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Local Fauna : Otters!

Hello! And welcome to our first edition of Local Fauna. In this series, we’ll be talking about the different species of animals found in and around Singapore. So stay tuned!

Like what most of us should have heard by now, Straits-Times has recently published an article about a family of otters that have seemingly made their home in the heartlands of our little red dot.

While it may not have been the best move to publicise this usually rare occurrence, we thought that since its already out there, we’d take the chance to educate the general public about otters.

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Otters or the Smooth-Coated Otter, generally are more commonly sighted in our mangroves and coastal areas , e.g Pulau Ubin and the Sungei Buloh wetlands. But most recently, a family of otters was seen in Bishan Park which caused quite a hype (Picture above) . Oh! And did I mention, Otters are native to Singapore as well!
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They feed on a wide variety of meaty food items, such as fish, crustaceans and basically almost anything they can get their tiny paws on.

Smooth-coated otters ( Lutrogale perspicillata ) are social animals that live in pairs or in family groups. They weigh roughly around 7-10KG and are generally around 90cm long from head to tail. There is no real breeding period for these otters and generally copulate year round in our climate. Mating takes place in the water and is said to last less than a minute.


Things you should do upon spotting otters

  • Otters are generally shy and reclusive animals so it is best that we maintain a distance and keep really quiet if we do chance upon them.
  • Do not feed the otters! It is very hard to rehabilitate an animal once it has become used to the human presence and it’s acquaintance with food.
  • Take pictures if you must, but remember to keep a distance and ,do not use your flash!

Things you CONFIRM+CHOP should not do

  • Try to catch them
  • Feed them any form of food
  • Throw random objects at them 

Yes you get the drift, if you see them its best to minimize human contact.

So there you have it, when and if you see them remember these tips and they’re sure to stick around for a long time to come!

Photo Credits :http://vagsg.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1521983

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