When otters attack: Austrian tourist in Wis. gets rabies shots after bites


An Austrian woman visiting a Wisconsin lake got quite a surprise when she saw several otters swimming near her. Before she knew it, the cute and seemingly innocent animals were attacking her.

Brigitte France, 51, was swimming in Lake Owen when she heard some hissing behind her. That's when she spotted a cute otter peeking out of the water.

"I thought it was really cool," she told the Duluth News Tribune. "I'd never seen an otter before. Then, all of a sudden, there were three of them."

When the otter gang got a little too close, France said they made her uncomfortable and she tried to escape.

"I decided to get out of the water," she told DNT. "I swam right to the bank, about 3 or 4 meters away from me."

When she made it to shore and was trying to get out of the water, she says one otter was on her right leg and another on her left. She says the otters bit her eight or nine times before she was able to shake her legs and get away. Luckily the bites "never really hurt that much," she said.

France's family took her to the hospital where she began a series of rabies shots.

A Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wildlife manager in Duluth says otters don't usually munch on humans and attacks are extremely unusual. Good to know.

France, 51, lives in Altach, Austria, with her husband who is a former Duluthian. They visit the family cabin in Wisconsin each summer.

France won't be seeking any revenge on the evil otters. She says she "hasn't been haunted by the experience" and isn't upset at them. The otters live to attack once more.