‘Succession’s’ Crystal Finn was attacked by otters in Northern California and shared her painful experience

Crystal Finn wears a black dress with silver stars as she smiles for photos
Crystal Finn was recently attacked by river otters in Northern California.
(John Lamparski / Getty Images)

Otters may be best known for holding hands with their partners and their hobby as rock collectors, but the fuzzy carnivores also are, on occasion, known to claw at and chomp into humans.

Just ask “Succession” actor Crystal Finn.

She was attacked by otters in July at Feather River near Plumas National Forest in Northern California.

“I felt something on my backside and on my leg,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle this week. “I started looking around and yelling out and [the otters] popped up right in front of me. Then they dove down and started going at me again.”


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The Broadway performer, who has appeared in Fox’s “The Tick” and played Lauren Pawson in the final season of HBO’s “Succession,” received medical care for the bites at a nearby hospital.

“I could see the bites on my legs and knew I had been bitten on my butt — that one was the worst, but I couldn’t see it,” she said. “The bites really hurt.”

Finn was initially unsure as to what was attacking her, but she soon spotted the culprits in the river.

“I saw these three little heads pop up, right in front of me,” she said in an interview with the Mercury News. “But I was so disoriented. Seeing otters — initially, it just didn’t add up.”

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As she swam away to safety after the initial otter bites, the creatures continued attacking her legs.

The force of an otter’s bite has been estimated at 615 pounds per square inch, while the average person’s bite force is about 162 pounds per square inch.


“They were all coming for me,” Finn said. “It seemed rather orchestrated. And as soon as I was out of there, they seemed happy to bob along, go on their way.”

These kinds of interactions with otters are rare, but have been reported at a higher rate in recent weeks.

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At Serene Lakes, also in Northern California, northwest of Lake Tahoe, another swimmer was attacked by otters and required emergency medical care. The episode took place days before Finn was attacked.

The Times recently reported on an “aggressive sea otter” that terrorized surfers in Santa Cruz this summer.

But the attacks aren’t limited to the Golden State. Earlier this month, three women in southern Montana were attacked by at least one river otter, per the Associated Press. One woman’s injuries were so severe that she was airlifted out of the river.

“If I had seen [the otters], I don’t think it would have given me pause,” Finn told the Chronicle. “I would have thought, ‘Oh those cute river otters.’ ... It would have been a lot worse.”