Our otter population is very beloved by many Singaporeans. Some may even consider them our unofficial national animals.
Those who rear valuable fish, however, probably won’t agree with that.
Recently, a koi owner of almost 30 years was devastated to find that her entire collection had been attacked.
She awoke one morning to learn that the two ponds in her family’s Bukit Timah house were filled with partially eaten carcasses.
Out of her 23 koi and nearly 20 algae eaters, only three survived, but two of them succumbed to their injuries the same day.
Speaking to MS News, the owner, Ying, said that her koi collection was wiped out overnight on Sunday (2 Oct).
At around 7am that morning, her helper and father were shocked to discover that both ponds, which were built especially for rearing koi, were filled with fish carcasses.
Ying’s father told her about what happened when she woke up.
“I was really shocked and devastated, as I have raised some of them since I was young,” she said.
The oldest of the koi were about 15 years old.
They were found partially eaten. Some of the algae eaters were also missing their heads.
Out of all the fish, only three survived, but they were all missing their fins and had severe injuries.
The damage was so bad that one of the fish was flipped sideways the whole time.
Two of the remaining koi eventually succumbed to their injuries.
Unfortunately, the last one is also unlikely to survive as “he can’t swim or eat”.
Ying told MS News that in the 20-odd years she has stayed in the Bukit Timah house, there had never been any incidents involving her koi fish until that day.
Describing her house as “rather deep in and on top of a little hill”, Ying was surprised that any animals could have made their way there.
She was encouraged to share her story as a koi farm reached out to her saying that other customers have faced the same issue.
I had this hobby for close to 30 years now and in one night, it (was) destroyed.
The estimated value of the fish was more than S$20,000, excluding pond maintenance and food.
Ying is now “too traumatised” to rear any more fish as she feels that Singapore isn’t safe enough for such a hobby.
She hopes that something can be done about the otter population as she feels it has gotten out of control.
This isn’t the first reported incident of otters preying on fish, both in public areas and in private housing estates.
One family decided to help an otter family cross the road after the animals had eaten their koi fish collection, noting that humans need to co-exist with animals in Singapore.
Meanwhile, in June, goldfish owner woke up to find that all 50 of his goldfish had been eaten by a pack of otters.
NParks have advised fish owners to identify possible entry points and block them off so that otters won’t be able to enter their homes.
Hopefully, this will help prevent more of such tragedies in the future.
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Featured image courtesy of Ying.
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