As the sun rises from behind the baobab trees in the botanic gardens one morning, Johns points to an otter family—the same one commuting along the highway—foraging among the reeds. In 1977, the Singaporean government launched its Clean River Campaign, and in 1998, otters began to return to the tropical island on their own. The Bishan family swims in Marina Bay with the iconic Singapore skyline in the background. In 2017, news outlets reported that an otter bit a five-year-old girl at a nature park, the Gardens by the Bay. The otters rise up out of the water, and suddenly the pups disappear. This particular otter feud is a long-running one that has spanned five years since 2015. In 2016, an otter family suddenly ran across the Singapore Marathon route, and Otter Working Group volunteers rushed to warn the runners of the otters’ presence, as well as also position themselves along the route to prevent the animals and runners from colliding. There are two species of otters in SG – smooth-coated otters and Asian small-clawed otters… 🏪🍱A lazy person's guide to convenient lunches when you're working from home. As citizen interest in urban otters has deepened, so has scientific research, as biologists seek to learn how urban otters fit into such a bustling landscape. Not even dogs and traffic can stop the otters of Singapore. Have a great Sunday ahead! (Learn how wildlife can evolve quickly in cities.). While most wild otters would leave their family at around two years old, Singapore’s otters will stay with their parents until three or four, as they wait for territory to open up. Fights between both sides have occurred before, such as in 2018. This species is smaller in overall size and somewhat cuter to most people. These otters are surprisingly intelligent, able to climb out of drains and travel across large patches of land to get to other waterways. Known to Singaporeans at the Zouk family, this tribe of otters is revealing new insights into the lives of city-dwelling otters. March 31, 2020, 03:50 AM. After spending the morning fishing, the Bishan family rest ashore for a few hours. Despite these run-ins, the Singaporeans are generally fond of their cheeky neighbors. It’s a family of seven otters, likely on their way to their den at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. At the edge of the lake, two leashed dogs strain toward the Zouk family. For instance, group members place road signs and educational signs at otter hot spots, as well as attempt to manage potential conflict. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- Otters from the Bisham family react to a dog in Bay East Garden. Otters cross a street as tourists take their photo near Gardens by the Bay, a popular nature park in Singapore. For instance, while otters generally are known as skilled hunters, Johns and his team have discovered that having pups dramatically lowers the adult Zouk otters’ success rate in hunting, since they have to spend a lot of their time teaching the pups to catch food. | “The only problem we foresee now is a lack of space for these territorial animals.”. There are currently an estimated 10 families of otters in Singapore, numbering around 70 otters in total. The bigger Bishan otter family of 15 had started out in Bishan Park with just three pups. Reunited, the family forms a v-formation as they glide across the mirrored lake. We won't be giving details to protect it but we would like to share with you what an Asian Small-clawed Otter roaming Singapore looks like. Prime land next to Singapore’s sparkling waterways brimming with fish had been seized by … Share. Right after that, they squeaked louder and threw themselves headlong into battle: Although it looked cute, with all the incessant squeaking and water-splashing antics, the fight spilled over to the grass patch on the side, and was apparently more vicious than it looked. Put together by passionate people for people! Singapore has 2 species of otters, the Smooth-coated Otter and the very elusive Asian Small-clawed Otter. SINGAPORE — Life was already hardscrabble for the seven river otters known as the Zouk family. The Bishan otter family was first spotted at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park in 2014. We Are Hiring As to why they are doing so, it is most likely a fight over territory and access to resources. The Bishan otters went south to prime territory Marina Bay and displaced the Marina otters. There were no deaths reported, but some of the otters got injured and were witnessed to be limping after the fight. By the time night fell, only six of the 11 Marina otters congregated. “Five years ago, people still knew very little about the otters,” Teo says. The online meetings. 90K likes. Philip Johns, a biologist at Yale-NUS College in Singapore, is part of a team studying the urban otters and has created an app, Otter Spotter, for locals to report sightings.
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