Mark Pieraccini may have made history a few weeks ago. It wasn’t anything the Massachusetts man did. It was something that happened to him. The 73-year old went for a swim in a pond he’d frequented for years. In the blink of an eye, he found himself face to face with a rabid, vicious beaver. Mark punched. The beaver slapped and bit. He punched again. But the beaver kept coming. After a heated battle, Mark was ultimately victorious. But the win was hard-earned, and the Massachusetts man is likely still recovering.
If this sounds hard to believe, that’s because it is. Beaver attacks are a rare occurrence. When they do happen, they’re almost always territorial. According to Mark Pieraccini and The Greenfield Recorder, this was not a territorial attack.
We know. The potential for humor in a story like this is impossible to ignore, but Mark’s situation was far more serious than it appears on the surface. The 73-year old from Massachusetts nearly lost his life.
As the story goes, Mark went for his daily bike ride and decided to stop at his favorite pond. He told The Recorder that he often swims in the pond and hasn’t had any issues for 50 years. This time, a beaver struck.
“He surfaced near my head and grabbed my head,” said Mark. “He went to bite my head. I punched him a couple of times. I just had to take the licking and get to shore. By the time I got to shore, I was exhausted. If I had to swim 10 more yards, I would have drowned. … If he had come onshore, he would have finished me off. I would not have been able to fight him off. He would have finished killing me.”
Mark Pieraccini’s Takeaways From the Beaver Attack Are Enough to Make Any Outsider Proud
If it isn’t clear by now, Mark is lucky to be alive. While beavers aren’t known to be particularly dangerous fighters, this one benefitted from a combination of Mark’s advanced age and the element of complete surprise.
That said, Mark didn’t blame his attacker. He’s a student of nature and understands his place in it. His appreciation for the world around him is enough to get us a little teary-eyed here at Outsider.
“This isn’t a story about a crazy beaver. This is a story about the natural world. This is a story about human beings being a part of it — not different from it, not apart from it. Our presence degrades it, unfortunately, because we don’t pay attention to our effect on it. So, let’s inform people about the world around us,” Mark continued.
According to The Recorder, the medical professional who treated Mark is documenting the case for medical and wilderness journals.