Woman savaged by 'vicious and relentless' otter which bit off half of her ear

Woman savaged by ‘vicious and relentless’ otter which bit off half of her ear

Jen Royce had been celebrating her birthday with a wild swim in Montana’s Jefferson River when a vicious otter fell upon her and her friends. It took turns savaging the shocked friends as they desperately tried to get out the river
A woman was left with her face shredded and a chunk of her ear bitten off when a savage otter attacked her and her friends.

Jen Royce, 37, needed five hours of surgeries after the attack in Montana’s Jefferson River.

The Bozeman resident had been celebrating her birthday swimming in the river with a couple of friends. Describing the moment it first attacked she said: “I saw one otter right behind my friend before it attacked. I didn’t even have a chance to get the words ‘there is an otter behind you’ out of me before it attacked her.”

Detailing the attack on social media, she described the otter as “vicious and relentless.” She said: “It bit my face in several places, both of my ears, my arms, my hands, my legs, my thighs, and my ankle. My friends were bit on the hands and on their bottoms. One friend’s thumb was SHREDDED and she has bite marks all over her body as well.”

Otter attacks are incredibly rare with a 2016 study reporting that only 44 cases of such attacks have been recorded worldwide since 1875.

The trio had been floating in the deep part of the river when the otter attacked. It took turns attacking each of them, sending the three friends scattering in different directions.

Two of the friends ended up on opposite banks of the river but one was stuck on a rock in the middle of the river, scared of trying to make it to safety in case the otter attacked again.

Jen wrote: “I was covered in blood and it just kept pouring out from my face and nose. It was cold. We were wet. It was dark. We had no real ‘good’ visual on each other due to distance. All we could do was scream and call out to one another. To anyone. But we were just so damn far away. From anything.”

One of the group called 911 but they were so remote it took almost an hour for help to arrive. In the meantime they were throwing rocks into the water around the friend stranded in the middle of the river in an attempt to scare off the vicious creature.

Jen started to feel faint and with the blood loss she was terrified she was going to die. She even asked her friend to watch over her children. Recalling her fear: “Without any exaggeration, and this is God’s honest truth, I did not think I was going to make it out of that river. I had no clue if my friends were going to make it out.”

Thankfully emergency services made it to them and they were rushed to hospital to get their wounds cleaned and emergency rabies jabs.

Jen said: “I have more stitches in my body than I can count. Besides my face, I have puncture wounds to my left ankle, both legs, back of my right thigh, both arms, both hands, and all fingers. My left ear is split in half from the top to the bottom and is being held together with some kind of yellow bandage and stitches on both sides. I have lost almost half of my right ear. But I am lucky, and I am grateful, and I am alive.”

A fundraiser was set up to help cover medical expenses.

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