An 83-year-old woman is recovering in hospital after she was attacked repeatedly by a rabid beaver while swimming in a Washington lake.
Lillian Peterson was knocked off her feet as she got out of Lake Barcroft on Tuesday evening and turned round to see the two-foot animal biting her leg.
She and a friend repeatedly hit the beaver using canoe paddles, a walking stick and their bare hands but it refused to let go of her leg, the Washington Post reported.
Ms Peterson even tried to gouge the animal in its eyes with her stick in a desperate attempt to fend it off.
She told the newspaper: "It bit me so bad. I started kicking it with my other leg, but I wasn't sure what I would do."
She was left with severe bites on her left leg, hands and bite marks all over her arms and legs.
A former colleague who was giving a fishing lesson at the lake came to her rescue, but the animal had to be beaten three times with a canoe paddle before it could finally be captured in a net.
Animal control officers destroyed the beaver after arriving at the scene. Fairfax police said it tested positive for rabies.
Ms Peterson is recovering at Inova Fairfax Hospital and has received injections for rabies.