Minnesota otter attacks: Why do they suddenly hate us?

Categories: Animals
carol schefers.jpg
Submitted image via Star Tribune
Schefers thought she was being eaten by muskies. Turns out she was dealing with a pissed off otter.
SEE ALSO: Minnesota otter attack: Anoka woman bitten two dozen times in 'unheard of' incident

After Leah Prudhomme was attacked by an otter in Island Lake, a DNR conservation officer said he'd "never seen or heard of" such a thing.

He's heard of such things at least three times now, as this past weekend, Carol Schefers of St. Michael became Minnesota's third otter attack victim of the summer.

Schefers, 38, was swimming in Ude Lake near Aitkin when she felt something nip at her.

"I thought, 'wow, these fish are fesity,'" she told the Star Tribune. "All of the sudden, bam, bam bam. I thought, 'We've got big muskies here.'"

But then she she saw whiskers and eyes are realized that her assailant was an otter. She started screaming, and 18 bites on her legs, ankles, and arms later, her husband was able to hoist her back into a boat. She later received a regiment of precautionary rabies and tetanus shots at a local hospital.
Thumbnail image for Otter crop.jpg
These cuties seem to have it out for humans these days.

In addition to Prudhomme and Schefers, a man was bitten in western Minnesota in June when he tried to pick up a baby otter. But who could resist!

Schefers says she'll never swim in a Minnesota lake again, but James David Smith, a wildlife professor at the University of Minnesota, says she has little reason to worry.

"I think it's just a rare event," Smith told the Strib.

Rare event or not, the DNR isn't against people taking precautions against the undeniably cute but suddenly ferocious semiaquatic mammals.

Bob Mlynar, the DNR conservation officer who responded to Schefer's situation, points out that people can bring shotguns on boats.

"If they have an aggressive otter coming at their boat, I have no problem with them shooting an otter," he told the Strib. Shoot an otter? Perish the thought!


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21 comments
pureout
pureout

Sorry to sound so sexist, but animal attacks in the wild typically victimize women. Why this happens to be the case, I have no clue, but it's entirely possible that a female otter, or any species for that matter, senses the woman's pheromones to a greater extent, and perceives the woman as a threat. They are hard-wired to do so. Blame it on human female physiology, but if I were female and I knew I might be attacked by a wild animal, I would take precautions.

alfrankensays...
alfrankensays...

congress has just issued the following statement:  Any otter caught within ten feet of any american is now considered to be a threat, and furthermore is to be viewed as a homegrown terrorist.  Please proceed carefully,  there bite is know to cause slight pain, and insight panic among the children and the elderly. 

Ottertastic
Ottertastic

"If they have an aggressive otter coming at their boat, I have no problem with them shooting an otter".

 

This is a joke, right?  I have to assume this is just a joke, I`m in Norway and an otter attacking is just not considered a problem here, its more something we smile about. Because, they are small. Very small. A bear is one thing, but an otter? There are people out there who, when seeing an otter comming in the direction of their boat, freak out and kill it??  I have to ask, are you people scared of your own shadow too?  Its a tiny little fury animal you idiots, you can pick it up with one hand and it sort of cant do much about it. Agressive otters, only in america would that be a problem, I assume that when you people meet an angry bear, or a wolf, you just lay down and die right there.

Ottertastic
Ottertastic

Otters are adorebal, I love them. If one of them attacked someone there was probably a baby other near by, otters do like everyone else, they protect their babies and themselfes, nothing wrong with that. As for the aweful otter bite marks, I got worse marks and deeper cuts working outside in the garden yesterday. I`d say its no big deal.   :)    Long live the otters.

Cyprian Troyer
Cyprian Troyer

They don't hate us. They love us. Nom, Nom, Nom!

paigetastic
paigetastic

Yeah....that's what we need.....more drunken boat-goers with loaded weapons.....good advice....(sarcastic emphasis added)

Pinko Thinker
Pinko Thinker

they hate us for our freedom. they just jelly.

Scott Gunvaldson
Scott Gunvaldson

I live in Otter Tail County about 30 miles from Ottertail City. You're scaring me.

Deborah Anderson Nelson
Deborah Anderson Nelson

I heard from someone like Jack Hanna, but not sure it was him....maybe the nice lady that visited Johnny Carson that otters don't make good pets because they bite you as a show of affection. Possibly the otters in question are showing love.

An_Otter
An_Otter

There is nothing "sudden" about it.  We have always hated you.

John Brosnan
John Brosnan

"Yeah, just go ahead and bring a shotgun on your boat. NBD." Nice.

robert.moffitt
robert.moffitt

Ole: "If you are going to swim in a Minnesota lake, you otter be carefull!"

Lena: "Uff da"

MinneapolisMang
MinneapolisMang

Dude. What if one of those otters has gotten its paws on an iPhone? They'll see that shit about the shotgun and it'll be chomp-city for anyone who wants to swim.Way to go, DNR. 

Joanna Marek
Joanna Marek

Wow...a wild creature bit you...hummm...surprised? NOT!!!

Lemon11
Lemon11

 @Ottertastic Yep. That last statement about shooting an otter was unbelievable. I'm an American and that is just plain embarrassing. We're not all "scared of our shadow". Most of us are more like you with regard to otter threats. :) I think the DNR officer is inappropriately promoting gun usage. Why "remind" or encourage people to take their gun onboard their boat? Can you imagine a boater who's had a few beers shooting at something near his boat...and it's a child swimming? What an irresponsible DNR officer.

Ottertastic
Ottertastic

I can`t stop laughing at the idea of agressive otters, I get this image in my head, a boat full of hysterical americans screaming for help while firing their shotguns wildly into the water, and 20 feet away an otter is swimming by, minding his own business, wondering what all that noise is.  :)   lol 

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