Otter Attacks Woman Kayaker In Florida River — Warning Of Aggressive Otters Posted After Several Attacks

The Florida Wildlife Department has posted signs warning about aggressive otters after several reports of an otter attacking people were reported this weekend.

Otter showing teeth
Marco Slavazza / Shutterstock

The Florida Wildlife Department has posted signs warning about aggressive otters after several reports of an otter attacking people were reported this weekend.

It was a beautiful morning for kayaking in Florida’s Braden River when a group of 10 kayakers enjoying nature spotted an otter in the water and were admiring the creature. That admiration soon turned into terror as the otter got up on one kayak and attacked a 77-year-old woman.

Sue Spector said the river was “very pristine and very nice” when someone in her group pointed out an otter that was nearby in the water. Suddenly that lone otter jumped onto her kayak and attached itself to her and wouldn’t let go, reports Fox News. She was under attack by this otter who seconds ago seemed like part of the quiet and pristine scene along the river.

The wild animal was clawing, scratching, and biting her on her face and arms and eventually knocked her out of the kayak while still attached to her back. The animal bit her nose and ear as her husband attempted to beat the otter off his wife with an oar. While doing so, he too fell out of his kayak.

Marty Spector said he was in his kayak in front of his wife’s kayak on the river when he heard screams. He recognized the voice and knew the screams were coming from his wife, Sue. After toppling out of the kayak, Sue found herself in neck-deep water while still battling the otter.

The animal did finally release its claws and swam away from Sue, who said it was the life jacket she was wearing that protected her back from the otter’s claws and bites. Sue had been wearing a hat, which was left completely shredded after the animal attack. She was surprised that the top of her head didn’t sustain wounds, but the attack did leave her wounded elsewhere.

When talking with reporters her face showed the visible proof of that attack with a good size gash seen on her nose as well as scratches on her face. The otter also bit her arms as well.

According to the Bradenton News, Sue also received stitches for some of the gashes left by the otter. She was not the first to be attacked in the area this weekend or the last, according to the latest reports. The wildlife authorities are now searching for an aggressive otter that reportedly chased kayakers and bit a few more people over the weekend.

They are investigating reports of kayakers being injured by a river otter on the Braden River in Manatee County over the weekend and officials are looking for the otter, reports the Bradenton News. The attacks happened about two miles apart on the river. Kayakers who frequent this area of the Braden River report seeing otters frequently, but they don’t bother anyone. They report they’ve never seen anything like this from the usually calm and quiet river otters.

Once the attack was over, the group’s leader helped Sue out of the “cold water” and back into her kayak. When they came ashore Sue was taken to the hospital for the wounds caused by the otter attack. She was also treated for rabies as well as having her wounds attended to. The Braden News writes:

“Initial reports said the otter was chasing boats and acting aggressively, some even reported seeing the otter come into contact with an alligator. It was not known if the otter survived the interaction with the alligator.”

These attacks have prompted Florida Fish and Wildlife Department to post a sign warning of the “aggressive otters” in the river. The sign sits at the entrance to the river where other kayakers and boaters launch off into the water.