The latest victim of an otter attack in Boca Raton filmed the whole thing. Looks like a provoked attack to me. The young man continues to harrass the animal even after it's retreated a couple of times. The otter bit him on the leg.
Update: Authorities have recovered a dead otter and are testing it for rabies. The young man in this video has already undergone rabies treatment.
In Massachusetts, a fox attempted to attack several people, including a police officer in his cruiser. It tried to climb a ladder to get at a man on a roof. In its most dramatic feat of incompetence, the fox failed to injure a little girl when her dogs roundly thrashed it.
Dogs guard girl when fox attacks
As often mentioned here, rabies is the likely cause when foxes attack--especially when they attack animals far too large to serve as prey.
Third person is bitten by an aggressive otter in West Boca Raton | raton, boca, west - Top Story - WPEC 12 West Palm Beach
Here's a story about what seems to be a highly territorial otter. This link has some rough video:
None of the victims has been seriously injured, but rabies is a concern.
Last time, I showed some of Wayne Allison's photos of cougars. Today's slideshow is from Allison's encounter with a young pet cougar in a suburb of the Twin Cities.
"It was all muscle," Wayne's daughter D'Arcy told me. She noted that the cougar's build surprised her—its long, flexible spine, its powerful haunches. She and her mother and another woman played with the cougar on the lawn in front of D'Arcy's office building.
The owner told how his pet had once saved him from a mugger. The mugger approached him from behind as he was loading stuff into his vehicle. The man heard a voice demand his wallet. Then he heard footsteps running away. The mugger had caught sight of the man's formidable passenger.
D'Arcy enjoyed meeting the cougar, which stayed on its leash the whole time. But she says she had a very uncomfortable moment when some children passed by on their bikes. "You're used to seeing a pet cat focus in on a bird like that," she said. "I wasn't used to seeing a big, powerful animal look at children that way."
"I have one of those," the delivery man said. He seemed to be pointing to the framed print behind D'Arcy's desk. Since the print showed a cougar, she had her doubts. He assured her that, yes, he actually had a pet cougar. It had the run of his house, and when he came home in the evenings, it bounded up the basement steps to meet him.
The cougar (also called a mountain lion or puma) in the picture had been photographed at a zoo by D'Arcy's dad, the wildlife photographer Wayne Allison. His slideshow above includes the photo from D'Arcy's wall. She knew Wayne would be interested to meet a cougar up close. So when, in the fullness of time, the delivery guy offered to bring his pet by D'Arcy's office, she phoned Wayne and told him to bring his camera. As if he'd ever leave home without it.
Next time, you'll see what happened when Wayne Allison met the cougar.
Photos courtesy of D'Arcy at Taltos Horse Tribe.
In West Bengal, a leopard attack that left one person hospitalized has farm workers spooked.
The leopard doesn't get as much attention in the Western press as a lot of lesser predators do, but some think it's the world's premier predator of human beings. It ranges across Africa and Asia, and it's very good at living close to people.
Baby home, recovering from raccoon attack
The Newton Citizen has this follow-up to the case reported last week. It seems criminal charges are in the works, but the police aren't saying yet who these charges will be directed against. Georgia law prohibits keeping wild animals as pets; that would seem to be the issue here.
|A Kamchatka brown bear killed by sport hunters.|
Brown bears from around the world, including the grizzlies, Kodiaks, and Alaskan browns of North America and the Kamchatka bears of Russia, are now regarded as belonging to the same species. It's interesting to note in one of the articles above that Russian officials advise fighting back if attacked by one of these animals. In North America, the more common advice is to try playing dead. Neither method has a good success rate. The size and weaponry of the animal mean even brief, defensive attacks can be fatal. In the opening frame of the slide show below, you'll see the claws of a brown, which can be five inches long.
Wayne Allison's photos of grizzlies:
Neighborhood on edge after bear attack near Gig Harbor | Seattle News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | KOMO News | Local & Regional
A woman and her dog battled a bear on the streets of Gig Harbor, which is near Tacoma, Washington. This news report calls it a "vicious attack" by the bear, but the details suggest the bear only harmed the woman when she tried to protect the dog who started it all.
Thanks to Kathy B. for the news tip.
The BBC is reporting a man killed by lions at a national park in Zimbabwe. The article linked here mentions other wildlife problems in the area, including other lion attacks and a fatal elephant attack. The Metro used the same source for the story; it's interesting how different the causes sound in the two papers.
This local news video has more details on the attack that left a baby critically injured. It now appears that the raccoons were not pets, but possibly had been habituated to human contact through repeated feeding.
As reported earlier, authorities have ordered rabies tests, but that would seem to be a mere formality; this is clearly a predatory attack. The animals used strategy to reach the child and eventually retreated from an attack. The choice of prey was highly unusual, but everything else about their actions is normal raccoon behavior.
Raccoons attack baby in Newton County | ajc.com
In Georgia, two raccoons have attacked a nine-month-old baby in her home, leaving her in critical condition. Her mother was apparently sleeping in the same room at the time. It's not clear at this point whether the raccoons were pets. Rabies tests are underway.