Jupiter, Florida – A man and a dog in Jupiter were bitten by a rabid river otter last week, as confirmed by the Florida Department of Health. The incident took place on Marlin Drive in the 900 block.
According to a report from Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control, an officer was alerted to the situation at 148 Florida Avenue at 11:18 a.m. The otter had become trapped under a recycling bin in the driveway. An animal control officer arrived at the scene and managed to release the otter, eventually capturing it with a net. The otter was then transferred to a carrier.
Officials noted that the otter displayed abnormal and hyperactive behavior while in the transfer carrier. It bared its teeth and even bit the carrier’s metal, indicating signs of rabies infection.
The victim, Joseph Scaglione, 74, recounted the incident to Animal Care and Control. He stated that he had been feeding corn to ducks in a nearby pond. As he was returning home, he heard the ducks suddenly taking flight. When he turned to look, he saw the otter near the bank. Scaglione slowly backed away while facing the otter, but he was attacked for several minutes. The otter bit him on both arms and legs.
Scaglione shared his harrowing experience with WPTV, stating that he managed to push the otter away, but not before it had caused significant damage. He described one bite on his pinky finger that tore off the nail and seemed to indicate a tooth embedded in his finger. He is currently undergoing a series of rabies shots and has an appointment with a hand surgeon to assess potential permanent damage.
Although the report did not identify the owner of the dog that was attacked, the police officer who arrived at the scene confirmed that the owner had taken the pet to a veterinarian for treatment.
Subsequent testing revealed that the otter was indeed positive for rabies, according to health officials.
Residents in the area have been advised to avoid any contact with wildlife, including feral cats, and to report suspicious animal behavior to Animal Care and Control.
Rabies is a fatal disease that affects the nervous system of warm-blooded animals, including humans, if left untreated.
To prevent rabies, pet owners are encouraged to follow these guidelines:
– Keep all pets’ rabies vaccinations up to date.
– Supervise pets closely to prevent contact with wild animals. Seek immediate medical or veterinary assistance if you or your pet is bitten by a wild animal and contact Animal Care and Control at 561-233-1215.
– Call your local animal control agency to remove stray animals from your neighborhood.
– Spay or neuter your pets to reduce the number of unwanted animals that may not receive proper care or vaccinations.
– Avoid handling, feeding, or attracting wild animals through open garbage cans or garbage.
– Never adopt or bring wild animals into your home.
– Educate children to avoid handling unfamiliar animals, whether domesticated or wild, even if they appear friendly.
– Take measures to prevent bats from entering dwellings or occupied spaces where they may come into contact with people and pets, such as homes, churches, schools, etc.
Q: What happened in Jupiter regarding the otter bite incident?
A: A man and a dog were bitten by a rabid otter in Jupiter, Florida.
Q: Where did the attack take place?
A: The incident occurred in the 900 block of Marlin Drive.
Q: How was the otter captured?
A: Animal control officers managed to capture the otter using a net after it was trapped under a recycling bin.
Q: What signs of rabies did the otter display?
A: The otter exhibited abnormal and hyperactive behavior and bit the metal of the transfer carrier.
Q: What injuries did the victim sustain?
A: The victim, Joseph Scaglione, suffered bites on both his arms and legs.
Q: How is Joseph Scaglione being treated?
A: Scaglione is undergoing a series of rabies shots and has a scheduled appointment with a hand surgeon.
Q: Did the dog owner seek medical attention for their pet?
A: The report did not identify the owner, but the police officer confirmed that the dog was taken to a veterinarian.
Q: What precautionary measures should residents take?
A: Residents should avoid contact with wildlife, report suspicious animal behavior, and ensure pets’ rabies vaccinations are up to date.
Q: What is rabies?
A: Rabies is a fatal disease that affects the nervous system of warm-blooded animals, including humans.
Q: How can pet owners prevent rabies?
A: Pet owners should keep their pets’ vaccinations up to date, supervise their pets’ interactions with wild animals, and seek immediate assistance if bitten. They should also spay/neuter their pets and avoid attracting wild animals with open garbage cans. Additionally, it is important to teach children not to handle unfamiliar animals and take measures to prevent bats from entering occupied spaces.
Please note that the FAQ section has been added to provide additional information for readers’ convenience.