Feb 15, 2022 - News

Dallas World Aquarium faces second suit in unrelated otter attacks

A photo of otters
The otters at the Dallas Aquarium are twice as big as these. Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

A Fort Worth woman is suing the Dallas World Aquarium, alleging that her 2-year-old daughter was attacked by a giant otter and left with permanent scarring.

Why it matters: This is the second lawsuit filed against the aquarium claiming that an otter seriously wounded a child. The last one was filed in October.

What happened: ​​Samantha Jorgensen took her 2-year-old daughter to the aquarium in September. 2019, according to the lawsuit. At the otter exhibit, Jorgensen alleges one of the animals bit the toddler's right middle and ring fingers, tearing off her middle fingernail.

  • The 2 year old was "screaming and bleeding profusely." She was given first aid by a medic on-site.

Context: A YouTube video from 2007 shows giant otters — which weigh about 75 pounds each and are native to South America — escaping from the open-air habitat at the aquarium. Both lawsuits also refer to reviews on TripAdvisor that mention otters escaping.

What they're saying: The injuries "will be kind of this constant reminder of what was supposed to be this great fun, happy day that so many parents get to experience with their kids — going to the aquarium, going to the zoo, seeing the animals, having fun — and it just turned into a nightmare," Heather Davis, one of the family's attorneys, told the DMN.

The otter side: The Dallas Aquarium didn't respond to requests for comment.

Zoom out: In 2015, the New Republic chronicled the DWA's ethics issues, including gathering animals from the wild and questionable treatment of aquarium employees.

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