Girl Attacked By Fish On Island Lake

This Isn't the First Animal Attack on the Lake

A family is sharing a cautionary tale for people who like to go for a swim in Northland lakes.

Wednesday at Island Lake a young girl was sent to the hospital after being severely bitten by something in the water. It’s the same lake a woman was brutally attacked by another animal five years ago.

The parents of an 11-year-old Duluth girl named Marin say she is recovering well, after doctors believe a large fish grabbed a hold of her on Island Lake, pulling her underwater and leaving deep gashes on her leg.

Leah Prudhomme had a similar experience about five years ago, when she was attacked on Island Lake while training for a triathlon.

‘I was passing a smaller island and got bit in the heel by something underwater,” said Prudhomme. “I’m treading water and looking around and up pops his head trying to figure it out and it was an otter.”

Prudhomme says otter didn’t give up.

“It darted under water and bit me again, and had a back and forth battle for five minutes while screaming for help,” said Prudhomme.

Her dad was able to help her get onto the boat, she went to the ER with 25 otter bites.

Two otters call the Lake Superior Aquarium home, staff there say even though the animals are cute they are wild.

“You have to keep your distance, that goes for all wild life not just otters,” said Dana Gilbertson. “Respect their space let them do what they need to.”

They say most animals will leave you alone, unless they are trying to protect their young.

“Usually an animals instinct is to run away from you, don’t want to not give them an opportunity to that,” said Gilbertson.

Prudhomme says even experienced swimmers should not go out on the lake alone.

“Have some kind of life support, someone out there monitoring you,” said Prudhomme.

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