Jupiter, FL - A Florida man was attacked by a rabid otter while feeding birds in the backyard of his Palm Beach County home.
Joseph Scaglione, an enthusiast of bird feeding, was tending to birds that congregated outside of his backyard gate when the birds he was feeding scattered abruptly.
It was then that Scaglione spotted a "brown head sticking up over the bank of the pond."
In a swift and unexpected attack, the otter lunged at Scaglione as he attempted to back away towards his gate.
The encounter resulted in 41 bites on Scaglione's legs, hands, and arms, with his pinky finger suffering particularly severe injuries.
Scaglione managed to toss the otter away and reach safety.
Later that day, the rabid otter encountered another family and their dog in the same neighborhood, prompting an attack on the dog.
Concerned residents captured the rabid animal by using a recycling bin.
Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control Captain David Walesky tells WSVN, "We captured the animal, we were able to secure it, get it here in our facility. From there, a sample is collected that's sent to the state laboratory in Jacksonville."
The results, which arrived on Saturday, confirmed that the otter was indeed rabid.
Scaglione is undergoing rabies treatment and is relieved that the otter no longer poses a threat.
Palm Beach County Animal Control noted that this incident marked the first reported case of a rabid otter in over a decade.