Officials said that three women, including one who was flown to hospital by helicopter, were injured after an otter attacked the group as they floated down a Montana River on Wednesday.
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks reported that the incident occurred shortly after 8 pm on the Jefferson River, while the three were on inner tubes, about 3 miles upstream of the Sappington Bridge, approximately 10 miles south of Caldwell.
In a statement , the department stated that the women saw “one or more otters” and that one of them swam up and attacked the women.
After the women exited the water, the otters left. The wildlife department reported that one of the women had suffered serious injuries, requiring a helicopter to fly her to hospital.
NBC Montana reported. According to the station, two of the women had only superficial injuries. All three women are Montana residents.
The Wildlife Department said that it does not plan to take any action against otter.
The Department of Natural Resources said that while otters rarely attack, they can protect themselves and their young at close range.
In the statement, it was stated that the animals give birth to their young in April and usually have them with them on the waterways during the summer.
The attackers were not identified. Officials encourage people to give animals space.
According to a field manual published by the Montana state government, an adult Northern River Otter weighs around 20 pounds. It is also around 47 inches in length. The species is found throughout the state.