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Pictures |  Otters invade Singapore

Pictures | Otters invade Singapore

The number of otters in the Singapore city has doubled since 2019, spurring efforts to relocate these tiny animals that sometimes attack humans and feed in ponds.

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To get around this problem, the National Parks Board of Singapore (NParks) wants to move 170 otters away from residential areas, according to The Guardian.

17 families of otters hunt for tilapia in streams, roost under bridges, destroy private ponds, and sometimes attack humans in parks.

“They are not afraid, and the most daring families are walking right in front of us,” said N Sivasuthi, a professor of biological sciences at the National University of Singapore. There is no place in Singapore where you can be completely secluded from the otters.”

France Press agency

In 2020, NParks received 208 citizen complaints about it, then 305 in 2021 and more than 300 this summer. However, most complaints have reported flying behavior on the part of the animals.

“Living in our city in nature means coexisting with wildlife such as otters and having the opportunity to observe them,” said Tan Kyat Hao, Minister of State for National Development, Communications and Information.

The otter population has flourished since the 1980s when Singapore began cleaning up its waterways. Their number is especially increasing because they have no predators except for crocodiles, which are found in the mangrove swamp forests to the northwest of the city.

The number of fish also increased in waters that were less polluted and more abundant in food. Today, otters are increasingly on the streets and claiming more and more territory, sometimes aggressively.

A Briton living in Singapore said last year that he ‘thought he was going to die’ when a group of otters chased him through the botanical gardens, knocking him to the ground and biting him 26 times in just a few seconds. A few months ago, a 77-year-old man was bitten in the leg during his morning exercise.

“We are facing an unprecedented situation,” said Mr. Sivasothi. At first it was just otters using spaces in Singapore, now the population is growing and competition is forcing them to roam the city, you have to adapt. “