Monday, August 12, 2013

Continuing the crusade against otters

The most-trafficked post on this blog is this one.  It lays bare the fact that the apparently adorable otter is a creature that rapes and murders baby seals, which is basically the animal pictured next to the definition of "cute" in the dictionary.
Thousands of people have read that post, so one can hope that it's had some impact on this allegedly charming animal's reputation. Unfortunately, it's not one of the posts about otters attacking people, a far more important danger. So, typically, the people in the following story were surprised, but let their experience be another lesson: being attacked by a cute animal is not "one in a million."
Kierra Clark, 13, may have accidentally gotten between a mother otter and her babies while playing in the Kalama River on Wednesday. The river otter attacked and began biting her leg.
“At first it felt like somebody was just, like, grabbing onto my leg with their nails, and then it felt like somebody was like stabbing me kind of,” said Clark. “It was probably one of the scariest things ever."
She caught a glimpse of the otter’s eyes popping out of the water. She says she can’t forget those teeth. “They were, like, sharp and long,” she said.
Clark’s grandfather and a neighbor pulled her out of the water while her grandmother watched in horror. “I could see she had blood streaming down her leg,” said Clark’s grandmother, Arlita Schlecht. “(It was like) a scene out of ‘Jaws.’”
Neighbors who’ve lived along the river for six decades said they’ve never seen anything like it. “Then all of the sudden I see it coming right after her, and thought ‘Oh she’s not playing,’” said Fred Palmer, who witnessed the attack.
Craig Bartlett of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says many animals have newborn babies this time of year and can be protective and aggressive. He says river otter attacks are unusual but not unheard of, especially this time of year.
“I think the mother was just protecting what she thought was a threat to her babies,” said Clark’s grandfather, Bob Schlecht. “I’ve never heard of it before. It’s probably one in a million.”
Clark’s grandmother wrote a reminder on her kitchen chalkboard that said “You otter be careful when swimming.”

Remember that the message is more important than the grammar in that sign photographed by Flickr user vandys.

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