Sofie Adde from the Gröndal neighbourhood of Stockholm was enjoying her first swim of the summer in the Mälaren Lake when the beaver pounced.
“I went out for a quiet dip and had swum out a few meters when I noticed something underneath the water. Next thing I felt a pain in my thigh and up came the head of the beaver,” Adde, 40, told The Local.
“It gave me quite a surprise,” the startled swimmer added.
“I wasn’t sure what was going on as the beaver (dived) back down and I got scared and swam away immediately.”
Following the attack, Adde had to have stitches and a tetanus shot. She doesn’t harbour any ill-feeling towards the beaver, however, whom she claims she has seen before.
“I’ve been down to the lake several times and I’ve seen this beaver in the past. There are a couple of beavers there and it is very unusual for something like this to happen.”
“The bite wasn’t particularly painful and to be honest it was more funny than anything else.”
Didrik Van Hoenacker, a biologist at the Natural History Museum, laughed when he heard of the attack.
“She must have had bad luck and collided with the beaver. It’s not like they normally lurk in the water,” he told Aftonbladet.
While beaver attacks are rare, they can be fatal. Last year in Belarus, a 60-year old man bled to death after a beaver bit into an artery as he attempted to take a picture of the creature.
“Beavers are just like other wild animals as they get defensive but it is rare to even get that close to them,” Magnus Enquist, a professor in animal behaviour at Stockholm University told Aftonbladet.
Adde hasn’t been put off swimming by the attack but will likely go elsewhere in future.
“Next time I will go somewhere else when I fancy a swim. I will be a bit more careful as I don’t think I would even let my dog swim in the same lake as the beavers.”