Frolicking otters lead to condo pool being closed for cleaning

A Newton condominium's swimming pool has been closed for cleaning after at least six otters decided to take a swim there on Sunday morning, The Straits Times has learnt.

Residents at Park Infinia@Wee Nam were treated to the unusual sight at the weekend as the raft of otters frolicked in the pool.

In a video circulating online, one of the otters brings a koi from elsewhere into the pool, and can be seen biting down on the fish as the other otters gather round.

ST understands that the incident occurred at about 8.20am on Sunday and that the pool was closed yesterday. The condominium manager did not respond to ST's calls and e-mail.

Online reactions to the video have been light-hearted, with some netizens jesting that the otters were of "high SES (socio-economic status)" for enjoying "sashimi" in a condominium pool.

One expressed concern about whether the mammals, which have become the darlings of Singapore wildlife in recent years, would be "comfortable in chlorinated water".

Naturally, some chose to make puns of the amusing incident. "Get otter here!" one Reddit user wrote.

"They otter be ashamed of themselves," another added.

Otters have been known to swim in condominium pools from time to time. In 2018, two were captured on video taking a dip in the pool of The Berth by the Cove in Sentosa Cove, which has reported a worsening problem with the otters.

In particular, the creatures have been known to steal expensive fish. A Sentosa hotel lost about $85,000 worth of fish to otters in 2016.

A screengrab from a video circulating online showing some of the otters in the pool at Park Infinia@Wee Nam on Sunday. Some netizens have jested that the otters are of "high (socio-economic status)" for enjoying "sashimi" in a condo pool.
A screengrab from a video circulating online showing some of the otters in the pool at Park Infinia@Wee Nam on Sunday. Some netizens have jested that the otters are of "high (socio-economic status)" for enjoying "sashimi" in a condo pool.

Some house owners at Sentosa Cove have installed motion sensor lights, barbed-wire fences and low-powered electric fences to keep the otters away, but nature experts have said the intelligent animals will find ways to get round these obstacles.

Clement Yong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 10, 2020, with the headline 'Frolicking otters lead to condo pool being closed for cleaning'. Print Edition | Subscribe