Agencies Warn of Aggressive Otter Menacing Park in New York State
Otters are generally seen as furry and cute, and don't cause the same sort of alarm with the public that a large snake or alligator would. However, they may be much more fun to watch from a distance when they are among their own kind, doing their own thing.
They can get quite hostile when they're defending their young or a food source. In fact, they're not big fans of humans. Websites like Critter Control say that otters can indeed be aggressive towards humans, as their "heavy, muscular body and sharp claws are enough to overpower pets and small children" if they feel threatened.
According to the New York State Department of Conservation, one such pissed-off otter has been chasing some hapless humans at a park. The Albany Water Department says they're working with the DEC to catch the animal. There is no word yet if the animal is rabid or it's simply defending its territory.
Otters in New York
New York Almanack says that North American river otters are active year-round, and spend most of their time in or around water; such as the shores of ponds, lakes, and rivers.
NY Almanack says that at one time, river otters could be found throughout the state, but they declined due to unregulated hunting, habitat destruction, and water pollution. By the early 1990s, they were only found in the eastern part of New York. However, the New York River Otter Project helped bring river otters back to 16 different sites across the western part of the state.
Otters generally grow to around 4 to 5 feet in length, and weigh around 30 pounds. Otters are carnivorous mammals with diets based on fish and invertebrates.
And while you don't hear about otters actually attacking humans everyday, it does happen. On review from 2011, says that there have been at least 42 instances of otter attacks on humans.