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GRAPHIC: Grandmother saves boy from otter attack: ‘It felt like little knives’

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TULALIP, Wash. – The grandmother who saved her grandson from a vicious otter attack last week that left her with hundreds of stitches to her head and face is opening up about what happened.

Lelani Grove said her family's trip to the Pilchuck River Thursday morning began normally. In fact, she said that she had been coming to the spot under the Russell Road Bridge for years.

What was supposed to be a relaxing day for her and her grandsons turned frightening when the 8-year-old felt was swimming near the shoreline.

Then she saw the animal emerge and clamp down on his body.

"I hear my daughter screaming, 'What's going on, Bryce?' When I looked closer, there was something on his head - over his head - and around his body," Grove told KOMO. "She's screaming and he's screaming and I see him go back under water. This thing obviously was heavy enough to where it took him under."

She was able to pull the otter off, but not before getting injured herself.

“It just started biting on me and biting into me. It felt like little knives going in,” Grove recalled.

River Otter Attack

“I just remember trying to hold it as tight as I can and yelling, ‘Get him out of the water. Get him out of the water!’” she said. “I could see that it was biting into his head and it had its claws around.”

Both she and Bryce were rushed to the hospital, where doctors fought to save her right eye.

Bryce ended up with nine staples in his head, bandages on both arms and injuries on his left leg, but is happy to be back at home.

His grandmother said she would do it all again to save the grandkids she loves so much.


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