More wild otters sighted in the east

SINGAPORE- A family of wild otters was spotted off the eastern coast of Singapore on Sunday, attracting an excited crowd of early morning onlookers.

The otters were seen in waters near Sungei Api Api, the waterway that runs through Pasir Ris Park, reported Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao.

Otter sightings have increased in the past decade, from just four in 2000 to nearly 40 in 2011.

They are thought to have been driven here by increased development in Johor.

Wildlife consultant Subaraj Rajathurai said that the mammals can be found along the entire northern coastline of Singapore, from Sungei Buloh to Pasir Ris Park.

"You even see them in East Coast Park and Marina Bay, although that is not a good environment for otters," Mr Rajathurai said. "They are basically found in mangroves."

Those who wish to see otters would do well to wake up early, he added, as they are most likely to be found in the mornings at low tide, when they hunt for fish.

"But they could be anywhere at any time, so you need a bit of luck," he said.

Members of the public who spot wild animals - or even large marine animals - can document the sightings at, where the information will be used for scientific research.

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