Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Excerpts from her personal experiences and field notes strengthen the narrative even more. “We have no idea how the giant otter escaped,” zoo spokeswoman Eveline Dustersiek told Germany’s The Local. Each tentacle has 5,000 stinging cells and enough toxin to kill 60 humans. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. The giant otter or giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is a South American carnivorous mammal. They might look cute, but the backs of the Amazonian poison dart frog ooze a slimy neurotoxin to keep predators away. The first occurred in Brasilia zoo in 1977 when a 13 year old boy fell into the otter enclosure. The giant otter shrew (Potamogale velox) is a semiaquatic, carnivorous afrotherian mammal. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. However, to … Chris Whitney, 13, and Jacob Savage, 14, had been jumping off rocks into the reservoir when between three and five animals attacked them, chasing them down a narrow arm of the lake as they swam for the shore. On average, are 15ft long and 5,000lb, and can detect a drop of blood in 25 gallons of water. They're very interesting to watch,” Battle said. Each frog produces enough of the toxin to kill 10 humans. I just remember looking back at it and seeing it's teeth,” he said. “Somehow it must have pushed a hole through the fence, which is strange because the fence is metal.”. This animal catches its own food and consumes it immediately. “Just the whole body was wrapped around him.”. “I noticed blood all over their legs and their feet. Otters are adorable creatures that live both on land and in the water. Introduction to Otters. Settlers, travellers and explorers wrongly believe they are under attack and shoot to defend themselves (as they believe). The friends had injuries on their necks, legs, and feet, Chris' father Ryan Whitney told local media. Photo by: Frank Hajek. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? Adult giant otters living in family groups have no known serious natural predators, however there are some accounts of black caimans in Peru and yacare caimans in the Pantanal preying on giant otters. There are two cases of serious attacks on humans by giant otters. "There was one that kept attacking us no matter what we did. It is the longest member of the Mustelidae, or weasel family, with males being 4.9 and 5.6 ft long, and females, 3.3 and 4.9 ft, from head to base of tail. Unable to catch it, he went home to Hamburg empty-handed. Sydney Sainsbury of West Yellowstone was 'viciously' attacked by an otter on July 9, leaving her needing serious medical attention, including an arm brace and eight stitches to … The giant otter is large, gregarious, and diurnal. Male giant otters can attain a length of 1.5-1.7m (4.9-5.6ft). It ... Duplaix speculated that piranhas may attack giant otters. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? “They're cute, and they're doing all their activities. The tail adds another 28 inches to the total body length. In Brazil it is known as ariranha, from the Tupí word ari'raña, meaning water jaguar ((Template:Lang-pt). It stops, and quickly swims to the shore near you. Read our full mailing list consent terms here. The Giant Otter can attack from both up and down and grab the prey in the last instant to capture the prey in its jaws. On the one hand, adult males are between 5 and 6 feet long and weigh between 70 and 99 pounds and on the other, females measure between 5 and 5 1/2 feet in length and weigh between 48 and 58 pounds. In the confrontation, the otters are seen periscoping in and out of the water, hesitating to cross the wetlands. Giant otters are very big, very noisy and move in large groups. In Spanish, river wolf (Spanish: [lobo de río] error: {{lang}}: text has italic markup (help)) and water dog (Spanish: [perro de agua] error: {{lang}}: text has italic markup (help)) are used occasionally, though the latter has many other meanings) and may have been more common in the reports of explorers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Several videos of monkeys harassing sea otters in a zoo, culminating with a mass of otters drowning a monkey to the tune of O Fortuna. In 2013 a woman from Montana claimed she needed eight stitches to her head after being attacked by an otter while tubing on the Madison river. Their long tail may add as much as 70cm (28in) to this body length. The stealth and combined strength of a crocodile allows it to lie in the water undetected, before it strikes, drags its pray underwater, barrel rolls and dismembers it. Both the child and his grandmother were hospitalised and needed extensive medical treatment. And the problem is, they tend to do so as a herd. They hunt for food both in the water such as fish and then also land creatures including small reptiles. In 1912, Hans Schomburgk returned to Liberia, and to the dismay of his critics, came back with five live pygmy hippos. A giant otter is a very social animal that lives in large family groups. The attack happened June 2, 2012, as the zoo cleaner, whose name was not reported, scrubbed benches, Germany media reported Friday, June 8, 2012. A family of otters attacked two teenage boys who were swimming in Shasta Lake, California, on Sunday morning. Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. Most occurred in … A passing army sergeant, Silvio Hollembach jumped in to rescue the child but was set upon himself. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. It was named after Lorenz Hagenbeck (1882-1956), the son of Carl Hagenbeck. A weasel / ˈ w iː z əl / is a mammal of the genus Mustela of the family Mustelidae.The genus Mustela includes the least weasels, polecats, stoats, ferrets and mink.Members of this genus are small, active predators, with long and slender bodies and short legs. I just remember looking back at it and seeing it's teeth, {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}}, Family of otters attack two teenage boys swimming in California lake, Rare video shows wild sea otter giving birth, US aquarium trains otter to use inhaler after smoke from Seattle wildfires gives it asthma, Otter launches 'bloody' attack on restaurant, leaves owner 'terrified', eight year old boy and his grandmother were also attacked, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. And here's just some of the messed up things that the jerkiest of them have been known to do. Early travelers' reports describe noisy groups surrounding explorers' boats, but little scientific information was available on the species until Duplaix's groundbreaking work in the late 1970s. They live mainly on land that is very close to bodies of water. Giant otter: Physical characteristics. