Mum savaged in otter attack burns effigies of the animal to help with trauma

Jen Royce was savaged by the otter while floating down a river (Picture: Kennedy News)

A woman who was brutally attacked by an otter earlier this year now has her revenge after burning an effigy of one.

Jen Royce, from Bozeman in Montana, was floating down the Jefferson River with two friends in August when she was attacked by the animal for around five minutes.

Attacks from otters are incredibly rare – there have only been an estimated 59 otter attacks with injuries or deaths worldwide since 1875.

But in the months after the attack which saw her face savaged and ear ripped off, the mum-of-three still sees the otter when she goes to sleep at night.

Jen has now revealed she attended an otter burning party weeks ago with her friends in an effort to get over the trauma of the attack.

She said: ‘I think I will always be triggered when I see an otter and I don’t think I am ever going to be okay with them. It’s funny because otters were my favourite animal before this happened.

Jen had been floating and enjoying time with friends before the attack (Picture: Jen Royce)
She had to undergo a five-hour facial reconstruction operation (Picture: Kennedy News)
The animal launched its attack on Jen for five minutes (Picture: Kennedy News)

‘I had otter trinkets and stuffed animals and it was so strange to go from something I loved so much to something I now fear.’

Jen said she still has flashbacks of the attack when she sleeps, and suffers panic attacks when she wakes up.

Despite keeping some of her otter trinkets, she said: ‘Some of my otter items I have kept hold of, even though I want to take a hammer to them, because they hold too much sentimental value.

‘But I had a stuffed animal toy and I threw this away as soon as I could [after the attack].

‘A good friend of mine also invited us to an otter burning party. We drank some champagne and burned three stuffed otters.’

Jen burned three stuffed otters to help with her trauma (Picture: Kennedy News)

Jen, 37, suffered multiple injuries to her face and limbs, including part of her ear being bitten off.

She said she thought she might die in the attack – and due to their remote location, she had to wait nearly an hour for paramedics to arrive.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is now advising visitors to the potential dangers. 

‘While attacks from otters are rare, otters can be protective of themselves and their young, especially at close distances,’ a statement from the park said. 

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