After being attacked by an otter, Jen Royce and her two friends’ enjoyable evening of inner tubing down the Jefferson River was transformed into a traumatic event.
For their wounds, some of which were more severe than others, all three women received medical attention.
In a Facebook post about the incident, Royce described the otter as “vicious and relentless” for leaving her with more stitches than she could count. Royce has given CNN permission to use the post’s information.
On Wednesday night, the otter ambushed the three women as they stood in the middle of a wide section of the river, according to Royce. Before it attacked her, I didn’t even have a chance to say, “There is an otter behind you,” Royce recalled.
The otter bit Royce’s face, arms, ears, hands, legs, and ankle as it attacked for about five minutes. The otter continued to attack Royce on other parts of her body as she made an effort to kick it off of her friends.
The otter eventually swam away as the three women eventually made it to shore in separate locations.
According to Royce, “I did not think I was going to make it out of that river without ANY EXAGERATION, God’s honest truth, and I had no idea if my friends were going to make it out, either. But by God’s grace, we succeeded.
They were in such a remote part of the river that flows through a portion of southwestern Montana, east of Butte, that they only had one phone between the three of them, and while they were able to call 911 using SOS mode, it was challenging to find them.
“Blood was all over me, and it just kept gushing out of my nose and face. It was freezing. We were soaked. Dark,” Royce remarked.
A little under an hour later, according to Royce, they saw the red and blue lights moving toward the area, but they were too far away to make contact. According to Royce, one of the women made the difficult choice to separate from the other two and run more than two miles to meet the rescue crew.
She was “extremely faint” and unaware of what was happening at that point, according to Royce. She told her friend that she loved her and to watch over her children because if she closed her eyes, she didn’t think she would wake up.
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Royce claims that in an effort to stay awake, she concentrated on the weeds in front of her and counted backwards from 99 to center herself and maintain her composure.
Royce claims that she was overcome with emotion when rescue teams eventually found them. “I can’t put into words how it felt to see those lights. I had newfound optimism. They located us. THEY RECOVERED US. We were no longer isolated, she said.
While the other two received treatment on the spot, Royce was transported by helicopter to a nearby hospital. They were eventually taken to the hospital for additional care. All three women were treated and given multiple doses of the rabies vaccine.
Royce had multiple wounds sutured and had surgery on her face and ears. She continued, “I am fortunate, grateful, and still alive.
A week after the incident, Royce wrote in an updated post that she had returned home and that her wounds were progressing well and showing no signs of infection.
At several locations where people go fishing for fun, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has placed signs alerting visitors to otter activity nearby.
Otter attacks are uncommon, but they can defend themselves and their young, especially when they are nearby, according to Montana FWP. They give birth to their young in April, and during the summer, it’s possible to see them with their young in the water. They might also guard food supplies, especially if they are in short supply.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn