Florida Man Bitten 41 Times by Rabid Otter

Otter also attacked dog before being captured
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2023 3:00 AM CDT
Updated Oct 1, 2023 4:00 PM CDT
Rabid Otter Bites Florida Man 41 Times
Stock photo   (.Getty Images / Rawlinson_Photography)

A Florida man was feeding ducks and geese at a pond near his yard when suddenly all the birds flew away. Joseph Scaglione was confused, seeing no hawk in the area, but then he noticed an otter in the pond. He backed away toward the gate to his yard, but as he lifted his hand to shut it, he tells WPBF, the otter attacked. In a mauling that lasted several minutes, per WPTV, Scaglione, 74, received 41 bites on his legs, arms, and hands. After Scaglione got away, the otter attacked a dog that was walking with a family in the neighborhood. Nearby residents eventually managed to trap the otter under a recycling bin, and a Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control officer was then able to capture it. It tested positive for rabies and was euthanized, the Florida Department of Health said.

"My pinky is the worst. I have two puncture wounds. I'm not sure if it goes right through or whatever. One is on the corner of where the cuticle was," says Scaglione, who is being treated for rabies and will see a hand surgeon to determine how bad the damage is. A police officer says the dog is also being treated by a veterinarian. (More Florida stories.)

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