SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Wildlife officials are warning West Virginias against getting too close to river otters after two people were recently bitten.

According to the Division of Natural Resources, that happened while they were boating on Dunkard Creek in Monongalia County near the Mason-Dixon Historical Park.

Wildlife officials say the otters are territorial and have large home ranges in and along many West Virginia streams and rivers.

They may aggressively protect their young, so people should be careful not to disrupt their habitats.

Biologist Steve Raouch says you shouldn’t approach them, and if they approach you should use boat oars, a fishing rod or anything else readily available to keep them away.