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River otters attacking people, dogs in Alaska

River Otters Trapping
Posted at 2:21 PM, Sep 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-28 17:52:34-04

River otters have attacked a child, a woman, and at least two dogs this month, Alaska authorities said.

A child was chased and bitten by a group of four otters on Sept. 1, the Alaska Department of Game and Fish reported.

This week, a woman was bitten while rescuing her dog from a group of otters in Anchorage. On that same day, authorities received a second report of an otter attacking a dog.

"River otter attacks in Anchorage, while rare, have been reported over the last several years," the Department of Game and Fish said in a statement.

Authorities are searching for the otters responsible for the attacks. They say the animals will have to be euthanized because relocation will just move the threat to another area.

"Any animals lethally removed will be tested for rabies due to their unusually aggressive behavior," the department said. "There has not been a reported case of rabies in river otters in southcentral Alaska in recent years, however, the possibility of disease concern remains."

Until the otters are captured, people are encouraged to stay vigilant around lakes and rivers.