BOCA RATON, Fla. - This is no game of cat and mouse. An otter has been attacking people and animals. It emerged from a canal behind a residence in Western Boca Raton last week and won't let up.
"I know we have a big alligator but not an otter," says resident James Rahmama.
Residents are not at all happy about this aggressive new guest who simply vanishes after putting up a fight. Animal Care and Control set traps, local wildlife centers have been notified, the Palm Beach County Health Department is investigating and now flyers are being handed out.
"I came home and saw that Chester had a bit of a bloody nose, had been scratched bitten on the top of his snout," says resident Greg Butler.
Chester, an 8 year old golden retriever, was bitten twice and two residents were attacked over the weekend. Both people say they were walking and watched in horror as the otter approached unprovoked and aggressive.
"The most likely culprit is a raccoon, somewhere along the way this otter encountered a racoon and may have then developed rabies from it, I say that only because this behavior is not common of otters especially not common of healthy otters," says Dave Walesky of Animal Care and Control.
Rabies is suspected but no one will know the truth of this tale until the animal is caught and tested. A challenge easier said than done.
"This is a beautiful area of West Boca, lots of wildlife but we've never seen an animal come up to us that closely," says Butler.
If you see the otter please call Palm Beach County Animal Care
and Control at 561-233-1200.
Copyright (c) 2010 The E. W. Scripps Company
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