The otter is a cute little creature. Watching an otter twist and turn in the water and poke its head up to the surface can be great fun. However, humans and otters are not a good match. Otters have certain behaviors that can cause aversions in men, women, and children. If you fear otters, you suffer from Lutraphobia.
Some Common Reasons For Lutraphobia
There are some pretty valid reasons to fear these furry little creatures, since they don’t mesh well with the human race. They may look sweet and harmless, but they exhibit some traits that can be off-putting. One thing that otters do that can be loathsome to some is spray. Animals spray to mark their territory and the musky, animal stench of otter spray is not generally appreciated by humans.
Otters also have very sharp teeth, and they won’t hesitate to use them in defense. An otter bite can really hurt! If you observe an otter and the way it feeds, you’ll see that its sharp teeth can be threatening. Like all animals, otters must prey on other creatures to stay alive. While they appear cuddly and playful, they are efficient predators in their own way.
Otters Are Night Creatures
Otters are nocturnal. They are aquatic mammals from the mustelid (weasel) family. Their mustelid nature makes them clever, playful, and, when threatened, quite agressive. If an otter is startled while in the water, they may hiss and attempt to bite the one they fear. They are not timid animals. The otter is a solitary creature, who uses the cover of darkness to feed and take care of its needs. Otters are bright, and they fashion tools out of stones in order to open hard shells and eat.
In California, in 2004, a family went swimming in a seemingly peaceful stretch of river. The young boy who encountered an otter while out with his family was bitten and scratched by an otter he met in the water. The otter attacked the upper area of his body that was above the surface, then submerged and bit his trunk and legs.
When his mother attempted to fight off the otter, she was likewise attacked. Eventually, the pair escaped the attack, and both required medical care at emergency. The cuts the boy received were quite serious.
Rabies shots were also required, as the animal was uncharacteristically violent and agressive. While otters do bite, they do not generally continue their attacks so intensely for such a long time.
The Sea Otter Has Been Preyed On By Humans
In the early twentieth century, the otter’s soft, thick fur was prized by hunters, and fetched a good price in the marketplace. The otter was therefore aggressively hunted and killed in large numbers, for its pelt alone. In 1911, the killing of sea otters was outlawed, because the species had been decimated and was on the edge of extinction.
Symptoms Of Lutraphobia
If you fear otters, you will be unlikely to swim in rivers and other bodies of water where they congregate. You will be more comfortable in man-made swimming pools. You may fear dark water at night, where many creatures lurk beneath the still surface. You may also shun aquariums where otters play and twirl in special enclosures. Large numbers of otters in one place will make you stressed and avoidant.
You may suffer from panic and terror when confronted with an otter. You will be terrified of its sharp little teeth, and fear being bitten or sprayed. The sounds the animal makes and its smell and appearance will be repulsive to you. You may feel nausea, lightheadedness, and a sense of doom when around the mammal.
The best option for treatment is to seek out the care of a qualifi8ed therapist. Talking out your fears with someone who is sympathetic will allow you to release tension and move forward. Ant-depressants and alternative therapies such as hypnotherapy have also been used with success to treat all manner of phobias.
The fear of otters is also referred to as:
- otter phobias
- fear of otters phobia name
- phobia of otters
- otter fear and phobia