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When A Good Otter Goes Bad

March 6, 2010 at 11:23 am by  

Venice, FL – The 911 call came in just after 4:00 Thursday morning:

Caller: Venice East Boulevard. Help!!

Dispatch: What’s happening at Venice East Boulevard?

Caller: There’s a man on the ground – an otter – I can’t get him off. Hurry please.

Dispatch: There’s a man on the ground?

Caller: Yes ma’am.

Dispatch: And someone’s doing what?

Caller: An otter’s got him.

Dispatch: Who’s got him?

Caller: An otter?

Dispatch: An otter?

Caller: O-T-T-E-R! Please hurry, I can’t keep him off him.

Well now, that’s not something you hear every day, huh? Morrell Denton, 96, was taking a stroll that fateful Thursday morning when the pissed off otter crossed his path.

“I just looked down on the ground and I saw this little animal walking across and he walked across real slow,” Denton said. “And I looked down there and he grabbed me by the leg,” he said. “When I fell is when he grabbed my hand. I tried to pull him off with the other hand and he got hold of that hand. He was all over me.” Seriously – I ain’t making this shit up.

While Denton was rasslin’ around with the critter, two brave souls came to his rescue. His saviors, Chris Janssen, 36, and Raymond Duval, 53, tried to convince the otter to release the elderly man by beating and poking at it with garden tools. That was one feisty otter, though, and he wasn’t about to go down without a fight. While they continued to battle with the animal, the conversation with dispatch went on:

Dispatch: What kind of injuries does the man have?

Caller: I don’t know! He’s being bit by a damn otter! Can you please send someone? And later in the call:

Caller: Ma’am, that little sucker’s got him. I can’t seem to get him off.

The pair eventually managed to get the otter off the man and it retreated into the brush – defeated and broken, but still alive. Denton and Janssen were treated at a local hospital for unspecified injuries and released.

As you can see in the picture below, that otter got a couple good chunks of skin off the poor guy. Because of the threat it posed to humans, the otter had to be terminated. And, to make matters worse, the animal tested positive for rabies – the Sarasota County Health Department has issued a rabies alert.

Don’t know what’s pissing those critters off, but just last month, there was a report of another rabid otter that had attacked a couple of horses.

Audio of the 911 call can be heard here, or you can read the transcript here.

Morrell Denton

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