Otters are playful animals and appear to engage in various behaviors for sheer enjoyment. Different species vary in their social structure, with some being largely solitary, while others live in groups – in a few species these groups may be fairly large.
Otters are very active, chasing prey in the water or searching the beds of rivers, lakes or the seas. Most species live beside water, entering it mainly to hunt or travel, otherwise spending much of their time on land to avoid their fur becoming waterlogged. The sea otter does live in the sea for most of its life.

Otters have long, slim bodies and relatively short limbs, with webbed paws. Most have sharp claws on their feet, and all except the sea otter have long muscular tails. The twelve species range in adult size from 0.7 to 1.8 metres (2 to 6 feet) in length and 5 to 45 kilograms (10 to 100 pounds) in weight.

Many otters live in cold waters. For most otters, fish is the primary staple of their diet. This is often supplemented by frogs, crayfish and crabs.[3] Some otters are expert at opening shellfish, and others will feed on available small mammals or birds. Prey-dependence leaves otters very vulnerable to prey depletion. Otters do not attack humans unless they are affected with rabies, in which case they can be very dangerous. If they bite a person they will contaminate her with rabies.

Three weeks ago, a few days before Thanksgiving, our friend, Al—not his real name—went for his daily walk at 6:30 am in his complex located in Boca Raton, FL. It was still dark but he knew his way well as he walked briskly, sometimes stepping over grassy areas to soften his steps.

Imagine his surprise when out of no-where an animal jumped on his feet. Al tried to kick him, but the animal grabbed Al’s leg and bit him. Al shook his free leg and kicked with all his strength. The animal clawed at Al’s other leg. Screaming for help, Al wriggled and pushed the animal’s head to free himself. The animal abandoned Al’s legs, barked and aimed for Al’s head. Luckily, Al managed to turn and started to run, but the animal tripped him. Poor Al sprawled on his face. The mean animal sprang on Al’s back and bit his butt.

Fortunately, someone must have heard Al’s screams for help. Sensing the presence of a new comer, the animal abandoned his victim and ran away. Al didn’t wait. He scrambled to his feet and limped as fast as he could to his house to wake his wife.

She almost had a heart attack at the sight of her husband covered with blood. A few minutes later they were in the car heading to the ER of the nearest hospital. Meanwhile the police identified the animal as an otter--an enraged otter affected with rabies.

Al refused to be interviewed on TV but the story made national news on ABC, CBS and NBC news.

As a result of his injuries by an enraged otter, Al had to be immediately vaccinated against rabies. He received five painful shots injected in the belly as a first treatment. Two days later, he was injected with four shots. The week after with three shots, and later with two and then one shot.

The mean otter bit a woman the same day and still couldn’t be trapped. Two days later, a young man called Mark walked early in the morning and managed to approach the otter and videotape him, but the otter scratched him. Mark had to be vaccinated against rabies in the same painful way that Al went through. Al and his wife came to dinner at my house two days ago and told us that the otter was found floating in the ocean, dead, the same morning, but Al has still one more injection to receive.

If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy my international romances. I will take you around the world through stories that simmer with emotion and sizzle with heat.

BABIES IN THE BARGAIN winner of 2009 Best Romance Novel at Preditors & Editors and winner of 2009 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite.

Rx FOR TRUST, winner of 2010 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite and 2011 EPICON.


  1. Kimber Leszczuk. // December 16, 2010 at 9:08 AM  

    Wow that is scary. I would have freaked out. They look so cute and playful too. What a vicious attack. He is lucky he survived. I guess it is a reminder that no matter how cute something looks it is still a wild animal and can attack unprovoked at any time.

  2. Judy // December 16, 2010 at 10:20 AM  

    Yike! A scary story, Mona! I can't imagine how much it hurt and how scared he was. No walks alone in the early light without some sort of protection....

  3. Toni V.S. // December 16, 2010 at 11:20 AM  

    Getting so you can't even trust the wildlife. Makes one wonder where the otter got the virus.

    I remember there were otters at Six Flags over Georgia and we loved to go to the underwater window and watch them swim. They were so graceful. Then some genius got the idea to dye the water azure blue and everything in it was almost invisible. You couldn't even see the otters after that.

  4. Nightingale // December 16, 2010 at 12:35 PM  

    Oh my goodness what a horror story. I hope your friend will be okay. I'd heard about the shots in the belly. That must have been very painful.

  5. Autumn Jordon // December 16, 2010 at 1:10 PM  

    OMG. That is awful. When hiking through the mountains, I always carry a walking stick. Thank God Al is okay.

  6. Mary Ricksen // December 16, 2010 at 2:12 PM  

    They are so cute! 'But I don't want to pet one. Terrible experience for anyone!

  7. Mary Ricksen // December 16, 2010 at 2:13 PM  

    By the way, they have a new treatment for rabies which is not nearly as painful as it was...

  8. Mona Risk // December 16, 2010 at 4:02 PM  

    Kimber, you should have heard Al telling the story, and his wife adding details on how he was covered with blood and his clothe torn.

  9. Mona Risk // December 16, 2010 at 4:03 PM  

    Judy, it was quite scary and the poor guy already had heart problems. So imagine...

  10. Mona Risk // December 16, 2010 at 4:04 PM  

    I guess wild life is pretty from far, Toni. LOL

  11. Mona Risk // December 16, 2010 at 4:05 PM  

    I think the shots in the belly hurt as much as the otter's bites according to Al.

  12. Mona Risk // December 16, 2010 at 4:07 PM  

    Autumn, you are wise to carry a stick. a flash light is a good idea too, and don't walk alone!

  13. Mona Risk // December 16, 2010 at 5:10 PM  

    Mary, all animals are cute from far. although I have a picture of my daughter at 10 patting a baby tiger at a supermarket on a special fair day.

  14. Mary Marvella // December 16, 2010 at 8:14 PM  

    Mona, this reminded me of a story Haywood Smith tells about being attacked by a rabid squirrel. Somehow it sounds funny the way she tells it, but it couldn't have been funny then.

  15. Joanne // December 20, 2010 at 9:25 PM  

    What a story. It must have been terrifying, and I never would have believed it of an otter. They look so cute and harmless.