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Crew boats fend off otter attack
The Dartmouth ^ | 4/9/04 | By Marta Darby

Posted on 04/09/2004 3:43:01 PM PDT by mylife

Friday, April 9, 2004 Crew boats fend off otter attack By Marta Darby

Otters are native to New Hampshire river areas, but are found in aquatic habitats around the country. In a scene perhaps more typical of a Fox "When Animals Attack" special than Dartmouth crew practice, a river otter attacked crew coaches April 2 during the varsity heavyweight afternoon practice. No one was injured, but the incident, which occurred seven miles upstream from the crew boathouse, rattled the nerves of all involved.

The otter, running along the shoreline ice before the attack, jumped into the river to play in the wake of the coach's launch, according to varsity coach Scott Armstrong, who was directing two eight-man boats at the time of the encounter. Volunteer coach Todd Pearson and coxswain Kate Johnson '06 accompanied Armstrong in the launch.

Armstrong turned off the motor to avoid injuring the otter with the propeller. With the engine off, the otter immediately tried to board the boat in the stern. Armstrong then grabbed a wooden paddle and attempted to fend off the animal, pushing the otter back into the water every time its head appeared over the edge of the boat. The otter, however, outmaneuvered Armstrong and climbed into the launch..

"Scott, Todd and I immediately jumped up," said Johnson, who was sitting in the bow of the launch. "The otter was on the far side of one of the benches and was definitely trying to attack Scott.".

The otter promptly began to lunge and hiss viciously at the coaches, who frantically used paddles and a megaphone to try to force the animal out of the boat. After a short battle, the two parties reached a standoff – the hissing and glaring otter in the stern of the boat, the coaches armed and ready for action in the middle..

Suddenly, the otter attacked again. As the otter lunged over the bench in the stern, Armstrong swiftly used his paddle to flip the animal into the river..

The otter's aggression, however, did not end there. Shortly after the otter had returned to shore, the animal jumped back into the river, swimming directly toward the second varsity boat that was in the process of turning around. The boats immediately fled..

"I don't think I've ever rowed harder in my entire life as I did trying to escape the otter -- that devilish creature had already attacked Scott and now it was coming back for more," said Noah Riner '06, who was in the second varsity eight at the time of the incident..

Armstrong does not foresee the otter posing a major threat in the future..

"If he jumped into a shell that was stopped in the water and tried to bite one of the guys, it wouldn't be a funny story anymore. But I assume that if we just keep an eye out for him, we can easily avoid that," Armstrong said..

The attack, which occurred about seven miles upstream from the Friends of Dartmouth Rowing Boathouse on the Connecticut River, was not the otter's first assault. The same otter recently attacked local resident Lois Stanhope's four-year-old grandson. The boy's rubber boots, however, protected him from harm..

Stanhope suggested that the otter might be protecting pups, which would explain the animal's violent behavior..

River users are advised to exercise caution and to avoid contact with the otter..


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: New Hampshire
KEYWORDS: wildlife
"I say Bob, I do find the riparian fuana most uncivilized"
1 posted on 04/09/2004 3:43:01 PM PDT by mylife
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To: mylife
"fauna" LOL! Sorry I dint go to Dartmouth!
2 posted on 04/09/2004 3:44:11 PM PDT by mylife
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To: All


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3 posted on 04/09/2004 3:45:41 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (I'd rather be sleeping. Let's get this over with so I can go back to sleep!)
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To: mylife
This clearly requires James Earl Carter.
4 posted on 04/09/2004 3:48:34 PM PDT by AlbertWang
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To: mylife
This reminds me of the killer rabbit attack on Jimmy Carter.
5 posted on 04/09/2004 3:50:06 PM PDT by glorgau
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To: glorgau; pbear8

Via pbear8 at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1105785/posts?page=15#15

6 posted on 04/09/2004 3:55:29 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Support FreeRepublic - become a monthly or better yet a dollar-a-day donor!)
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To: mylife
Sorry I dint go to Dartmouth! You should not be sorry. Smile.
7 posted on 04/09/2004 3:57:30 PM PDT by TopQuark
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To: mylife
LOL!! When otters attack...
8 posted on 04/09/2004 3:57:35 PM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: mylife
I don't think I've ever rowed harder in my entire life as I did trying to escape the otter

What will those darn coaches think of next?

9 posted on 04/09/2004 4:02:06 PM PDT by Drango (2 FReep is 2B --- 2B is 2 FReep)
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To: mylife
The otter promptly began to lunge and hiss viciously at the coaches, who frantically used paddles and a megaphone to try to force the animal out of the boat. After a short battle, the two parties reached a standoff – the hissing and glaring otter in the stern of the boat, the coaches armed and ready for action in the middle..

The insensitive brute! An unarmed otter terrifying 3 Dartmouth crew coaches armed with paddles! And the otter came close to winning....:D

10 posted on 04/09/2004 4:09:57 PM PDT by xJones
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To: mylife
Shades of Jimmah Cotta's wabbit!
11 posted on 04/09/2004 4:14:08 PM PDT by OldFriend (Always understand, even if you remain among the few)
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To: nuconvert
LOL!! When otters attack.

