'Otter-ly' lucky catch

This otter got lucky yesterday, successfully snagging a fish from the Eco-Pond at the Jurong Lake Gardens while it was pouring.

There are two otter species in the Republic: smooth-coated ones and small-clawed ones.

Most of the otters on the mainland are smooth-coated. Singapore is home to more than 10 smooth-coated otter families, in areas such as Sungei Buloh, Pasir Ris, Marina Bay and Changi, where they occupy mangroves, coasts, reservoirs, rivers and canals.

The species, native to Singapore, was not seen here between the 1970s and 1990s, but returned in 1998, perhaps owing to an abundance of clean water, fish and naturalised habitats along waterways.

There are now about 80 smooth-coated otters here.

Omnivorous creatures, most of their foraging activity is in water. They typically swallow small fish whole, but take large fish to shore.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 30, 2020, with the headline ''Otter-ly' lucky catch'. Print Edition | Subscribe