Right after that, they squeaked louder and threw themselves headlong into battle: Although it looked cute, with all the incessant squeaking and water-splashing antics, the fight spilled over to the grass patch on the side, and was apparently more vicious than it looked. As citizen interest in urban otters has deepened, so has scientific research, as biologists seek to learn how urban otters fit into such a bustling landscape. The amount of space an otter needs depends on how much food is available, but they can maintain a large territory; one animal can travel nine miles a day. Cheeky otters are thriving in Singaporeâand adapting quickly to big city life, Three otters spotted in Singapore's Central Business District, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2020/03/urban-otters-singapore-wildlife.html, otters climbed up a metal maintenance ladder to exit a canal, lost 85,000 Singaporean dollarsâ worth of ornamental fish over eight months, otter bit a five-year-old girl at a nature park, the Gardens by the Bay, Read how wildlife is hacking life in the city, vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Learn how wildlife can evolve quickly in cities, Read how hundreds of wild parrots have flocked to this Brazilian city, otter family suddenly ran across the Singapore Marathon route, Learn more about Singaporeâs urban innovations. Singapore's celebrity urban otter family. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. The bigger Bishan otter family of 15 had started out in Bishan Park with just three pups. The Marina otters remained on the move, travelling between East Coast and Singapore River before relocating to Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. The Marina otters swam around the pond, always calling, and it soon became clear why. Belmont Lay They were calling out for one lost member, who then emerged to join the rest. Now, to do his research all he has to do is step outside his house to see the sleek, playful creatures that are doing just swimmingly in Singapore. After spending the morning fishing, the Bishan family rest ashore for a few hours. Homeowners in the gated-community enclave on the island of Sentosa reported in 2015 that their koi carp ponds had been emptied by otters, and one hotel in the same area lost 85,000 Singaporean dollarsâ worth of ornamental fish over eight months, according to local news reports. This latest skirmish is considered a homecoming of sorts as the Bishan otters swam up Kallang River and are coming back to Bishan Park after spending time in Marina Bay. SINGAPORE: Singapore's otters, long adored by … A smooth-coated otter family is made up of monogamous parents, subadults, and between four and six pups. It is not known what happened after that. On a grassy strip along the highway, a blur of brown fur moves quickly, a small head popping up every so often to check for danger. | Reunited, the family forms a v-formation as they glide across the mirrored lake. The Bishan otters went south to prime territory Marina Bay and displaced the Marina otters. While most wild otters would leave their family at around two years old, Singaporeâs otters will stay with their parents until three or four, as they wait for territory to open up. For starters, the mammals share the waterways with another apex predator, the water monitor lizard, which preys on otter pups. There are two species of otters in SG – smooth-coated otters and Asian small-clawed otters… As the sun rises from behind the baobab trees in the botanic gardens one morning, Johns points to an otter familyâthe same one commuting along the highwayâforaging among the reeds. For instance, while otters generally are known as skilled hunters, Johns and his team have discovered that having pups dramatically lowers the adult Zouk ottersâ success rate in hunting, since they have to spend a lot of their time teaching the pups to catch food. About Cloud hosting by Vodien. The otters rise up out of the water, and suddenly the pups disappear. âThe only problem we foresee now is a lack of space for these territorial animals.â. Woodlands had dinosaurs before it was cool. Singapore's celebrity urban otter family. The Singapore ottersâ main cause of death is vehicle strikes, with about five to six animals killed a year, according to Bernard Seah, a member of the Otter Working Group, a coalition of charity workers, government officials, and academics who monitor the otters and carry out awareness programs. In the early 1990s, he recalls traveling to Penang in Malaysia to study the species, walking through the mangroves for hours, hoping to spot a single otter.