Otters show croc who's king of the waterways

VIDEO: OTTERCITY
A group of otters fending off a tailless crocodile in the waters of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in a video uploaded on Facebook on Sunday, with the crocodile snapping unsuccessfully at the otters.
A group of otters fending off a tailless crocodile in the waters of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in a video uploaded on Facebook on Sunday, with the crocodile snapping unsuccessfully at the otters. PHOTO: OTTERCITY
A group of otters fending off a tailless crocodile in the waters of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in a video uploaded on Facebook on Sunday, with the crocodile snapping unsuccessfully at the otters.
A group of otters fending off a tailless crocodile in the waters of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in a video uploaded on Facebook on Sunday, with the crocodile snapping unsuccessfully at the otters. PHOTO: OTTERCITY
A group of otters fending off a tailless crocodile in the waters of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in a video uploaded on Facebook on Sunday, with the crocodile snapping unsuccessfully at the otters.
A group of otters fending off a tailless crocodile in the waters of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in a video uploaded on Facebook on Sunday, with the crocodile snapping unsuccessfully at the otters. PHOTO: OTTERCITY

What happens when a well-known tailless crocodile gets into a fight with a group of six otters? The otters win, it seems.

And such scuffles are not rare, say nature observers.

In a video uploaded on Facebook on Sunday, a group of six otters is seen fending off the crocodile in the waters of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

The clip shows the otters bobbing in the water before approaching the crocodile, nicknamed Tailless by nature watchers because it has a stump where its tail should be.

The crocodile snaps unsuccessfully at the otters, as they circle around it.

While the video has attracted attention online, scuffles between otters and crocodiles have happened from time to time.

National University of Singapore biology lecturer N. Sivasothi, who heads the OtterWatch group, said: "Otters and crocodiles, both fish eaters, are unable to drive each other out of an area, so they have to co-exist.

"From time to time, they will encounter each other. Otters, being the more agile and busy species, are the ones which will initiate contact with a crocodile."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2018, with the headline 'Otters show croc who's king of the waterways'. Print Edition | Subscribe