When Rory MacPherson drove up to an adorable little otter having the time of its life in the rain, he couldn’t possibly have known what was about to happen. But as he pulled over and approached the seemingly cute critter, it became clear that things were about to take a turn. Who knew an otter could cause this much havoc?
Rory MacPherson is a 24-year-old harvesting manager for Scottish Woodlands, a forest management company. He hails from Lockerbie, a small town situated in southwestern Scotland. MacPherson’s hometown is, perhaps, best known for being the crash site of the Pan Am Flight 103, downed by terrorists in 1988.
Back in May 2017, though, MacPherson was driving along a road in Dumfries and Galloway, an area in southern Scotland. And despite the pouring rain, everything seemed normal – at first, anyway. But as the woodland ranger passed the Kagyu Samye Ling monastery – a Tibetan Buddhist complex – everything was about to change.
Indeed, as MacPherson battled through the rain, he spotted an otter playing in the middle of the road. Worried that he would run it over, he stopped the car and pulled over before climbing out for a closer look. And to his surprise, the otter was still there, minding its own business; it hadn’t run away in fright.
Getting up close with an otter in the wild isn’t an opportunity that presents itself very often. So MacPherson decided to make the most of his opportunity. He approached the creature slowly, all the while wondering how long it would take for the otter to spook and run off.
But as he got closer, the otter didn’t run away. Instead, it bounded up to him and began biting at his feet, emitting an absolutely adorable battle cry in the process. Presumably, the otter thought that MacPherson was getting the fright of his life in this endearing showdown of man versus mammal.
Thanks to the heavy boots MacPherson was sporting, though, the otter’s teeth didn’t have much impact. So the Scotsman continued filming, while slowly backing away down the rain-soaked road. But the tenacious otter just wouldn’t give up and refused to leave the poor guy be.
Eventually, then, MacPherson realized that he’d better get back to his car – but the otter continued to follow him. Breaking into a run, MacPherson turned the camera in the direction of the car and fled in not quite terror.
Incredibly, however, when MacPherson finally turned the camera back around to get a look at the creature again, he found it in full pursuit, sprinting after him. In fact, the hilarious scene wouldn’t have looked out of place in a nature documentary, as the unlikeliest of predators charged after its much larger prey.
In his attempts to escape the wild otter, MacPherson sprinted straight past his car, before looping back around and speeding up. Opening the car door, the Scotsman leapt in, slamming it shut behind him. And all the while MacPherson struggled to contain his laughter at the undeniably unbelievable situation that had presented itself.
“I thought I was going to close the door and he was going to be in the passenger seat,” MacPherson said. “Like Jurassic Park.” Thankfully for the intrepid roadside explorer, however, the otter wasn’t in his passenger seat. In fact, it was nowhere to be seen – which was probably even more worrying.
Pointing his camera out of the car window, MacPherson searched around outside to see if the otter had finally given up the chase. Predictably, it very much hadn’t and soon popped out from underneath the vehicle. Fortunately, though, it could no longer terrorize MacPherson, who was in the relative safety of his car. So the woodland ranger simply sat back and laughed, as any rational person would do in his situation.
After his escape from the wild otter of Dumfries, MacPherson uploaded the video footage of his ordeal to Facebook. He commented, “I am not sure I like otters anymore!” And, unsurprisingly, the hilarious video quickly went viral. Thousands of people all over the world liked, commented on and shared MacPherson’s torment.
In fact, the video now has nearly a million views, with plenty of people chiming in to share in the ridiculousness of the situation. Brian Wosnitza, for instance, wrote, “That is the best thing I have ever seen.” Ferne Lambert-Gorwyn, meanwhile, commented, “Not even joking, I am actually crying laughing here.”
Elsewhere among the 3,000 comments the video received, Benjamin Mole decided to heed it as a warning, remarking, “I’ve changed my mind on otters.” Alison Mann, meanwhile, came up with the viable theory that the poor creature “must have been protecting its kittens.”
But whatever anyone else thought of the footage, MacPherson couldn’t believe how quickly it went viral. “I’ve been stunned by the reaction to the clip,” he told the Scottish Sun. “I just put it up because I thought it was a funny video, but I woke up this morning to so many notifications.”
Perhaps the most surprising thing, though, is the fact that otters are well known for being friendly animals, and they definitely know how to have fun. Indeed, they’ve been witnessed making water slides and playing with rocks. But when it comes to protecting their young, or when they feel threatened, they can be incredibly brutal – which may explain this particular otter’s behavior.
The cute creatures are known for their hunting ability, too, and find their prey in lakes and rivers. It’s no wonder, then, that this otter wasn’t affected by the downpour on the day MacPherson came across it. And it’s equally no mystery why the madcap mammal was so ready to chase him down.
“I wondered how close I could get to him before he got scared but it was the other way around,” he told the Scottish Sun. “I personally think it might have just been a young pup because it was unusual behavior for an otter.”
In the future, then, MacPherson may not be so hasty to approach otters in the street. Indeed, while this experience was undoubtedly hilarious, it’s likely also taught MacPherson a valuable lesson when it comes to inadvertently scaring wild animals: don’t do it. Unless, that is, if you want to get chased all the way back to your car.