Otter-gangs invading Singapore


Otters are back in Singapore integrating into urban spaces in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the World. Photo: Washington Post

As reported by Swedish tabloid media, Expressen – and many other news medias – otters have become an increasing problem in Singapore with its doubling in population since 2019.

N Sivasothi, lecturer in biology at national University of Singapore, said to the Guardian that not one place in Singapore is free of otters, and that authorities are working hard within all national gardens and areas with waters and forested lands throughout the city to secure people’s homes while removing 170 otters from housing areas.

The otters has expensive habbits. According to Expressen, the otter-gangs have roamed homes and industries stealing fish for nearly 700.000 SKK – the equivalent of 62.226 USD. The otters collect fish from ponds in the area and are said to have occasionally robbed ten houses in one night. Additionally, a church reported its stock of over 100 koi fish had been eaten overnight.

Singaporean citizen, Graham George Spencer, said he was attacked by otters when walking in the Botanic Gardens last year. He was chased, pulled to the ground, and bitten 26 in the legs and buttocks.

– I actually thought I was going to die, that they were going to kill me, he said to the Straits Times.

The Singaporean newspaper further reported it was not the first time otters had attacked people, and that animal welfare groups had said otters is not typically aggressive unless they feel threatened.

A few months earlier, a 77-year-old man was bitten in the leg while exercising by the river.


About Jeannette Hinrup

Jeannette Sophie Hinrup is a Danish environmental geographer traveling South East Asia while writing for ScandAsia.

View all posts by Jeannette Hinrup

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