WV DNR News Release

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Stephen S. McDaniel, Director

News Release: June 1, 2017

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Media Contact: Samantha Smith 304-957-9364 Samantha.Smith@wv.gov


Jim Hedrick, Wildlife Resources Section 304-637-0245 DNR.Wildlife@wv.gov

WVDNR warns: Be wary when encountering river otters

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Two people recently were bitten by a river otter while boating on Dunkard Creek in Monongalia County near the Mason-Dixon Historical Park. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources reminds the public to exercise caution around these aquatic mammals.

River otters have large home ranges in and along many of the streams and rivers in the state. Otters are territorial and may aggressively protect their young, so people should be extra careful not to disrupt their habitat.

“Do not approach river otters,” said Steve Rauch, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources District 1 wildlife biologist. “If an otter approaches, you should take steps to keep the otter away from you. This can be done with boat oars, fishing rod, or whatever else might be readily available. You should never try to touch a river otter or any other wild animal.”