Game officials still look for any testy beavers in park

Jerry Czech, a Pennsylvania Game Com­mis­sion wild­life con­ser­va­tion of­ficer,  till wants people to stay out of Pennypack Creek for the next week or so. 

A ra­bid beaver bit two adults and one child. That an­im­al was cap­tured and killed.

“It is very likely that this beaver got this dis­ease from a rac­coon,” said Dough Kil­lough, the game com­mis­sion’s South­east Re­gion dir­ect­or. 

Al­though the game com­mis­sion an­nounced Monday that no fur­ther sus­pec­ted ra­bies cases have been found along the creek, people are still be­ing urged to avoid the creek between Bustleton Av­en­ue and the Roosevelt Boulevard. Czech stressed in an in­ter­view last week that the com­mis­sion is not warn­ing people to stay away from Pennypack Park. He  just wants folks to stay out of the creek’s wa­ters.

He said that any­one who spots beavers — dis­tin­guished from oth­er large ro­dents by their flat scaly tails — should keep their dis­tance. If the an­im­al bites or has con­tact with a hu­man, after med­ic­al care is re­ceived, a re­port should be made to the game com­mis­sion’s South­east Re­gion at 610-926-3136.

Ra­bies is a vir­al dis­ease af­fect­ing the nervous sys­tem. Hun­dreds of an­im­als every year are found to be ra­bid in Pennsylvania.

Czech said people of­ten mis­take oth­er an­im­als for beavers. Ground­hogs, for ex­ample, while fat and furry like beavers, don’t have big, flat tails; neither do muskrats.

After read­ing a story about the beavers in last week’s North­east Times, one wo­man said she saw a beaver on her fath­er’s Brook­dale Road prop­erty, near Pennypack Park.

On June 1, a beaver bit a wo­man on her leg while she and her hus­band were fish­ing on the Pennypack near Bustleton Av­en­ue. The an­im­al bit her hus­band in both arms and his chest when he tried to help his wife. On June 2, a small child was bit­ten by a beaver near Roosevelt Boulevard, game com­mis­sion spokes­man Jerry Feas­er  aid in a news re­lease, adding that a Fair­mount Park ranger had cap­tured a beaver 500 yards from where the child was bit­ten. 

Czech went to the scene and killed the an­im­al, which was tested and found to be ra­bid. ••

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