Did you think otters were safe? Did you? Perhaps, like me, you never thought of them at all, or paused to consider their more weasel-like features. So allow me to infringe upon that ignorant bliss.
The Tampa Bay Times reported on Wednesday that at least four people were attacked by otters (or maybe just one very rabid otter) on two separate occasions, while several other individuals were menaced by them.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation is reportedly investigating an attack on two individuals this Saturday, both bitten by a single otter. That same otter was also seen chasing boats and acting with tremendous aggression. This all happened along the Braden River, in Manatee County, Florida.
And only a couple miles from Saturday’s incident an otter viciously attacked a Sarasota woman named Sue Spector, who was kayaking on the river with a group of 10 people. Here’s the harrowing account she gave to the Tampa Bay Times:
“I thought ‘Oh this is a cute otter, and all of the sudden he jumped on the back of the kayak and lunged at me. Then we had this little tug of war, I tried to get him off of my kayak and I screamed extremely loud so I could try and scare him off but that didn’t work. It took some time, but I fought with him, my husband jumped in and other people came by to help.”
Spector sustained arm, nose, and ear injuries from the attack, and had to be treated for rabies. Another woman, who tried to help Spector, was reportedly also attacked, and several others who witnessed the attacks felt menaced.
The only good news is that baby otters are still adorable and look as if they’d be quite soft.