Washington state wildlife officials are searching for an otter that attacked a Snohomish County woman and her 8-year-old grandson last week.
Lelani Grove and her grandson, Bryce Moser, visited a swimming hole near Lake Stevens when they were bitten and clawed by an otter. Grove’s face was so torn up that she needed hundreds of stitches and may lose sight in her right eye.
She told KOMO-TV the otter leapt on her grandson, started biting him, and dragged him under the water.
"I hear my daughter screaming, 'What's going on, Bryce?' When I looked closer, there was something on his head - over his head - and around his body," Grove said.
"She's screaming and he's screaming and I see him go back under water. This thing obviously was heavy enough to where it took him under."
Grove was attacked when she went in after Bryce and grabbed the otter.
"Its neck was long enough that it just started biting on me, and biting into me," she said. "It felt like little knives going in."
"I just remember trying to hold it as tight as I can and yelling, 'Get him out of the water! Get him out of the water!'" she recalled.
The two were taken to a local hospital.
"Her whole eye was kind of taken apart,” said Bryce’s mother, Tabitha Moser.
His grandmother's bravery may have save Bryce from more severe injuries. He received nine stitches on his head.
Wildlife officials say they they plan to trap the otter. If it’s a male it will be killed, but if it’s a female it will be relocated. A female and her pups were spotted in the Pilchuck River earlier this week. Protecting her offspring would explain a violent attack.
Image screenshot: KOMO News