Otters go for a dip in Sentosa pool

Two otters were captured on video taking to the pool at The Berth by the Cove. "The security guards and I spot them quite frequently, often in the middle of the night," said Mr Brian Ladrillo, who works at the condo.
Two otters were captured on video taking to the pool at The Berth by the Cove. "The security guards and I spot them quite frequently, often in the middle of the night," said Mr Brian Ladrillo, who works at the condo.PHOTO: SHONA TRENCH

The pair were captured on video taking a brief dip in the swimming pool of a condominium in Sentosa Cove.

But the duo were not your typical denizens or tourists of the resort island.

In a video taken by a resident at The Berth by the Cove, two otters were spotted swimming in the condominium's pool on Monday morning. The duo are then seen climbing out of the pool, before making their way to a pond feature nearby.

Resident Shona Trench, who took the video, told The Straits Times (ST) that she was in the pool with a friend when they spotted the aquatic mammals hopping into the water.

"I jumped out immediately and grabbed my phone to film them... They eventually clambered out and exited along the path to the front of the condominium. Most people, I think, were happy to spot them," said the 57-year-old housewife.

The British citizen, who has lived in Singapore for eight years, added that this was the first time she had seen otters at her residence, although she has spotted them before at places such as the Kallang River and Changi.

Mr Brian Ladrillo, a concierge officer at the condominium, said this was not the first time otters had been seen at the residence.

"The security guards and I spot them quite frequently, often in the middle of the night, at about 1am to 4am," he said.

Mr Kalai Vanan, deputy chief executive of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), said the otters could be crossing the area and potentially looking for food in the water bodies.

 
 
 
 

A few years ago, the condominium faced the problem of otters eating the koi fish in its water features, Mr Ladrillo said. The condominium eventually decided to remove the koi.

ST reported in July 2015 that otters were suspected of having feasted on ornamental koi at a Sentosa resort and Sentosa Cove home in April that year.

The fish reportedly cost more than $80,000.

Some netizens, commenting on Ms Trench's video, raised concerns about the chlorine content in the pool water and possible implications for the health of the otters.

Veteran otter watcher Jeffery Teo said that while he is not an expert on the possible health impact, otters are "pretty hardy".

"While otters are coastal creatures, they still have to move inland to consume fresh water, which may explain why we are seeing more otters here. They were probably curious about the water body," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 03, 2018, with the headline 'Otters go for a dip in Sentosa pool'. Print Edition | Subscribe