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Beaver Attack Reported at Watchung Reservation's Lake Surprise

Tim LeCras

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 • 12:34pm

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – A Summit resident and her husband thought an afternoon at Watchung Reservation would be a day of “fun in the sun.”

Little did they know, the reservation's Lake Surprise would bring a different type of "surprise."

The Rubenstein's fun turned scary when a beaver emerged from the lake and, according to Karen Rubenstein, tried to attack her and her husband.

“We were just standing on the shore of the lake when we saw it swimming about 20-25 feet away,” Rubenstein said. “It must of heard us because it turned to the shore and swam directly at us.”

When the beaver left the water, the couple ran towards their car. Rubenstein said another park dweller said to not run towards the road because the animal could get killed. Instead, her husband backtracked towards the water’s edge.

According to Rubenstein, once her husband got near the waterline, the beaver “leapt at him, missing his leg by just a few inches.”

“The beaver's mouth was wide open and I saw all his teeth,” Rubenstein said. “He really wanted to take a chunk out of my husband's leg.”

Beavers are a member of the rodentia family and are closely related to rats. According to the National Trappers Association website, beavers birth their young in April, May and June in makeshift dens.

Daniel Bernier, the Union County director of park planning, told NJ.com there are no known beavers residing in Union County.

However, beaver attacks have become more common, especially during this time of year.

A Rochester man was reportedly attacked and bitten by a beaver while kayaking on Irondequoit Creek in upstate New York last week.

In April 2013, a Belarus man was killed after a beaver aggressively bit his leg.

Two years ago, a New York-based boy scout leader was attacked while visiting the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Pennsylvania.

“[This was] very frightening,” Rubenstein said of her attack. “If we were there with my elderly mother, a child, a pet, it could have been a lot worse.”

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