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While beaver attacks are rare, they are not unheard of. A fisherman died while trying to take a picture of a beaver in Belarus in 2013 after the animal bit through an artery in his leg, causing him to bleed to death
A woman in Russia who had her leg ripped open by an angry beaver was saved after a neighbour came running over and stabbed it in the head.

Evgenia Eliseeva, 24, was at home in her village in southwest Russia's Lipetsk region when she went outside to get a better phone signal to call her mum.

But as she started dialling she felt a terrible pain in her leg and looked down to see a large animal had bitten into her calf.

Miss Eliseeva said: 'I was in complete shock and had no idea what it was at first.

'I thought it might have been a dog that had jumped on me. It was quite dark but it seemed to be standing on its tail as it was so tall.

'Then it he got on all fours and charged at me again. Its teeth were in my leg and it was furiously shaking its head from side to side.

'I was screaming like a maniac and this man suddenly appeared out of nowhere and attacked the beaver.'

The woman's rescuer, local man Hleb Yefremov, 54, said: 'I heard the girl scream and saw this giant hairy beast attacking her.

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Evgenia Eliseeva, 24, said she went outside her home in south west Russia to make a phone call when she felt the animal latch on to her calf
'I didn't stop to think what it was, I just pulled out my knife and plunged it into the creature's back. It was only later I realised it was a beaver and not a dog.'

Beaver attacks are rare though not unprecedented, and according to experts usually happen when the animals are rabid - though there is no evidence to suggest the one which attacked Miss Eliseeva was infected.

Beaver expert Alexsander Saveliev told local media: 'The only deadly beaver attack I can recall happened in Belarus when one attacked a fisherman.

'He bled to death after the beaver's teeth severed an artery in his leg.'

In 2012 two girls were mauled by a beaver as they swam through a lake in Virginia, though they survived with bites and scratches.

In late April 2011, a rabid beaver attacked a fisherman in the White Clay Creek area of Chester County, Pennsylvania, though he escaped after drowning the animal.

Evgenia said: 'Luckily, this beaver didn't cause too much damage and I didn't lose too much blood.

'I have no idea what it was doing here but I will take a torch with me when I go out at night again.'

Beaver teeth, which are used by the rodent to chew through tree trunks and bark, are exceptionally sharp and capable of causing a large amount of damage if used in attacks.

Beavers are the second largest rodents in the world, second to the capybara, and adults can measure more than 4ft from head to the tip of their tail.