A woman is in recovery after being attacked by a wild otter while kayaking in Florida.
Sue Spector, 77, was kayaking with her husband, Marty, and a group of people in the Braden River on Sunday, New York Daily News reports. Spector said that she heard someone comment that there was an otter in sight, when the animal suddenly jumped on her and started clawing and scratching at her, hitting her arms, nose and ears.
I took my paddle and I tried to get him off of me and he wouldn’t let go and I kept screaming, I kept beating him with a paddle.
She added, “When you’re [in the middle of] it you don’t have a lot of thought except you hope you survive.”
The kayak Spector was in had flipped over during the incident, leaving her to fight the otter off while neck-deep in water. Her husband, Marty, said, “I heard someone behind me say, ‘Oh look, there’s an otter,’ then I heard somebody screaming and I realized it was my wife. My boat turned over and so I was in the water with a paddle, just trying to beat the otter of her back. It didn’t want to come off!”
The animal eventually left Spector, and the rest of the kayaking group kept it at bay while their guide, Marsha Wikle, pulled Spector and Marty out of the water and back into their kayaks.
Spector was admitted to the emergency room immediately after, and is currently on antibiotics as well as rabies medications. The attack came just one day after another kayaker rushed to the hospital also following an incident with an otter.
She said that she was lucky to have been wearing a life jacket, as it prevented the otter from doing further harm with its claws.
Florida Fish and Wildlife have put up a sign around the area where Spector was attacked.