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Otter attacks girl and her father in Sawyer County, sending both to the hospital

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Otter Credit WI DNR
Photo Credit: WI DNR

SAWYER COUNTY, Wis. (WQOW) - A young girl and her father were sent to the hospital after an otter attack in Sawyer County on Monday.

The incident happened on Black Dan Lake. That is northeast of Winter.

According to DNR officials, an otter approached the 12-year-old girl and began attacking her by biting and scratching her head.

The father pulled the otter off his daughter, but then the otter started attacking him by biting and scratching.

The two were sent to the hospital to treat their injuries.

Otters may look cute and cuddly, but according to Brad Koele, a wildlife biologist with the DNR, they are territorial and aggressive.

While uncommon, there have been instances of otter attacks in Wisconsin.

Koele said while a low risk, otters can have rabies. He said it is likely the Sawyer County Health Department will recommend the father and daughter get treated for rabies.

Koele said if you see an otter, keep your distance and even leave the water immediately if you have to.

There are trapping operations underway to try and catch the otter in the Sawyer County incident out of safety concerns.

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Shannon Hoyt

Shannon Hoyt started out as an intern in August 2017, moving to a full-time multi-media journalist and weekend anchor before becoming Daybreak anchor and now our 6 and 10 p.m. co-anchor.

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