Gang of violent otters is attacking people in Alaska

A bunch of river otters has recently been attacking people in Anchorage, Alaska. There were three attacks in September alone, on a child, a woman, and several dogs.

Apparently these attacks have been going on for a few years now, which leads authorities to suspect it's a specific gang of otters. As this post at Live Science notes:

Although no one knows how many otters are behind these incidents, David Battle, a wildlife biologist at the ADFG, suspects that it may be just one group.

"There always seem to have been four or five otters involved in all the incidents," Battle told Live Science. "Considering the rarity of this behavior in otters, and the fact that our first reported attack was in 2019 and it's happened several times since then, this is very likely one group that has stayed together for a while or that come together frequently over a period of time."

If it's true that it's the same group of otters doing these attacks over such a long period of time, that would also seem to rule out rabies, since it should have killed off the otters long ago. (This is my own shooting-from-the-hip layperson analysis; I am alas not an expert in otters; so take it with a grain of salt.)

Apparently it's not easy to track otters, because they stay on the move!

The ADFG are searching for the otter group responsible for this most recent spate of attacks, but Battle believes that given the animals' lack of any fixed territory, as well as their ability to move extensively through interconnected waterways, tracking them down could be tough. 

(CC-2.0-licensed photo of otters via the Flickr feed of Charlie Marshall)