• 'It went straight for me': Otter charges at, bites woman walking dog at iconic Maitland lake

    By: Jason Kelly , Cierra Putman

    Updated:

    MAITLAND, Fla. - A Maitland woman said an otter charged at her, bit her calf and scratched her while she was walking her dog last week at Lake Lily Park.

    Ann-Christine Langselius told Channel 9 that the encounter happened Jan. 8 while she was walking on a bridge that traces the lake's eastern shore.

    She said she visits the park daily, but she had never before seen an otter at the lake.


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    "I saw an otter coming ... just looking at me. It went straight for me," Langselius said. "It went for the calf and then it bit first; once in my Achilles. And then it got a really good hold a little further down."

    Langselius said she started running and the otter held onto her until she was off the bridge.

    "It was so fast," she said when asked how large the otter was. "Maybe like a dog (in terms of size); short legs and very wet."

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    On Wednesday, the city of Maitland posted flyers, warning visitors to keep their distance, to not feed wildlife and to call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission if they spotted any aggressive otters. 

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    The Maitland Police Department said it had received several complaints about an aggressive otter attacking people and pets.

    The agency said a police officer fatally shot an otter Thursday near Lake Maitland. The Florida Department of Health said the otter tested positive for rabies.

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    Langselius said she suspects it is the same otter that attacked her.

    The virus is almost always fatal if left untreated.

    The health department said it has treated three people for rabies in connection with aggressive otters.

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