Otter Wounds Three Women In ‘Rare’ Attack

Photo by TANG CHHIN Sothy / AFP

Font Size:

In what has been dubbed a “rare” attack, an otter wounded three women floating on inner tubes in a Montana river Wednesday, authorities reported.

At approximately 8:15 p.m., three women were floating on the Jefferson River near the Sappington Bridge when an otter approached them and attacked, injuring all three, a release from the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks stated.

The injured women made their way to shore and called 9-1-1 at which point they were assisted by the Montana Highway Patrol, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson Valley Ambulance, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Life Flight and a local landowner, the release stated. All three women required medical treatment for their injuries, including one who was airlifted from the scene.

“While attacks from otters are rare, otters can be protective of themselves and their young, especially at close distances. They give birth to their young in April and can later be seen with their young in the water during the summer. They may also be protective of food resources, especially when those resources are scarce,” the release stated.

Officials posted notices around the Jefferson River where the women were attacked to warn recreationists of recent otter activity in the area.

“At this point, we haven’t gotten reports of otters being seen in this area since then. We don’t have any plans at this time to try and locate or to trap and remove these otters, but we are posting signs in these areas advising visitors that there is otter activity going on in the area, to be aware of that,” Morgan Jacobsen with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks told KBZK News. (RELATED: ‘Kind Of A Wolf Mentality’: Three Dogs Attack Hunter , Leaving 298 Puncture Wounds)

Fish and Wildlife officials say that in the event of an otter attack, victims should fight back, get out of the water and seek medical attention, the release stated.