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A Florida man was bitten more than 41 times across his body by a rabid otter who later turned on a dog walking in the same neighborhood with its owner.
Joseph Scaglione, 73, was feeding ducks in the backyard of his Jupiter, Florida home when he was jumped by the otter – who later tested positive for rabies.
In total, the man was punctured by the animal more than three dozen times on his arms, legs, and hands before he was eventually able to shake the animal off.
‘My pinky is the worst. I have two puncture wounds. I’m not sure if it goes right through or whatever. One is on the corner of where the cuticle was,’ Scaglione said.
The rabid later came across a couple out with their baby and their dog and attacked the dog before residents in the neighborhood trapped the mammal.
The animal was later euthanized, the Florida Department of Health told WPBF.
Joseph Scaglione, 73, was feeding ducks in the backyard of his Jupiter, Florida home when he was jumped by the otter
Scaglione was feeding ducks in his garden, pictured here, when he was attacked
In an interview with the local outlet, Scaglione detailed the scary incident involving the animal that attacked him.
‘I normally go out and feed ducks in the back. Ducks, geese, ibis,’ Scaglione said.
While he was out back on September 20, he noticed something amiss.
The first red flag came when Scaglione saw birds who were gathered outside around the gate in his backyard take off quickly.
‘Looked up, no hawk, look back down, and there was a brown head sticking up over the bank of the pond,’ the elderly Florida man said.
He said he initially didn’t know what type of animal he was dealing with but then realized and immediately reacted by trying to back away slowly.
As he began to move away, he lifted his hand to close the gate and the otter pounced on him and caused him to fall back, he said.
The 73-year-old shook the animal away eventually and made it to safety.
Just hours later, however, Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control responded to a call about another attack in the area, this time on a dog.
It’s unclear the extent of the pup’s injuries.
Scaglione was punctured by the animal more than three dozen times on his arms, legs, and hands
The animal tested positive for rabies and was euthanized, officials said
Luckily, several residents worked together to capture the rabid animal by trapping it underneath recycling bins until officials could come and retrieve it for testing.
‘We captured the animal. We were able to secure it, get it here in our facility. From there, sample is collected then sent to the state laboratory in Jacksonville,’ said Captain David Walesky with Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control.
‘Takes a couple days, so on Saturday, the results came back confirmed to be positive,’ Walesky said, adding the animal possibly got rabies from a raccoon.
After that, the animal was euthanized to prevent any future incidents.
Officials said it is the first attack of its kind in more than 12 years in the area.
The viral disease is highly contagious and extremely dangerous.
According to the World Health Organization, once symptoms of rabies appear, the disease is ‘100% fatal.’
Officials recommend getting domestic animals vaccinated against rabies and seeking immediate treatment if a person has come in contact with a rabid animal.
Scaglione was treated for rabies after the bites and is in good condition.
The Florida resident is not letting it stop him from enjoying his backyard pond.
‘It’s nice back out there. We, you know we really enjoy it,’ he said.
‘We have the ducks and the geese that come all the time. And we love them, and they know us, and it’s a pleasant thing,’ Scaglione continued.