...wasn't there an squirrel attack on biker a couple months ago...very funny. :)

12 posted on 04/09/2004 4:14:37 PM PDT by skinkinthegrass (Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you :)
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To: mylife
ROFLMAO... I heard that in a Thurston Howell voice.

They otter stay away from its territory.
13 posted on 04/09/2004 4:23:05 PM PDT by kenth (Polls show Dennis Kucinich with 1% of the vote. With a 3% margin of error, he may owe us votes.)
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To: mylife
> Stanhope suggested that the otter might be protecting pups, which would explain the animal's violent behavior..

Males, as I recall, are much bigger than females. They can be 60 inches from nose to tail. If this otter was threatening to humans, it was a male. I don't believe it was protecting pups but (in its considered opinion) driving off two rival males :-)

14 posted on 04/09/2004 4:23:12 PM PDT by T'wit ("Now and then, an innocent man is elected to Congress" -- Will Rogers)
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To: kenth
I heard that in a Thurston Howell voice.

LOL! Actually I was thinking of it as said by Sideshow Bobs brother Nigel.

15 posted on 04/09/2004 4:27:40 PM PDT by mylife
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To: mylife
Call Jimmy Carter! He knows what to do! Rabbits! Otters! Jimmuh can handle it! Just don't ask him to plan a military operation that involves helicopters.
16 posted on 04/09/2004 4:30:57 PM PDT by Terry Mross
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To: T'wit
They can be 60 inches from nose to tail

What?! I'll have to do some checking on this one!

17 posted on 04/09/2004 4:34:27 PM PDT by Lijahsbubbe (If you knew what you were doing, you'd probably be bored.)
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To: T'wit
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/riverotter.html

River otter have long streamlined bodies and short, powerful legs with webbed feet. Although the record size for a northern river otter is 33 pounds and 54 inches in length, the average size is 18 pounds and 40 inches long. Males are approximately 17 percent larger than females.


Gross!
18 posted on 04/09/2004 4:39:33 PM PDT by Lijahsbubbe (If you knew what you were doing, you'd probably be bored.)
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To: mylife
Actually, they ought to consider rabies. All mammals can develop it if exposed to the virus. As a precaution the coaches should undergo the rabies treatment. It's not too expensive and is just a series of shots in the arm. There is no sense in taking a risk.
19 posted on 04/09/2004 4:44:59 PM PDT by Jemian
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To: mylife
FARBER COLLEGE

KNOWLEDGE IS GOOD

"Otter"- Tim Matheson

20 posted on 04/09/2004 5:19:22 PM PDT by Khurkris (Ranger On...)
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To: T'wit
About 10 years ago, I was mapping soils in a very isolated area of the Pee Dee River swamp in Darlington County, SC, when I came upon a large male otter clinging to a log in a slough. I just saw him out of the corner of my eye, at first, and he was so big, I thought he was an alligator...it was at LEAST 60 inches long...I won the staredown...he left in a hurry...but before he vanished, he gave me one of those "if looks could kill, you'd leave in a basket" looks.....
21 posted on 04/09/2004 6:07:34 PM PDT by Renfield
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To: mylife
Never bring a megaphone to an otter fight.
22 posted on 04/09/2004 6:10:12 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Lijahsbubbe
> Although the record size for a northern river otter is 33 pounds and 54 inches in length

Unfortunately, that doesn't answer our question. "Largest" here seems to be the weight, not the length; or at least we do not know which. So, it's still quite possible that some can reach 60 inches, even if it weighs less than the 33-pound record.

23 posted on 04/10/2004 5:13:32 AM PDT by T'wit ("Now and then, an innocent man is elected to Congress" -- Will Rogers)
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To: Lijahsbubbe
> What?! I'll have to do some checking on this one!

Please do. I don't remember my source, but that's what it said, 60 inches. The only reason I wasn't startled by that was that I'd just seen one, and it looked like the size of a log.

24 posted on 04/10/2004 5:15:48 AM PDT by T'wit ("Now and then, an innocent man is elected to Congress" -- Will Rogers)
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To: Renfield
> he was so big, I thought he was an alligator

Exactly what I said to companions when I spotted something -- jokingly, because this was in northern Wisconsin, which doesn't have many alligators :-) It was in shadow at first so we could not be sure what it was. Then it swam away, and we all knew immediately we were watching a river otter.

25 posted on 04/10/2004 5:27:51 AM PDT by T'wit ("Now and then, an innocent man is elected to Congress" -- Will Rogers)
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To: mylife
AAAWWW! Isn't he the cutest thing! And he attacks libs too!
26 posted on 04/10/2004 5:28:14 AM PDT by yawningotter
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To: Lijahsbubbe
>> short, powerful legs with webbed feet

Also from memory, not from personal experience: Their rear paws are webbed (for swimming), front paws are not (for catching and handling food).

27 posted on 04/10/2004 5:31:13 AM PDT by T'wit ("Now and then, an innocent man is elected to Congress" -- Will Rogers)
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