Man Gets Bitten By Otter In Kallang, Reminds Public Not To Get Close

Man Following Otter Family In Kallang Gets Bitten On 4 Apr

Otters are well-loved for their adorable appearances and playful antics here in Singapore. But they are also known to turn aggressive when provoked.

On Monday (4 Apr) morning, a 52-year-old man, Mr Hong, was bitten by an otter at Kallang Riverside Park when he was following a family of over 30 otters.

He immediately went to Raffles Hospital to get a tetanus shot as a precautionary measure.

Mr Hong later reminded the public not to get too close to otters and to always keep a safe distance away.

Large family of over 30 otters spotted

According to Shin Min Daily News, 52-year-old Mr Hong was about to start his morning jog at Kallang Riverside Park on Monday (4 Apr) at about 6.45am when he spotted a large family of over 30 otters.

man bitten otter kallangSource

Though he reportedly sees otters often on his morning jog, seeing such a big group was a rare occurrence. Mr Hong would typically witness them travelling in groups of five or six.

Excited about catching such a rare sight, he followed behind the otter family, keeping a distance of about two metres, reported The Straits Times (ST).


Besides Mr Hong, a few other passers-by also followed along behind the otter family.

Man bitten by otter in Kallang

However, about half a minute later, an adult otter unexpectedly rushed towards Mr Hong, biting him on his calf.

Before he could even react, the otter that bit him already rejoined his family and had gone into the waters.

The otter family later swam away from the scene.

After recovering from the shock, Mr Hong found that the encounter had left him with several bite wounds.

man bitten otter kallangSource

After cleaning the wounds at a nearby toilet, Mr Hong immediately went to Raffles Hospital to get an X-ray and a tetanus shot.

The doctor had also given him a five-day medical leave and asked him to rest and recover at home, noted ST.

Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, the 52-year-old said the incident was partially his fault.

He shared that he and his wife would often remind their children not to go too near otters. But on this occasion, he himself had forgotten to do so.

Co-chief executive of Acres Mr Kalai Vanan Balakrishnan told ST that since there were otter pups in the family that Mr Hong was following, the adults were likely being extra cautious and protective.

And since he was tailing them, one of them might have seen Mr Hong as a threat and thus turned defensive. To avoid such outcomes, we should therefore give wild animals like the otters some space.

Remember to keep a safe distance from otters

While an otter family sighting is no doubt exciting, do remember to treat these animals with respect.

According to the National Parks Board (NParks), otters should be observed at a distance. Going too close to them might frighten them.

So the next time you’re lucky enough to catch these animals wandering about, do keep these guidelines in mind to prevent such unfortunate incidents from occurring.

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Featured image adapted from Shin Min Daily News on Facebook and Foursquare.

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