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Rabid beaver attacks young sisters swimming in Virginia lake

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(WGHP File Photo)

LAKE ANNA, Va. — A family vacation was cut short when authorities said two young sisters were attacked by a rabid beaver while swimming in a lake over the weekend in Virginia.

Annabella and Alyssa Radnovich, ages 8 and 11, were bitten while swimming near Sorbie Covie in Lake Anna in Louisa County around 11 a.m. Sunday, the Free Lance-Star reports.  They were taken by ambulance to the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center, where they were treated and released.

Several other children were swimming in the water at the time, but no others were bitten.

The girls’ uncle shot the beaver with a BB gun and then killed with a knife following the attack, the paper reports.  Its corpse was then given to the Virginia Department of Health for testing.

Wendy Radnovich, the girls’ mother, told the paper on Tuesday that her daughters are doing “much better” since the attack.

Alyssa needed about 15 stitches on her upper-thigh, while Annabella has bandages over three wounds above one of her knees, their mother said. The girls are also receiving shots for rabies.

Doctors said closing Annabella’s wounds would increase the risk of infection because they were deeper than her sister’s.

The Free Lance-Star reports the incident marks only the fourth time in the past decade that a rabies case has been confirmed in a beaver in Virginia.  The most common carriers of rabies are foxes, raccoons and skunks, health officials said.

Maj. Donald Lowe with the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office, a 23-year veteran of the force, told the paper he’s “never really heard of anybody getting bit by a beaver.”

Wendy Radnovich said the attack happened on the second day of a week-long vacation the girls’ were having with their father.

When Annabella initially felt the animal bite, she said her first thought was that it was “an electric eel that was very hairy.”

Source: Fredericksburg.com