WESTERN BOCA RATON, Fla. - A third person has been the victim of an otter attack in suburban Boca Raton.
William Gibbons was by himself when the incident took place outside his parents' home near Yamato Road and 441.
"I was locked out of the house," explains Gibbons, "I went around to the backyard and saw an otter laying in the grass. I began observing the otter, and it came out of the water and bit me."
Gibbons had his camera phone with him during the incident and caught the attack on tape.
Laurie Gibbons, William's mother, says she's never seen an otter in the lake behind their house before and didn't think anything like this could ever happen.
Gibbons was taken to the hospital and received a number of precautionary shots in case the otter was infected with rabies.
Shortly afterwards, Animal Care and Control put several traps in the surrounding area in the hopes of catching the animal.
Until the otter is caught, there is no way of knowing whether or not it is infected.
On Sunday, November 21st, two other people were bitten by an otter in the Boca Chase area.
According to Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control and Florida Wildlife Conservation otters are generally curious playful animals that live in canals, rivers, and streams throughout Florida.
There are many large colonies in western Palm Beach County. Protective behavior can be exhibited by a mother with pups or if the animal progresses to the aggressive phase of rabies.
Animal Care and Control and FWC are also advising that Florida Law does not permit the feeding of any wildlife. And further recommends avoiding all contact.
Persons attacked and bitten by an animal should contact their nearest hospital or the Health Department as precautionary vaccines may need to be administered. The Health Department can be reached at 561-671-4184.
Only otters exhibiting signs of sickness and aggressive behavior should be reported to Animal Care and Control at 561-233-1200 or FWC at 888-404-3922,
Copyright (c) 2010 The E. W. Scripps Company
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