Man hospitalized with ‘significant injuries’ after encounter with mother otter at Northern California national park

California
An unidentified North American river otter is seen in a file photo from the Calgary Zoo's Facebook page.

An unidentified North American river otter is seen in a file photo from the Calgary Zoo’s Facebook page.

After an encounter with a river otter sent a man to a hospital, officials at Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California are warning people to stay out of the water at a popular lake.

The man was swimming in Manzanita Lake on June 25 when he was bitten by a female river otter, park spokesman Kevin Sweeney told The Times on Tuesday. The man was hospitalized with “significant injuries,” including scratches and puncture wounds that caused bleeding, but they did not appear to be life threatening, Sweeney said.

Sweeney said that the incident occurred about a tenth of a mile from a ranger station, so rangers were able to respond quickly. No further details on the man’s injuries or condition were available.

It is unclear what prompted the incident, but officials believe that the man may have gotten too close to the female otter’s kittens, prompting her to aggressively react.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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