Uncommon otter assault injures three ladies floating on interior tubes on fashionable Montana river


The assault occurred on a distant stretch of the Jefferson River. One sufferer needed to be airlifted to a hospital.


BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A uncommon assault by a river otter in southern Montana injured three ladies floating on interior tubes and inflicted wounds severe sufficient that one sufferer needed to be airlifted to a hospital, authorities stated Thursday.

The assault occurred close to the city of Cardwell on a distant stretch of the Jefferson River, a tributary of the Missouri River that’s fashionable with anglers and leisure floaters.

At the very least one otter swam as much as the grownup ladies at about 8:15 p.m. Wednesday and attacked them, stated Morgan Jacobsen with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks. The ladies have been in a position to get to shore, the place one in all them referred to as 911, he stated.

One girl’s wounds, on her face and arms, have been so extreme that the helicopter was used to fly her out, Jefferson County Undersheriff James Everett stated. Her situation Thursday was unknown. The others had accidents to their arms.

“It’s simply not one thing you run into fairly often,” Everett stated. “Bears do it, moose too and ocasionaly a deer, however otters? That’s not regular.”

Jacobsen stated one of many ladies noticed two otters beforehand nevertheless it was unclear what number of have been concerned within the assault.

Northern river otters are members of the weasel household and may attain as much as 20 kilos (9 kilograms) — as heavy as a small canine — and as much as 47 inches lengthy (1.2 meters). They primarily eat fish.

They’ll can use their enamel and claws to chew and scratch, Jacobsen stated.

“If of us are attacked by an otter, our advisable response is to combat again, get away and get out of the water,” he stated.

Warning indicators have been posted at entry factors alongside the Jefferson River within the space of the assault.

No otters have been seen there since Wednesday and there shall be no efforts to catch or take away any of the animals as a result of it’s believed to have been a defensive assault, he stated.

Two years in the past a 12-year-old boy on an interior tube was attacked however not severely harm by an otter on Montana’s Massive Gap River.

Final month in California, a sea otter gained widespread consideration for aggressively wrestling surfboards from surfers off the coast of Santa Cruz.