Trappers spot otter in river

LAKE STEVENS — Trappers believe they have spotted the otter responsible for seriously injuring an 8-year-old boy and his grandmother last week on the Pilchuck River in Lake Stevens.

It appears to be a mother otter with pups, said Capt. Alan Myers with the state Department of Fish &Wildlife. Experts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services office are working to trap the animals.

Myers expects that the mom and pups will be relocated to a remote area of the state rather than being euthanized. Doctors have not requested rabies tests, and otters are not known to carry rabies in Washington state, Myers said.

Officials believe the mother otter is behind an attack on Bryce Moser and Roxane Leilani Grove, who were playing in the river on the morning of July 31 near Lake Connor Park, a private park in Lake Stevens.

Grove rushed in to save Moser when an otter pulled him off a rope swing and into the river.

The otter attacked Grove and refused to let go until three family members fended it off with sticks and an old umbrella, said Dean Springer, Grove’s brother-in-law.

One of Grove’s eyes was severely injured, and Springer said she has gone through multiple surgeries since the attack.

The otter also may be responsible for another attack in July. Radek Bazant and Sally Kuhlman, of Lake Stevens, said they were floating on the Pilchuck River near their homes when an otter gashed Bazant’s leg.

Myers said the most likely explanations for otter attacks are a mother defending pups or a male defending territory. A male otter would likely be euthanized after a serious attack, he said.

Once the female otter and pups are caught and relocated, officials plan to keep an eye on the area and warn people about staying safe around wildlife.

There’s no way to be 100 percent certain this is the otter behind the attack, Myers said.

“There’s many otters in the area,” Myers said. “Otter move many, many miles up and down the river.”

He said people should continue to be cautious in the river and never approach wildlife. Any wild animal can be dangerous if it feels threatened.

Herald photographer Mark Mulligan contributed to this report.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Snohomish man, 63, missing from home since Monday

He left without his keys, wallet and phone, saying something about going to “the river.”

Firefighters come to the rescue and give mom new stroller

Donations to the Good Neighbor Program covered the $143.20 cost.

Case unresolved: The noose at an Edmonds construction site

Though two were fired over comments about it, police were unable to determine who put it there.

To get drug money, Lynnwood man says he cut 911 wires

Those wires happened to be the ones used by 911 dispatchers, but emergency services weren’t affected.

February trial set for suspect in deadly Marysville shooting

There had been questions about Wayne Alpert’s mental health.

Fatal car crash reported on Highway 92 near Lake Stevens

The 3 p.m. accident and investigation stopped traffic in both directions near Machias Road.

Motorcyclist killed in crash had high level of THC

A motorcyclist had more than eight times the legal limit… Continue reading

Investigation recommends girl shot by officers face charges

The teen is accused of assaulting her boyfriend and the responding police officers.

Signs show the rates for using the express toll lanes for traffic headed southbound on Interstate 405, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, in Bothell, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee announced plans Tuesday to try to decrease congestion on I-405 in answer to commuter complaints that the new express lane tolling system is making traffic worse. The governor said he would not be shutting down the tolling system as some people have called for. But the state transportation department is making plans to add new northbound general purpose lanes to ease some of the congestion and also plan to make it easier to move into and out of the express lanes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Higher tolls could improve traffic speed in I-405 toll lanes

A report recommends lifting on the maximum toll and charging only by segment.

Most Read