Rabid beaver chases children in Springfield

A rabid beaver leaped out of a pond and chased children at a Springfield nature center Saturday, but no one was injured, Fairfax County police said.

The incident occurred the same week an 83-year-old woman was attacked and seriously injured by a rabid beaver at Lake Barcroft in the Bailey’s Crossroads area.

The most recent incident occurred around 11:30 a.m. at the Hidden Pond Nature Center. The children had just finished a fishing competition when they noticed a beaver swimming toward the dock on which they were standing, police said.

The beaver lept out of the water and onto the dock and was seen acting aggressively and chasing the children, police said. An animal control officer responded to the scene, cleared the area and shot the beaver, police said.

No one was bitten by the beaver, and tests later determined the animal was rabid.

Wildlife experts said people should keep their distance from animals that are acting strangely, which is often a sign they have rabies.

In an unrelated incident, authorities were notified of what appeared to be a rabid raccoon in the Lake Barcroft area on Sunday. Animal control officers will be handing out fliers in the neighborhood after the incident and the attack on the woman.

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