A North American river otter. Flickr: Chris Paul
A North American river otter. Flickr: Chris Paul

Otter shot after attacking boy, 8, near Seattle

A RIVER otter suspected of seriously injuring an eight-year-old boy and his grandma on the Pilchuck River near Seattle has been killed.

The large male otter was tracked down and shot Sunday afternoon near Lake Connor Park in Lake Stevens, the local paper The Herald of Everett reported.

The state Department of Fish & Wildlife initially suspected that a mother otter with pups might have been behind a July 31 attack that sent two people to the hospital.

However, trappers shifted their focus after spotting a 1.2 metre male otter that appeared to be migrating through the area, said Capt. Alan Myers.

Dogs were used to "haze" any otters from the area, he said.

Rather than leaving, the male otter responded aggressively to the dogs and was shot after multiple attempts at trapping him failed.

The results of a necropsy are pending and should help determine whether the animal had an illness or injury that might have caused hyperaggressive behavior.

Bryce Moser was playing on a rope swing when family members say he was pulled into the river by an otter.

He was badly cut and bruised in the attack.