Triathlete Attacked by Otter While Swimming

An otter attack in Minnesota earlier this week is even more unusual than the strange raccoon attack in Washington last week. A triathlete was swimming across a lake when the otter started biting her. Kelly Smith, of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, provides the details:

Fangs pierced Leah Prudhomme’s legs as she swam across the deep, dark rum-colored northern Minnesota lake. It could be anything, she thought — muskrats, beavers, maybe a muskie. But it didn’t let up.

In the middle of Island Lake near Duluth, the triathlete struggled as the animal sunk its needle-sharp teeth into her legs, feet and back, leaving 25 bite marks, some 2 inches deep.

“It just kept coming after me,” said Prudhomme, 33, of Anoka. “You never knew where it was going to bite next.”

Experts believe the otter might have rabies or was a mother protecting young pups.

Prudhomme will compete in the Duluth Triathlon, which requires a swim across Island Lake, in August.

“I’m scared, but it’s one of those things you don’t want to let get the best of you,” she told the Star Tribune. “It’s not like I’ll be bitten by another otter.”

Otter attacks are pretty rare, but a small rash of them occurred in Florida in 2010. This ABC News report detailed those attacks:

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