Entrance to Marina otter family’s den found blocked by footpath slab and rock

Who would go to such lengths to do this?

By Zhangxin Zheng | May 2, 2017

Just when you thought Singaporeans were all getting along well with our growing communities of otters, something despicable happens.

On Tuesday, local community OtterWatch was notified that the entrance to the Marina otter family’s holt (a place where otters live) appears to have been blocked off on purpose:

Here’s the text in the post in case you can’t see it:

[Developing News]

Sorry Marina otters, you are not that welcomed after all.

We received multiple reports this morning the current holt used by Marina otters has been deliberately concealed with a rock and slab. The person even went to the extend to destroy and remove a public footpath slab to finish off the job.

Despite residents and public’s affection and sympathy for the otters’ seeking refuge, that is not enough to help them.

At this point, we do not know where adults and 5 pups are. Their destiny remains uncertain.
If anyone sees the otters, please let us know. If anyone knows who destroy the public property and also harass the protected wildlife, please let us know too.

Now, the Marina otters don’t live in the Marina Bay area, even though that’s what they’re known as. The family is so-named because they previously lived in the Marina Reservoir, until they lost their territory to the more-aggressive Bishan otters in 2015.

This year, the Marina otters managed to get past the Bishan otters and move upstream of the Singapore River, where the waters are much calmer than the rough seas in the East Coast, where they initially moved to.

In fact, it was only on Monday, May 1, that OtterWatch posted about the group relocating inland to avoid conflict with another family that resides less than 1km away, near Clarke Quay:

While most of us welcome and have been considerate to our new furry residents at the Singapore River, the entrance to the Marina otters’ temporary holt near Mirage Tower was unfortunately found to be closed off by a rock and a footpath slab that appear to have been deliberately shoved into the gap.

Given their territorial nature, the fate of this family is now uncertain since they are unable to return to this holt anymore. It’s also going to be tough for the Marina family, with their young pups, to confront the Bishan or Clarke Quay families which inhabit the nearby waters.

Right now, neither the person who allegedly did this nor the Marina family of otters has been found yet.

NParks has been informed about the case and the slab has been removed.

Top photo collage from OtterWatch

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About Zhangxin Zheng

Zhangxin’s favourite pastime is singing Mulan’s soundtrack in the mangrove forests. She hopes to perfect the art of napping in a hammock in the mangroves without being drowned by rising sea levels.

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