PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Pennsylvania game commission officials are warning people to stay away from the Pennypack Creek in Northeast Philadelphia after three people were bitten by a beaver suspected of carrying rabies.
It’s a “truly bizarre” situation. Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser says a beaver suspected of having rabies has been captured and killed after biting three people on Wednesday and Thursday in the Pennypack Creek area between Bustleton Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard.
“On June 1st, it bit a husband and a wife who were fishing in the Bustleton area. On June 2nd it bit a small child. We’re working with USDA wildlife service agents and other game commission wildlife conservation officers in the area to search the area for other beavers in the vicinity that may be showing signs of rabies,” Feaser explained.
Feaser says the three people bitten by the beaver are receiving treatment and the beaver carcass is being tested to confirm rabies.
For now, game officials are asking people not to enter the area around Pennypack Creek until further notice.
Not everyone is abiding by the warning, though. Adam Hyman of Bensalem says he’s not going to let a beaver prevent his morning jog along the creek. “I come here all the time and I don’t think that’s a concern for me right now,” Hyman says. “I’ll just go ahead, do my normal workout and I’ll just keep my eyes and ears open. That’s all.”
Ross Felice has been jogging here for 15 years, and he says he’s not going to stop. “People get probably too close to them and they have babies — you never know. People antagonize animals in here all the time. I see it all the time.”
So, Felice says he’s going to keep running, “Yeah. Never had a problem. I’m more worried about people than the animals.”
Reported by Tony Romeo and Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio