77-Year-Old Woman Says She Is ‘Lucky’ After Vicious Encounter With Otter

A 77-year-old woman who was attacked by an aggressive otter earlier this month in Florida is detailing the frightening ordeal.

Sue Spector was paddling up the Braden River on March 4 with her husband, Marty, in their own individual kayaks at the time. They were enjoying a peaceful and sunny morning when a wild otter jumped on her kayak, ran up her back and began clawing at her face. 

“He was swimming along beside me and I thought, ‘Oh, how cute,'” she told Inside Edition. “I jerked when he jumped. I wasn’t thinking he was going to give me a nice kiss. I knew this was dangerous and I had to get him off of me.” 

Her nose and one of her ears were nearly sliced off, and her hand was savagely bitten. 

“I was screaming,” she said. “I was fighting.”

“I heard this woman screaming and I realized it was Sue,” her husband said. “I took [a] paddle and tried to shove it off.”

Fellow kayakers blew an alarm whistle that alerted guide Marsha Wikle, who raced over to Spector’s vessel to help.  

It’s unclear whether the otter was rabid.

Wikle told Inside Edition that two other kayakers started whacking the creature with their paddles.

“They’re over here trying to discourage him, beat him away,” she said. 

Wikle added that while otters may look cute, they are surprisingly very ferocious. 

“We see them with button noses and sweet faces, and they are laying back, cuddling their young — that’s the picture most people have of otters,” she said. “I have heard that in an attack between an otter and an alligator, the alligator doesn’t always win.”

Sue Spector was rushed to the hospital to get stitched up. She also received a rabies shot.

Inside Edition was there as Wikle checked in with Sue, who is still recovering.

“Isn’t she a trooper?” Wikle said. “She stayed so calm.”

Spector says she was very ‘lucky’ things didn’t turn out worse. 


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