Otter trio spotted at Kallang River

Otter trio spotted at Kallang River
A video of an otter family in Kallang River was captured and uploaded to Facebook.
PHOTO: Facebook

SINGAPORE - Reports of wild otter sightings in Singapore have become a lot more common ever since a pair of otters were spotted at a breakwater along East Coast Park.

Recently, a female otter and her pups were filmed in Kallang River enjoying a meal of freshly caught catfish.

Facebook user, Fast Snail, uploaded a video of the otter pups coming out of their hiding space in a drain to meet their mother as she brings back her catch. The video was apparently filmed in May this year.

The threatened marine mammals have become more common around Singapore in the past decade. In 2000, only four sightings were reported.

By 2011, the number of sightings had increased to 39, according to a Straits Times report two years ago.

In 2014, a pair of otters, one male and one female were seen at Gardens by the Bay. They were bold enough to enter the park's Supertree grove during the day and fed on fish in its lakes.

See also: Otter mum and babies gambol at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park

An otter family consisting of two adults and three babies were seen at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. Their presence there was made public by the National Parks Board on their Facebook page in April this year.

Other otter sightings were reported at Botanic Gardens and Pasir Ris.

But not all recent otter sightings were welcome.

The wild creatures were thought to be responsible for hunting ornamental koi in multi-million dollar bungalows, and even a hotel on Sentosa.

80 of the 200 koi kept by the hotel were preyed on by a pair of otters, with losses estimated to be $20,000 suffered by the hotel.

Another Sentosa resident was similarly affected and estimated her losses to be $64,000.

Experts said the animals typically thrive around mangroves, river mouths and natural shorelines, but they may appear more frequently as they are adapting to the urban environment here.

The public are also advised to keep their distance.

cynloh@sph.com.sg

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