A google search says yes, but rarely. Here's a Swedish account (in English) of people attacked while swimming. The Atlanta Wild Animal Rescue Effort says
But there are accounts of a rabid beaver attacking three people in a Philadelphia park.Fight or Flight Zone: The fight or flight zone for beaver is dependent on whether they are in the water or on land. On land they will run as soon as they perceive your presence. In the water they are a little less afraid but they will submerge quickly.Behaviors:
- Beaver represent no threat to humans.
- Beavers slap their tail on the water to warn trespassers.
I didn't know any of that at the time. I was thinking that the beaver was coming to me, so I wasn't threatening it. But I'm guessing it was less than ten feet away.
As you watch the video, at the end, pay attention to the tail. You can see that I was surprised. A tripod would have helped. Or would I have knocked it over?
The Pacific Streamkeepers Federation has a lengthy but straightforward page on problems caused by beavers and if and how to intervene.