunks, cats, bats and foxes, no one can remember a beaver ever being infected before.
“It’s not that beavers are not susceptible, as all mammals are susceptible, to rabies,” Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser told reporters. “But a beaver in Philadelphia, that was just truly bizarre.”
One attack occurred when a married couple was fishing and a large beaver bit the woman’s leg. It then turned on her husband and bit him on the arm and chest.
All victims are undergoing a series of painful shots to prevent the fatal ravages of the rabies virus.
Another rabid beaver attacked a fisherman in late April in a Chester County suburb of Philadelphia.