A Fort Worth family is seeking up to $1 million in medical costs and damages after they say a giant otter attacked their 2-year-old daughter in September 2019.
The family says when they walked up to the Otter Exhibit, the girl’s dad hoisted her on his shoulders to avoid getting lost in the crowd.
The lawsuit alleges there was no warning signage surrounding the habitat which prompted the parents to move closer to see the otters underneath the water.
While the girl was on her father’s shoulders standing at approximately six feet and three inches tall, the otter allegedly reached over the glass barrier and bit the girl’s hand.
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Shortly after the attack, the little girl received medical attention to ensure her hand wouldn’t become infected from the bite, but according to medical professionals, it is believed to have caused permanent scarring.
Animal experts say that the carnivorous mammal can grow up to six feet long and have claws sharp enough to rip through human skin like paper.
The lawsuit alleges the zoo failed to warn guests to keep their distance from the habitat nor did the aquarium alert the family that the animals were potentially aggressive.
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This is the latest lawsuit after an 18-month boy was attacked in May last year by a giant otter.
The complaint following the 2021 attack highlighted several occurrences dating back to 2007 of otters reaching over their plexiglass wall and attacking guests which they believe the zoo was fully aware of and did nothing to prevent the attacks from continuing.
The legal team for the little girl says that if the zoo had never removed the panes of acrylic that enclosed the exhibit, the little girl would never have been attacked.