Otter 'hurt' by angler's hook

Otter 'hurt' by angler's hook
PUB is investigating the incident and working to identify the angler in the video.
PHOTO: Internet screengrab / Youtube @Fast Snail

A video showing what seems to be an otter hurt after being caught on an angler's hook has gone viral, with angry netizens calling for action to be taken.

The 1min 40sec clip, uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday, shows a man who appears to lower his fishing line into Kallang River near Lorong 8 Toa Payoh.

About five otters could be seen swimming in the river, with several men looking on.

Near the 50sec mark, one of the otters appears to get snagged on the hook. It can be seen squealing and thrashing about before swimming away with the others, with the hook and line in tow.

Speaking to My Paper yesterday, the video's uploader Nick Soo, 34, said that he witnessed the incident on Tuesday evening.

Based on what he observed, the otter was caught on either a hind leg or the tail, he said.

Another video he uploaded on the same day showed the otter limping, but a third video taken yesterday showed that the otter has since managed to break free of the line.

"I would appreciate if action can be taken against this man and more patrols (put in place) to prevent such incidents from happening again," said the engineer.

Echoing his sentiments were several netizens who were outraged by the clip, according to Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News yesterday.

Said one commenter, Elaine Tan: "This makes me so angry! Leave them alone!"

Another commenter, Lin LiYun, said that the incident was "extremely cruel".

Anbarasi Boopal, deputy chief executive at animal welfare group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), said the group had received calls from at least three people over the incident.

"All wildlife are protected and cannot be captured," she said. "To our knowledge, this is the first time such an incident (involving otters) has occurred and it is quite shocking. But we are very encouraged by the role played by members of the public."

Ms Anbarasi added that Acres would monitor the situation and continue to work with the public on the case.

A spokesman for national water agency PUB said that fishing is not allowed at waterways.

Under the Public Utilities (Reservoirs, Catchment Areas and Waterways) Regulations, those caught fishing at no-fishing areas may be fined up to $3,000.

PUB is investigating the incident and working to identify the angler in the video.

If you have information on the incident, contact PUB at 1800-284-6600.

Otters have become a common sight in Singapore's waterways, with a family of them spotted at Marina Bay in August. The creatures have also been seen at Punggol Waterfront and East Coast Park.

Most recently, a family of five - possibly an otter pair usually seen at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, and their offspring - were seen taking a stroll around the St Andrew's Junior College campus in Potong Pasir.



A video of the otters at SAJC taken by Carel Chay of 15S09.

Posted by St Andrew's Junior College on Tuesday, October 20, 2015

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This article was first published on Oct 22, 2015.
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