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'Aggressive' Otter Injures 3 in Florida

'The scariest part was that it didn’t let go'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2019 5:02 AM CST
River otter attacks in Florida are rare, authorities say.   (Shannon Tompkins/Houston Chronicle via AP)
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(Newser) – Otters aren't the first animal to come to mind when most people think of dangerous Florida wildlife—but a run-in with an aggressive and probably rabid one left a woman temporarily unable to walk. Maitland resident Ann-Christine Langselius tells Fox News that she was walking her Goldendoodle on a bridge in a park in the Orlando suburb last week when she saw the animal "running fast" toward her. She says that in a completely unprovoked attack, the otter attacked her right leg then sank its teeth into her left leg—and hung on as she ran for about 25 yards. Langselius, who moved to Florida from northern Sweden 18 months ago, says she required rabies shots and has had trouble walking because of the severe bites.

"I've never seen an animal behave like this so I kind of guessed it was ill when it went for me," Langselius tells the Orlando Sentinel. "But the scariest part was that it didn’t let go. It bit me in the Achilles tendon really badly so it hung on for a long time." Authorities believe the same otter was responsible for at least two other attacks on Maitland residents. Posters were put up in the park reading "CAUTION: Aggressive Otter Reported in Area." Authorities say that a couple of days after Langselius was bitten, a police officer shot a rabid otter in a resident's backyard, though they haven't confirmed that it was the same animal responsible for the attacks. (Last year, a kayaker was injured in another Florida otter attack.)

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