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Intruder alert: Otters devour koi after sneaking into Bedok temple and factories

Intruder alert: Otters devour koi after sneaking into Bedok temple and factories
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

After the long Deepavali weekend, a Bedok factory owner returned to his office only to find all 20 of his koi decimated.

The 54-year-old man, who goes by the surname Zheng, told Shin Min Daily News that he first realised something was amiss after finding two headless fish carcasses beside his pond on Tuesday (Oct 25). 

He then checked his CCTV footage and found that his premises, which is located at Senang Crescent in Bedok, was invaded by four otters that entered via the factory's iron gate at around 3am on Deepavali (Oct 24). 

Describing the situation as "distressing", Zheng added that he found it strange the creatures knew there were fish in his factory.  

He said he had reared his fish for more than a year.

As it turns out, he wasn't the only one in the area whose koi had been attacked — a fellow factory owner on the same street, who goes by the surname Cai, was affected too. 

Cai told him that CCTV footage revealed that six otters had invaded his property and eaten six out of the 15 fish in his pond on Deepavali.

After the incident, Cai said he has decided to cover his pond to prevent another otter attack, adding that he has no intention of getting any new fish for now. 

Some of the fish in nearby temple Soon San Teng Temple weren't spared either.

The person in charge of the century-old establishment told the Chinese daily that dozens of his three- and four-month-old koi were all eaten by the otters. 

"I've been here for decades and this is the first time I've encountered something like this," he shared. 

More otter complaints this year

Unfortunately, such otter invasions are pretty common in Singapore. 

Just this year alone, NParks shared that they have received over 300 otter-related feedback as of September, more than the whole of last year (305) and 2020 (208). 

In a virtual press conference on Oct 17 to address the uptick in otter invasions, NParks suggested owners mesh up gaps and erect other "otter-proof" barriers to protect their homes from these animals.

Senior Minister of State for National Development Tan Kiat How also said in a Facebook post on Oct 17 that with such measures in place, "otters are likely to move on as they are unable to access the ponds for food". 

Earlier this month, a Bukit Timah resident shared that otters wiped out 22 of her koi worth over $20,000 while she was asleep. 


The owner, Tham Yuen Ying, had reared the fish with her father for over 20 years and some of the koi that died in the attack were over 15 years old. 

Tham and her father suspected that the otters had sneaked in from the back of the house as the camera installed at the entrance did not capture any activity. 

"I had this hobby for close to 30 years. In one night, it [my hobby] is destroyed," she said. 

In a separate incident last year, otters devoured over 100 fish at the Church of St Teresa over four consecutive days

Some of the fish had been raised by church staff and gardeners for over 15 years. 

The otters had started with the koi in the smaller pond and after all the fish had been eaten, they moved on to the bigger pond. 

After the feast, the creatures made their escape via the church's gate. 

ALSO READ: Jogger screams for help as otters chase after her at West Coast Park

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