Savage Otter Attack Leaves Man With 40 Bite Wounds

Sam Yeh / AFP

Robert McGreevy Contributor
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A man in California is calling for the fish and wildlife department to remove his local lake’s otter population after he was viciously attacked by a pair of the furry little critters, KCRA reported.

Matt Leffers was swimming in the waters of Serene Lakes, near Lake Tahoe, when he experienced what he said was “by far the most terrifying experience I’ve ever had in my life,” he told KCRA.

“These things were so aggressive that, literally, I felt like they wanted to kill me,” Leffers said.

“I felt something bite my calf,” Leffers told KCRA. “Within seconds, I was bit again. And then I started swimming fast but there was the otter, popped up right in front of me and then I was bit again.”

The otters left 40 puncture wounds in Leffers’ skin, KCRA reported.

The harrowing assault was apparently not the first otter onslaught. Leffers claimed he was the second person attacked in the lake and local wildlife officials claimed there were reports of other attacks in separate lakes, per KCRA. (RELATED: Otter Wounds Three Women In ‘Rare’ Attack)

Peter Tira, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said that while otter attacks are rare, they’re not unheard of.

“They are incredible swimmers, are very fast and have a lot of very sharp teeth. They won’t normally attack people or larger animals. However, they will defend their territory if they feel threatened, whether that’s a real threat or perceived threat,” Tira told KCRA.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said the aggressive behavior could possibly be linked to an abundance of fish in the lake.

“We recommend reducing the frequency of fish stocking and limiting stocking to the non-swimming section of the lake. The goal of managing the lakes’ fisheries in this way is to reduce the amount of food available in the swimming area, creating an area that is less attractive to the otters. Additionally, we advise the community members to avoid swimming in the lakes for the remainder of this season, and to increase educational signage in frequently used public areas,” the department said in a statement obtained by KCRA.

Leffers was none too pleased with the response, calling it “wimpy” and apparently demanded the creatures be removed from the lake, according to KCRA.

“They need to mitigate the situation before somebody gets killed.”