Otter chaos? It was no laughing matter for a Central Florida family Tuesday.
Casina Ewert, of Lakeland, had to fend off an aggressive otter that attacked her dog and 17-year-old daughter, WFLA-TV reported.
“I think life is full of surprises and you should just be ready for whatever,” Ewert told the television station
Ewert said her daughter, Gwyn Ewert, let their French bulldog, Scooter, into the yard just before dawn Tuesday. They soon heard fighting on the back porch.
"I sprinted to the backdoor and I was like 'Scooter!' All I saw was like a big, black ball just all over the place. So he stumbled in the door and I tried to shut it as fast as possible but then the otter got stuck," Gwyn Ewert told WFLA.
Casina Ewert managed to tackle the otter.
"I snatched it by the tail," Casina Ewert told WFLA. "And then I held it up like a prize. And the otter's going crazy. It was like clawing at me and grabbing on to the backs of the furniture in my house."
Ewert managed to throw the otter outside, and then noticed the animal had bitten her daughter.
"After the fact, I lifted up my pant leg. My leg was shaking and there were drips of blood all over the floor," Gwyn Ewert told WFLA.
Gwyn Ewert got a rabies shot that day and a booster shot Friday.
Scooter had received his rabies shot a few days before the otter attack, according to WFLA.
The otter has not been caught. His behavior was definitely abnormal.
"Any time an otter's onshore going for a human, there's something not right. Usually, they see you, they're gone," Dustin Hooper, an animal trapper and owner of All Creatures Wildlife Control, told WFLA.
Otters may look tame and cute, but Hooper warns people to be wary if they encounter them in residential areas.
"If you see one up close, they are so beautiful. But they are vicious," Hooper told WFLA. "Don't mess with an otter. I'd rather barehand catch a bobcat probably than an otter."
Casina Ewert said she was reacting on instinct when she took on the otter.
"It's really not heroic. There actually was no thought process," she told WFLA. "Just run in, jump on the otter. Yes, that's what we do here."