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Jessica Groenendijk’s love for giant otters and their Amazon waterways makes her book, The Giant Otter, one of the finest on an animal species I have discovered. They were treated by staff at Shasta Regional Medical Center, who Mr Whitney said printed out an 'otter lineup' and asked the boys which one was the culprit. It lives only in the rivers and creeks of the Amazon, Orinoco, and La Plata river systems. Beavers have attacked dogs at Anchorage's University Lake, but wildlife biologists said they were not aware of attacks by river otters. A full-grown pygmy hippopotamus weighs only about 400 lb, a tenth of the weight of the average adult hippopotamus. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. A giant otter, though can reach 1.7 meters in length and weigh about thirty kilograms at a muscular tail strength, endurance acute hearing and sharp eyes along with the great. It was big, shiny and black, but the animal was clearly related to the hippopotamus, not the pig. The giant otter is the longest species among mustelids although not the heaviest. The family Mustelidae, or mustelids, (which also includes badgers, otters, and wolverines) is often referred to as the "weasel family". The widely publicized incident led to a popular belief in Brazil that giant otters can attack and capsize a canoe and tear its occupants to pieces, though no such thing has ever happened. In terms of otters, the giant one has the shortest coat and its … A 2011 Oceanographic Environmental Research Society study of otter attacks found only 39 documented violent confrontations dating back to 1875. But, within the giant otter’s range (which is, unfortunately, rapidly shrinking), this is not the case. It is the only species in the genus Potamogale. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. Otters can certainly harass Caiman though and have done so multiple times. They sat down and they were crying in pain,” Mr Whitney said. Based on this study, cougars have a canine BFQ of 118.8 and, for giant otters, it is 115.4, which is very similar. Aside from human beings, of course. Otters. Facts about Sea Otter, Giant Otter, European Otter, African Otter and River Otter. The two predators are such worthy foes, there's only one recorded case of a jaguar killing a giant otter. https: ... And I've seen a Caiman attack 3 Otters with their fish kill, easily dispatching them and wounding one as they all retreated. 03 Pocket pit bulls. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. The giant otter has a handful of other names. Giant otters attack either above or below the water holding the prey with their teeth strongly. Giant Otter This South American otter is the world's largest, at some 6 feet long. Their bodies measured 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.6 meters) in length.1 Much like the mundane otter,3 these creatures … The giant river otter. Chris and Jacob's injuries were less severe. Females are smaller at 1-1.5m (3.3-4.9ft). 04 ... Once the jaguar had noticed the giant otters from the river bank, it slowly approached them - its eyes fixated on one of the youngest members of the family. A family of otters attacked two teenage boys who were swimming in Shasta Lake, California, on Sunday morning. The jaguar decided to plunge and managed to grab the baby with a swift bite. Weighing in around 16,000lb on average, they are responsible for around 500 human deaths each year. As a result, they cause on average 2million human deaths a year, making the insect one of the world's deadliest creatures. Joseph Menges, another naturalist, told Hagenbeck that “some kind of dinosaur, seemingly akin to the brontosaurs,” lived in the swamps. These kings of the sea have 3,000 teeth with which to tear their pray to shreds. “[The otter] had him by the back of his head and it was holding him down,” Dean Springer, the boy’s great-uncle, told local media. Behavior and conservation of the Amazon’s giant river otter. An exhibition cleaner at Hamburg, Germany’s Hagenbeck Zoo has been hospitalized after being attacked by an escaped giant otter. Giant otter attack! Concern over this endangered species has since generated a body of research. It lives in streams, wetlands and slow flowing larger rivers. The two boys had to be taken to hospital for rabies shots, Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. An average giant otter will weigh between 22 and 32kg (49-71lbs). Even those traditionally seen as completely adorable. The otter attacked the relatively young gator by biting it over the neck, ensuring it could not turn around and bite back. They are very inquisitive, and many of their calls are quite explosive in sound, so they appear angry when they are merely curious. The brute force of an elephant is unrivalled by any land mammal. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. This animal is amphibian and mainly terrestrial. Hagenbeck sent an expedition in 1909 to the Congo to search for the monster, but the effort was quickly aborted due to disease and hostile natives. He died in hospital … Chris told a local news channel the otters "just kept getting at our legs and our feet. In 1909, zoo animal collector and naturalist Carl Hagenbeck (June 10, 1844 – April 14, 1913) recounted in his autobiography, Beasts and Men, how two separate individuals – a German named Hans Schomburgk and an English hunter – told him about a “huge monster, half elephant, half dragon,” which lived in the Congo swamps. When the water level is low, the otters need to adjust or change their den location—lest they and their young become vulnerable to attacks by jaguars. There remains no good explanation for the escape and sudden appearance of the otter. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. The giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is a South American carnivorous mammal. It floats on its back, looking at the banks of the river for predators, when it suddenly seems to notice you. It is found in the main rainforest block of central Africa from Nigeria to Zambia, with a few isolated populations in Kenya and Uganda. 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