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Mom Wrestles Otter That Attacked Her Teen

Florida teen is doing OK after some rabies shots
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2020 2:40 PM CST
Looks harmless, right? Wrong.   (Robin Riggs/Aquarium of the Pacific via AP)

(Newser) – Otters may look cute and cuddly, but should you encounter one, you'll want to give it a wide berth. "If you see one up close, they are so beautiful. But they are vicious. Don’t mess with an otter. I’d rather barehand catch a bobcat probably than an otter." That's the word from an animal trapper who spoke to WFLA after a teen girl in Florida was attacked by an otter Tuesday morning. Gwyn Ewert, 17, had just let the family dog out in Lakeland when she heard fighting on the back porch. She opened the door and her dog came stumbling back in—along with the otter he had been fighting. Mom Casina Ewert, who had rushed downstairs after hearing the commotion, then took matters into her own hands—literally. "I snatched it by the tail," she says. "And then I held it up like a prize."

"And the otter’s going crazy," she continued. "It was like clawing at me and grabbing on to the backs of the furniture in my house." She threw the animal back outside and then tended to her daughter, who had been bitten on the leg. The teen got a rabies shot and a booster; she'd actually gotten one before, when a stray dog bit her in Nicaragua, and discovered during that experience she's allergic to the vaccine. WFLA reports doctors "took precautions" for that reason and the teen is doing fine. So is the family dog, who had just gotten his rabies vaccine days before the attack, but he's quarantined as a precaution. The otter has not been caught, so it's not clear whether it was rabid, but experts say otters typically run from humans, so this one's behavior was odd. "My husband’s like ‘Case, you just alligator wrangled an otter in the living room!'" Casina Ewert tells Fox 6. (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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