The hot-tempered otter summer continues, this time in the northern Sierra Nevada region, as river otters bit people in two separate incidents, one involving an actor who was on Succession.
The infamous Santa Cruz sea otter who’s been aggressively commandeering peoples' surfboards continues to evade capture, and has become a cult figure in the process. But the unusually aggressive California otter behavior is not limited to that otter, or that breed of otters.
Over in Plumas County, some 50 miles east of Lake Tahoe, the Chronicle reports that actor Crystal Finn, who played roles on Succession and The Tick, was aggressively bit by several river otters, which are a different breed than sea otters. And the Santa Cruz Sentinel adds that two days earlier, another woman was bitten by river otters at Serene Lakes, some 15 miles northeast of Lake Tahoe.
“I felt something on my back side and on my leg,” the actor Finn told the Chronicle. “I started looking around and yelling out and (the otters) popped up right in front of me. Then they dove down and started going at me again.”
In remarks to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Finn added, “It seemed rather orchestrated. And as soon as I was out of there, they seemed happy to bob along, go on their way.”
Finn’s otter bite encounter near the Plumas National Forest was less severe that the otter attack at Serene Lakes. Per the Sentinel, the woman in that attack suffered 10-15 bites, and some of which required sutures. These attacks are unusual, but do occasionally happen, as three Montana women suffered otter bites two weeks ago. But both Finn and the other woman were treated for their bites at Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee, which said they had not seen anyone bit by an otter in years.
“Otters are not prone to attacking people,” River Otter Ecology Project executive director Megan Isadore told the Sentinel. “It’s very seldom, especially considering how many people are in the water, all over the country.”
Both of the bite victims were treated with rabies shots and antibiotics. Finn admits that even if she’d seen the otters, she would not have avoided them.
“If I had seen them, I don’t think it would have given me pause,” she told the Chronicle. “I would have thought, ‘Oh those cute river otters.’”
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