'Marvellous' to have otters and ducks here: National Development Minister

It is "marvellous" to have otters and whistling ducks "right smack in the city", said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in a blog post on Friday.

Get the full story from The Straits Times.

His comments came after a pair of otters were sighted at the Gardens by the Bay.

This is the Minister's blog post, titled "Year of the Horse, Otters and Ducks at Marina Bay":

They must have swum over from the northern coast of Singapore. We suspect they are looking for a spot to nest and breed. These smooth coated otters belong to the same species (Lutrogale perspicillata) as those that are now frequently seen at Pasir Ris. They were a native species but had disappeared for decades. We are thus thrilled to see them return to Singapore, presumably from Johor.

Another welcome visitor is the Lesser Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna javanica). A pair was spotted breeding at the Gardens. They are also uncommon in Singapore. And we are so happy to see them here again! At last count, there were 11 ducklings. As the name suggests, they whistle instead of quack.

You may be lucky to spot them the next time you are at the Gardens. But PLEASE do not disturb or scare them away. We want them to feel comfortable and welcome. At this stage, they are still pretty camera shy.

I find this marvellous: otters and whistling ducks right smack in the city! This is only possible because we keep our city clean and green. It is a collective effort that we must all sustain.