When the bulldog's away, the otters will play: Yio Chu Kang homeowner loses goldfish worth $5,000

Lin and his pet bulldog. Goldfish heads that were bitten off by otters.
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

They may have been deterred by a bulldog the last time, but the otters are back. 

A homeowner surnamed Lin, woke up last Sunday (June 26) morning to find that his prized goldfish had been bitten to death by some furry intruders

The 60-year-old told Shin Min Daily News that his domestic helper was about to tidy the garden at about 7am when she found the pond's surrounding area in a mess.

"She saw the goldfish floating on the water and only one or two of them were still alive. She came into the house to alert me.

"I believe the otters came in the middle of the night, we were all sleeping so we didn't hear anything," the self-employed man added. 

Lin explained that the otters had sneaked into his home by biting a hole through the plastic mesh which he had installed on his front gate. 

Lin holding up a piece of the plastic mesh that the otters bit off. PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Shin Min Daily News 

This isn't the first time otters have invaded Lin's home. 

In February, a group of otters broke into his garden, but they were unable to get to his koi thanks to his trusty bulldog.

However, the canine died last week. 

"There are always seven or eight otters along the road at night, the bulldog would bark at them. If not for the bulldog, the koi wouldn't have survived the last time," Lin said. 

The man had about 50 koi in his pond at that time. 

Following his dog's death, the otters entered Lin's home again and bit off the heads of more than 50 Ryukin goldfish. One such goldfish costs about $100, he said, which meant that he lost a total of $5,000 after the incident. 

"I don't know how to get compensation for this, I'm not sure if the authorities will do anything to resolve the issue," he remarked.

Unfortunately, Lin isn't the only homeowner whose pets have fallen prey to hungry otters.

In March, a 76-year-old homeowner in Jalan Kayu came home from his morning exercise to find his beloved koi and luohan fish devoured by otters

According to the National Parks Board (NParks), otters are attracted to places with fish and they cannot differentiate between wild and pet fish.

To keep otters out of homes, NParks suggests identifying possible entry points — such as gaps in gates or fences — and blocking them off with panels or wire mesh

Alternatively, homeowners can also install barriers that are at least 1.3m high, or cover ponds with netting or panels. 

ALSO READ: Over 4 days, otters gobble up nearly 100 fish at Church of St Teresa

claudiatan@asiaone.com