SAINT MICHAEL, Minn. - Carol Schefers, 38, has no intention of swimming in a Minnesota lake again. On July 28th, she was attacked and bitten by an otter.
The incident occurred on Ude Lake in Aitkin. Schefers decided to swim across the small lake and was about 200 yards off shore when she felt more than a nudge on her foot.
"I got hit by two things. I thought it was muskies," said Schefers. "I was like wow, that is not a fish. I am in trouble. I started screaming and just really struggling and trying to keep myself above water. Thank God, I had a life jacket on."
Schefers' husband, Patrick, jumped in his fishing boat to rescue her, but the boat was slow. "I had to just sit there and watch that thing circle her and then hit her and then circle her and hit her," said Patrick Schefers. "I suspect there may have been young out there, but I do not know for sure."
Carol Schefers suffered bites on her legs, foot and one hand before the attack subsided. She spent 9 hours in an Aitkin hospital and received dozens of shots for possible infections and rabies. Otters do not carry rabies, but could be infected if bitten by another animal.
The anti-rabies shot regimen will continue this weekend. One thing that Schefers says will not continue is lake swimming, with their three children, aged 4-9.
"Oh, no, no, no," said Schefers. "I am keeping my kids above water and if they want to go swimming, we will go to a pool."
This is the second otter attack in a northern Minnesota lake in less than a month.
The other incident happened last month in Duluth, where Leah Prudhomme of Anoka was swimming in Island Lake. She was bit 25 times. Prudhomme said the attack will not stop her from swimming in the lake.
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