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Dangerous otter killed after rare attack on humans

A large river otter attacked a Washington state boy and his grandmother, badly hurting them last month.

Now the otter believed to be responsible for the rare attack on humans has been killed, state wildlife officials said on Tuesday.

The large male otter was trapped, captured and euthanised just metres from where the late July attack occurred in the Pilchuck River in Snohomish County, about 36 miles (60km) northeast of Seattle, said the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The otter pounced on 8-year-old Bryce Moser as he swam to a rope swing, and then turned on the his grandmother, Lelani Grove, as she tried to intervene, officials said.

Both were hospitalised with dozens of bite and scratch marks to the face, arms and chest.

The attack appeared unprovoked, according to Captain Alan Myers of the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"Aggression is not usual for this species," he said.


Screengrabs from Komo News

In the days after the attack, trappers found several females with pups in the area, and said the responsible animal might have been a mother protecting her brood.

However, those females showed no signs of aggression and moved out when dogs came through, Myers said.

The large male otter found on Sunday acted aggressively and did not appear scared of dogs or humans, Myers said.

"It appears he was very habituated to humans," he said.

A necropsy will be performed to determine whether disease or previous injury played a role in the otter's unusually aggressive behavior, Myers said. - Reuters

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