Story at a glance:

  • Aggressive river otters are attacking people and dogs in the rivers around Anchorage, Alaska.
  • Either the otters have rabies or they are territorially threatened by humans disturbing their habitat.
  • “Because of the risk to public safety, efforts will be made to locate this group of river otters and remove them,” authorities said.

In Anchorage, Alaska, residents have had to contend with aggressive river otters that attack people and small domestic animals.

Otters may look cute, but they are potentially vicious, The Guardian reported.


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It was no laughing matter when the Alaska Department of Fish and Game last Friday told residents that dogs, children and adults had reported injuries near creeks, rivers and lakes.

According to Business Insider, although these otter attacks are rare, there are two possible explanations for what is happening.

Either the animals have rabies or they are territorially threatened by humans disturbing their habitat.

“Because of the risk to public safety, efforts will be made to locate this group of river otters and remove them,” authorities said. “Care will be taken to only remove the animals exhibiting these unusual behaviors.”

Last week, two people walking their dogs were ambushed and attacked by a pack of otters; a woman suffered bite marks from rescuing her dog.

Nine-year-old Ayden Fernandez was sent to the emergency room after he, his brother and his friends were filming otters near a duck pond in east Anchorage, one of which broke away from the pack and went after him.

Tiffany Fernandez, the boy’s mother, told the Anchorage Daily News, “He has two fang marks on his back thigh and one on the front thigh on each leg. [He has] one puncture wound on his foot.”


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Published on Sep 27, 2021