Singapore is hooked on cute otters
Otters have become a common sight in garden city Singapore, with a family otters seen casually taking strolls at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Toa Payoh, and even in St Andrew’s Junior College.
Their frequent appearance also means more interaction between man and otter. It’s all fun and games until somebody (or something) gets hurt.
On Tuesday (20 Oct) a man baited an otter that was swimming in Kallang River with a fishing hook, injuring it. A viral YouTube video of the incident, coupled with social media furore has led to PUB and ACRES hunting for illegal fisher.
Instead of trying to hook them, here are some things you should know about otters:
1. Otters are the heaviest of all weasels
Male otters can reach up to 45 kg, whereas a male honey badger can only hope to reach a weight of 16 kg. So do not try to approach or carry the otters.
2. There are many different types of otters
Otters live on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. There are 13 different species of otters around the world, including sea otters and river otters.
3. Otters drink seawater but do not dehydrate
Unlike humans, otters have giant kidneys that can process saltwater. So they do not need humans to offer them water.
4. Otters eat mainly fish
Otters are carnivorous and eat about 25% of their body weight worth of food each day. While they enjoy fish, AVA has advised the public not to feed any wild animals.
5. Otters have a rock pocket
Otters have pockets to keep rocks.
Extending across their chest is a flap of skin that acts as a pocket to store their favourite rock. Otters use the rocks to dislodge their prey — like shellfish — from its shell. They are one of the few mammals who use tools to hunt and eat.
6) Otters do not like to be hooked
In case you didn’t know.
7) But they have super healing powers
The otter which was injured because of the fishing hook healed super fast, it seems.
8) Otters mating can seem violent
When mating, male otters use their teeth to latch onto the female’s face to prevent their bodies from slipping away underwater. This sometimes tears off the female’s flesh, leaving deep wounds, all in the name of love.
9) Otters are good divers
They can dive down 300 feet when searching for food and stay underwater up to four minutes. Otters close their nostrils and ears when they go underwater.
10) Otter pups though, are too fluffy to dive
The babies’ fur is initially too fluffy to dip below the surface. So the mother will wrap them in kelp while she hunts for food, so that they won’t float away.
Otters are just an overdose of cute. Let’s not hurt them.
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