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Stock image river otter

Stock image, river otter

WHITEHALL - Two suspected "attack" otters have been killed in the Jefferson River and one carcass has been sent to a state laboratory in Bozeman for a rabies test, a game warden said Thursday.

A Whitehall man, who was not identified, killed two otters after they came at him from a slough while he was cleaning out a beaver dam near his house on the Jefferson, said warden Jim DeBoer of Sheridan.

The man was not bitten.

The otters were suspected of attacking two families on the Jefferson in separate incidents last month. Those and the latest incident all occurred on the same stretch of river, just south of Whitehall, DeBoer said.

A professional trapper was hired to try and catch the otters after four people were bitten in the July 11 incidents, but he failed.

DeBoer said the female otter appeared to have given birth recently and that may explain her aggressiveness.

The four people who were bitten have received shots against both rabies and tetanus.

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