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73-Year-Old Man 'Lucky To Be Alive' After Allegedly Being Mauled By Rabid Beaver

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73-Year-Old Man 'Lucky To Be Alive' After Allegedly Being Mauled By Rabid Beaver

A 73-year-old man from Greenfield, Massachusetts claims he was left fighting for his life after a leisurely swim in a remote countryside pond turned ugly when he was attacked by an enraged, rabid beaver.

Mark "Pres" Pieraccini reportedly suffered extensive injuries when he was attacked by the creature earlier this month, and came close to drowning on several occasions.

Sources claim he suffered from multiple puncture wounds, flesh torn from his arm and leg, scratches and lacerations over his body and scalp, and a torn tendon on one of his fingers.

He is also undergoing treatment for rabies and has a fractured knuckle on one hand, most likely from punching the beaver as it is reported to have attacked him repeatedly.

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In an interview with The Republican following the attack, Pieraccini said that fighting a prolonged battle with an enraged 50-pound wild animal while also trying to stay afloat had left him exhausted.

While the fight continued in the deep water - Pres estimates that the skirmish lasted for around five minutes.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

"At some point, I said to myself, 'If I stop and fight him one more time, I'm going to drown,'" he said.

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The elderly man said he punched it to scare it off but this resulted in the beaver getting more aggitated and it continued to attack.

"I couldn't process it," he said.

After finding himself unable to either chase the beaver away or stop it from attacking, Pieraccini said that he then attempted to flee instead, making a desperate attempt to swim the 40 yards to the shore with the rabid beaver nipping at his heels every step of the way.

When he eventually got out of the water and reached his bike, he collapsed, bleeding heavily.

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Although the attack had stopped, Pieraccini was not yet out of the woods, literally or figuratively. He needed to ride his bicycle a mile and a half back to his car, and then drive to Baystate Franklin Medical Center.

According to the man, his doctors said that the amount of damage sustained in the attack was 'astounding and very serious', and he was lucky not to drown or bleed out in the woods.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Yet despite the ferocious injuries he sustained Pieracinni says he does not hold the attack against the beaver, claiming that it was probably so far along with rabies at the time it attacked him that it was unlikely to live much longer.

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He also refused to disclose the exact location of the pond to park rangers, fearing that they would be obligated to trap and kill the entire beaver population there if they found out, and says that he does not want that to happen.

According to research, experts say there have been just 11 attacks by beavers on people in North America over the last 10 years. In comparison, there have been 445 shark attacks, seven of them fatal, in the U.S. over the same period.

Most of those 11 attacks involved beavers that were rabid, but as the creature that attacked Pieraccini has not been recovered, there is currently no way to verify it.

Thankfully, Pieraccini's injuries are healing, although his arms and legs still bear scratch marks and sutures. However, he doubts that he will ever go swimming in that pond again now that his peaceful swimming spot - that he has been visiting for decades - is now associated with terror.

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"If I swam in the ocean off the Cape and was attacked by a shark, I could never swim in the ocean again," he said. "The pond is no different."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: US News, Animals

Tom Sanders
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