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Bavarian Beavers Bite Bathers Bottoms – It’s not every week that I get a chance to practice my alliteration skills but then again it is not every week that a bather gets bitten near his nether regions while swimming in one of Bavaria’s beautiful lakes. Especially when the creature doing the biting is a ‘protected’ beaver.
The area in question is the Bavarian region of Stockdorf. Specifically a very pretty and well loved bathing and relaxation area about 100 meters south of the Grubmühler Wehrs (Grubmühler weir). At 7:15 p.m. on June 3rd a 26 year old youth cycled to this pleasant spot with his girlfriend to do a spot of early evening summer bathing.
After about a minute in the water he felt something on the surface which he thought was probably a tree branch. Just as he tried to move out of the way he felt a very sharp pain and shortly afterwards noticed a 60 cm long beaver diving next to him. The beaver simply swam beside him and looked the bather straight in the eyes for about 5 seconds.
Only when the young man returned to the shore did he notice that there was a blood stain on his shorts. He had acquired a 3 cm deep, 4 cm wide wound near his bottom which needed treating in the local hospital in Starnberg. If you think this amount of damage is slightly exaggerated take a look at what the average beaver can do to 25 cm (10 inch) thick trees.
However this bather was relatively lucky. Those of us who go bathing regularly in Bavaria will be well aware of the large number of local FKK bathers (Frei Körper Kultur or Free Body Culture is the German term for nude bathing). If you are in doubt of this take a walk through the English Garden in the middle of Munich on a warm summers day. Nudity is part of the culture here just like the white sausage (Weißwurst) and pretzel. Now imagine the potential damage a beaver could do if he got his teeth into a tasty morsel on the ‘opposite side’ of a bather’s bottom. Male genital mutilation is not a popular past-time even among Germany’s more adventurous FKK brethren.
The official responsible for beaver management in the South of Bavaria was quoted in the local press as saying that although generally beavers are peace loving animals they will stop at nothing to protect their new offspring when these are still so young that thay are unable to escape potential predators. This is the second ‘biting’ incident in the Grubmühler Feld area in recent weeks and it is recommended that people give the animals a wide berth.
Currently there are about 17000 Beavers in Bavaria and although they have been known to attack dogs this is the first year that people have been bitten. Although the beavers are a protected species the authorities do catch and destroy about 1200 a year. This is usually a last resort when the animals threaten technical facilities or cause serious damage to agricultural areas. Until now aggressive behaviour has not been a ground for ‘dealing with’ beavers although the situation is being carefully considered by the local officials.
If you are going bathing this summer then why not listen to some of my fun songs? If played loudly they are sure to discourage beavers from biting your sensitive parts. The link to my fun songs page is here.
If you do get bitten then try listening to the soothing tones of my baroque interpretations. The playlist is below (and of course it is free to all beaver fans):
There are also some more interesting articles to read in my Alpine Press section.
Enjoy your summer bathing and keep an eye open for cute but aggressive swimmers.