MONTANA — What started as a fun, relaxing evening of inner tubing down the Jefferson River turned into a traumatic experience for Jen Royce and her two friends after they were attacked by an otter.
All three women received treatment for their injuries, some of which were more serious than others.
Royce recounted the incident in a Facebook post where she called the otter “vicious and relentless” as it left her with more stitches than she could count. CNN has received permission from Royce to use the information in the post.
The three women were in the middle of a wide stretch of the river on Wednesday evening when the otter appeared behind one of them and attacked, Royce explained. “I didn’t even get a chance to get the words, ‘There is an otter behind you,’ out of me before it attacked her,” Royce said.
Royce’s face, arms, ears, hands, legs and ankle were all bit by the otter as it attacked for about five minutes. When Royce attempted to kick the otter off her friends, it continued to attack her elsewhere on her body.
Eventually the three women managed to get to shore, in different areas, and the otter swam away.
“Without ANY exaggeration, God’s honest truth, I did not think I was going to make it out of that river,” Royce wrote, “I had no clue if my friends were going to make it out. But by the grace of God we did.”
Between the three of them, they had one phone and they were able to call 911 using SOS mode, but it was difficult to locate them as they were in such a remote area of the river, which flows through a portion of southwestern Montana, east of Butte.
“I was covered in blood and it