Scouts stone rabid beaver

Boy Scout troop leader Norman Brousseau, 51, was swimming in the Delaware River in Pennsylvania when he was attacked by a rabid beaver. After the scouts pulled Brousseau to shore, they stoned the beaver until it was dead. From the Poughkeepsie Journal:

 Wikipedia Commons 6 6B American Beaver

The beaver bit him in the leg and then again in his buttocks, arm, hand and waist. At that point, Brousseau said, “the adrenaline kicked in.”

“I grabbed it in its mouth,” he said. “I had it around its bottom jaw as tightly as I could because I knew it was going to either bite me or bite the boys. I called the Scouts to come give me a hand.”

"Pine Plains scout leader attacked by rabid beaver"


  1. Not included in the article: The part where the band of scouts eventually turns on one of their own, nicknamed “Piggy”, and subjects him to the same fate.

  2. Best out-of-context sentence of the article: ““then it started attacking the noodle.”

    Close second: “Who’d be crazy enough to hang onto a rabid beaver?”

  3. How do they know the Beaver was rabid? The Poughkeepsie Journal wants me to subscribe before I can read about this momentous event.

      1.  If you close the annoying popup you’ll be redirected to the main site. There you can do a search for ‘beaver boy scout’ (which is kind of an interesting concept, now that I think about it) and, eventually, you’ll find the article.

        If you want to hear how bad rabid animals can be, listen to this episode of This American Life.

      1. Since the only way to “know” is, in fact, to subject it to various tests, they couldn’t have known at the time. What they knew was that it was /behaving/ as if it was rabid – there could, conceivably, have been other causes, but not terribly likely, I’d think.

    1. I would assume they turned the dead beaver over for testing. Rabies testing is done by testing the brain tissue, so it cannot be done on a live animal.

  4. Can we kindly not confuse kids with the often ignored policies of the parent organization. Boy Scouts of America is an unkind organization. That doesn’t mean that the kids are.

    This sounds like a crappy situation that most people wouldn’t know how to handle. 

    1. I’m more than happy to cut the kids, and, for that matter, the troop leader, some slack. Even though the Boy Scout motto is “Be prepared” an aggressive beaver is not something I think anyone would normally think to be prepared for. Stoning it to death sounds unnecessarily harsh, but for all of them it may have seemed like the safest option at the time.

      And, in the same situation, I’d take its behavior as a good indicator that there was something seriously wrong with it. That’s assuming, of course, that I’d be able to think rationally while being attacked by a beaver.

      1. Beavers can be pretty aggressive, like any wild animal if it feels cornered or threatened. There is a story about a beaver in BC going for some guy’s crotch.

        1. I once knew a man from Vancouver
          who took an evasive maneuver
          When an aquatic rodent
          climbed up his raiment
          And went straight for his carrot and tuber

  5. I hope this doesn’t lead to  lead to more beaver massacre by idiots concluding that every animal defending its turf is rabid. 

  6. Here in Colorado there’s been problems with rabid skunks.     No one is saying how to tell if a skunk is rabid…

    1. I’ve been warning people for years that beavers are serious foes to humanity.  I’ve been threatened twice by beavers and that’s enough for me.

  7. Thus the scouts upheld the commandment of Neuteronomy 14:10: “If a beaver biteth thy master, it is an abomination.  Thou shalt kill it with stones, sayeth the LORD.”

  8. I thought that scouts were supposed to be prepared.  Didn’t anyone pack a beaver cleaver?

    1. I tried thinking of a joke about The Beaver (Cleaver) getting packed in a suitcase, but my mind took it to Eddie Haskell packing The Beaver to bring to the Jamboree where Haskell’s fellow scouts (who I presume are similarly slimy assholes) proceed to pack The Beaver, if you know what I mean. Heh, “slimy assholes”. 

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