Otters make a splash at British couple's marriage proposal

Mr Jordan Doyle and Ms Mary Lister were posing for photos at Marina Reservoir when a group of otters showed up. Mr Doyle decided to take the opportunity to have photos taken of him proposing to Ms Lister, who is a "huge fan of otters".
Mr Jordan Doyle and Ms Mary Lister were posing for photos at Marina Reservoir when a group of otters showed up. Mr Doyle decided to take the opportunity to have photos taken of him proposing to Ms Lister, who is a "huge fan of otters".PHOTO: BERNARD PHOTOJOURNALS/FACEBOOK

An otter-loving British couple got dream photographs of their marriage proposal when a group of otters showed up at Marina Reservoir.

Mr Jordan Doyle and Ms Mary Lister were on an otter-watching trip with a local photographer on Tuesday when they spotted the group, believed to belong to the Bishan otter family.

Mr Doyle had proposed to Ms Lister earlier that day but no photos were taken, so local photographer Bernard Seah, 49, asked him to kneel and propose again.

"Next thing I knew, the otters appeared," Mr Seah told the BBC.

Mr Doyle decided it was the perfect moment for him to get down on one knee again as Ms Lister is a "huge fan of otters".

The couple, who are travelling around the world, arrived in Singapore on Monday. Last month, Mr Doyle, 28, contacted Mr Seah - who often takes pictures of otters - to help them with their otter-watching adventures in Singapore.

He told The Straits Times that the reenactment turned out to be even better than the original. Mr Seah told the couple they needed a photo of the proposal with the otters in the background, since seeing the animals was at the top of their list.

 
 
 

While they were posing for photos near a swimming otter, a group of otters emerged from the water and came towards the couple.

The otters hung around for about three minutes, providing Mr Seah with the perfect opportunity to capture Mr Doyle's repeat proposal, with the animals in the photo.

Mr Seah said otters usually do not approach humans but those that live in areas with high human traffic tend to do so.

He said: "The curious nature of otters will make them want to check out 'new additions' to their surroundings. So if you were sitting in the middle of their route, they might run by, sniff your shoe, and then run along."

Mr Doyle told the BBC: "I didn't plan it and it turned out completely special." He said the photos captured by Mr Seah will "go down in their photo books".

The Bishan otters are one of Singapore's more well-known otter families. Though they were originally found in the Bishan area, they are now living in the Marina and Kallang areas after a territorial dispute with the rival Marina otters in 2015.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2018, with the headline 'Otters make a splash at British couple's marriage proposal'. Print Edition | Subscribe