An otter injured a 12-year-old boy from Butte who was floating on the Big Hole River west of Divide on Friday, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
A post on the Montana FWP (Region 3) Facebook page says two boys were floating on inner tubes about a half-mile upstream from the Powerhouse Fishing Access Site when they noticed several otters downstream.
The boys were reportedly trying to keep their distance when one of the otters approached and attacked one of the boys. Two adults who were camping nearby helped drive the otters away and bring the boys to safety.
The boy received prompt treatment for non-life-threatening injuries. The other boy was unharmed.
FWP says staff have posted signs at several fishing access sites in the area advising recreationists of the incident. No further management action is planned at this time.
According to FWP, otter attacks are rare, but otters can be protective of their young. They give birth to their young in April and can later be seen with their young in the water during the summer. They may also be protective of food resources, especially when those resources are scarce. Otters are members of the weasel family.
FWP advises recreationists to give all wildlife plenty of space. In drought conditions, low water levels can bring recreationists closer to water-dwelling wildlife. Keeping your distance can help avoid dangerous encounters, reduce stress for wildlife and promote healthy animal behavior.