Saw My First Beaver Tonight!

I was jogging around the block tonight and saw what I thought was a large cat slinking into someone’s yard. Strange thing was that it was dragging its tail and didn’t seem concerned about me at all - I thought it might be hurt or sick. Passing by, I finally realized it was an adult beaver - must’ve been four feet nose to tail. Impressive creature. This tops the armadillo I saw last year under similar circumstances.

What’s the craziest wildlife anyone here’s unexpectedly encountered?

I live in the upper Midwest, and several weeks ago, I noticed that one of my cats was very interested in something on the other side of the patio door. At first glance, I thought it was another cat, but in this case, it was an opossum! They’re usually nocturnal, and this was in the middle of the day, so that was quite a surprise. Interesting creature, too; I’d never seen one up close like that.

When I lived in the Ozarks, I saw armadillo a few times, and SMELLED skunk in my yard more than once.

Don’t mess with beavers - those things will kill you as soon as look at you!

Nutria. Giant water-rodents.

Several years ago, riding my bicycle on the bike trail which parallels a creek that runs around and through town. Wasn’t even past the city limits, Walmart parking lot about a block away.
Little furry critter emerged suddenly from the trailside cattails, and we both froze in our tracks. (I instantly stopped my bike and put one foot on the ground.)
He/she stared at me for several long seconds, giving me a good long look from about eight feet away, then came to his senses and bolted back into the reeds. I’ve seen beavers, martins, muskrats, weasels, porcupines, etc (lifetime of backpacking/camping) but didn’t recognize the little guy. He was about 12-18 inches from tip to tip (nose-tail).
When I got home I pulled out Peterson’s Mammals, and had an immediate unequivocable ID: he/she was… a mink. Made my day, and I still talk about it sometimes as you may have just noticed.

Regarding thread title: Arghh! Immature, sophomoric head explodes!

You might not think so given where I live, but trees in riverside parks have their trunks wrapped in chainlink fence to keep the beavers from felling and dragging them away.
Also, in January, with snow cover showing tracks, saw clear evidence that a squirrel had killed and eaten a bird. Never seen this before - checked Wikipedia and sure enough, small birds do make up a part of their diet. :eek:

Not really crazy wildlife, but, about ten years ago, I was out doing a bit of fishing in the neighborhood. I was having no luck, so I was walking along the river, when I came around a bend and surprised a deer having a drink in the river. Her head came up, and we both froze, about twenty feet apart… I was a bit off balance, and carefully and slowly set my foot down, which cracked a twig. Zoom, she was gone.

You are now a man.

All I can say is that I’m glad it was an adult beaver.

About a year ago, we had a flock of maybe a couple dozen wild turkeys show up in the parking lot at work. They hung around for a few days and then disappeared. (Which was probably my fault. After seeing them several days in a row, I sent an email to the photo editor of the local paper, because I thought it was something they might be interested in. They sent a guy out the next day, so naturally the turkeys were nowhere to be seen.)

I remember seeing my first beaver.

Ahh, youth. :wink:

Seriously, beavers are mammals and can be infected by rabies virus. Years ago in PA a fisherman felt something tug at his waders. It was a vicious, rabid beaver attacking him. He managed to get a hold of it and drown it. The beaver tested positive for rabies and the fisherman was treated and lived.

ETA: Cite.

One summer my kids brought 4 buckets of shells home from the beach. They put them all on the raised deck off the back of our house. That night, I heard some noises from the deck, so I opened the curtains and turned on the lights to see 4 huge raccoons carefully licking every single shell clean. Thank god I looked before opening the slider doors.

I petted a pussy last night-does that count?

[A stray which has adopted me]

We got a hole knocked in our roof a while back and before I could get it fixed, we had some possums take up residence in the attic. It sound like a herd of cattle stampeding around out there. We got hold of a humane trap and got rid of them, but I did tell SWMBO that I had heard there was some good eatin’ on those things.

She was not amused.

When I was 14, I learned the hard way that River Otters may look cute and harmless BUT that is NOT the case! Several hours, several shots and eight stitches later, lesson learned!

Watch out for the tails!

We saw what we thought was a very large long tailed mink running the edge of our WI lawn; our forester told us it was a fisher.

We have seen bear tracks in WI woodland snow in past springs.

Where we used to live we had more wildlife than here. E.g., groundhogs. Not a great thing to have if you’re a gardener. But still, once I saw one sunning himself on a branch of an old tree. Over 6 feet off the ground. Walked right up close to it. Didn’t seem to care that I was so close.

We also had a male pheasant for a while that roosted at night in the trees right at the edge of our back yards. Very pretty.

Around here, the most impressive animals are deer, but I’ve only glimpsed a fraction of a rump bounding thru the brush. Also not the best animals for a garden.

We had a rabid beaver case when I was on the rescue squad in North Carolina. I didn’t get the call, but a couple of buddies did. The beaver shredded and sank an inflatable boat, and bit the guy several times. He also managed to drown the critter, and it tested positive for rabies.

They got a trophy for the funniest call of the year. The previous year’s winning call was a lady that almost choked after her husband put too much Poligrip on her dentures and needed 3 EMTs to pull them out of her mouth.