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‘Succession’ actor says she was attacked by otters while swimming in California river

Crystal Finn said she had to seek medical treatment after she was attacked while swimming in the Feather River near Plumas National Forest last month.
/ Source: TODAY

Crystal Finn, an actor who appeared in "Succession" and the Broadway play "Birthday Candles," said she had to seek medical treatment after she was bitten by otters while swimming in a California river.

Finn told The San Francisco Chronicle the attack occurred last month when she was swimming in the Feather River near Plumas National Forest.

"I felt something on my backside and on my leg," Finn said. "I started looking around and yelling out and (the otters) popped up right in front of me. Then they dove down and started going at me again."

Finn said she headed toward the river's shore when the three otters began biting her again, and that she tried to fight them with her feet as she climbed on a rock for safety.

A sea otter swims in Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing, CA.
A sea otter in Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing, California. The animals can be protective of their young, experts say.Paul Chinn / The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

"I could see the bites on my legs and knew I had been bitten on my butt — that one was the worst, but I couldn’t see it," she said. "The bites really hurt."

The otters disappeared after she climbed onto the rock, she said.

Finn was treated for her injuries at Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee, California, where doctors told the Chronicle they had never seen an otter attack victim until this summer, when two separate patients came in within days of each other in July with injuries.

Dr. Martin Rosengreen, an emergency room physician at Tahoe Forest Hospital, declined to comment whether one of the patients was Finn, citing confidentiality reasons.

"After the first otter attack I thought, 'Wow that was kind of special' and then two days later there was another one," Rosengreen told the Chronicle. 

The first victim Rosengreen saw was attacked by several otters while swimming in Serene Lakes, where she was bitten 15 to 20 times on different parts of her body, he said.

"She was out swimming in the middle of a lake and noticed something brush up on her leg," Rosengreen told the newspaper. "Then, all of a sudden they started attacking, and she was trying to fend them off and swim away from them at the same time."

Rosengreen said she had severe injuries and was treated for rabies.

Earlier this month, three women were injured in Montana after an otter attacked them while they were in inner tubes on the Jefferson River, around 10 miles southeast of Caldwell, Montana, authorities said.

One of the women had to be airlifted to an area hospital via helicopter for her injuries, according to the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Park.

The department said in a statement otter attacks are rare, and that the animals "can be protective of themselves and their young, especially at close distances."