LAKELAND, Fla. — A Florida mom says she had to tackle an otter to protect her daughter and dog.
We don't often hear about aggressive river otters, but experts say this otter was definitely not acting normal when it fought its way inside a home in south Lakeland, just off Pipkin Road.
"My husband's like, 'Case, you just alligator-wrangled an otter in the living room,'" Casina Ewert said.
An otter learned, you don't mess with a mother's instincts.
"I think life is full of surprises and you should just be ready for whatever," she said.
This wild story starts after 17-year-old Gwyn Ewert let their dog, Scooter, out before dawn Tuesday morning.
Scooter had found an enemy,
"I sprinted to the backdoor and I was like, 'Scooter!'" Gwyn Ewert said. "All I saw was, like, a big, black ball just all over the place. So he stumbled in the door, and I tried to shut it as fast as possible, but then the otter got stuck."
By this time, the whole house is awake, and Gwyn's mother, Casina, bursts in.
"She and the dog are in a big tangled tumbleweed, spinning around in here," Casine Ewert said.
Then mom handles business.
"I grabbed it," she said. "This is the chair. I walked by this chair, and I was like, 'Somebody open the door,' screaming with it. And it grabbed on it, and it was like pulling the chair back, and he was like, 'Eeeek.'"
Casina tosses the otter outside and discovers it had bitten her daughter.
Several rabies shots later, and Gwyn and Scooter are on the mend.
Now, Florida Fish and Wildlife is trying to find the otter.
A neighbor took this video of an otter in the area later that day.
Dustin Hooper of All Creatures Wildlife Control says he's never seen an otter act like this.
"Any time an otter's on shore going for a human, there's something not right," he said. "Usually they see you, they're gone."