Monday, December 08, 2014

Excuse me, we aren't beavers

Spent the last couple of days during my break looking for the otters. It didn't start that way but I kept hearing of sightings around the park by regular park users. Must have walked the entire length of the park (I and II) several times over before spotting a crowd of people on Sunday.
They were all gawking at the pair. Many curious folks didn't understand that like humans, the otters have a the need for a safe personal space, and were encroaching on the pair. There was at one point a slight panicked look on one of the otters but they held their own. As the crowd thinned they were able to come out of the water.
It made it possible to confirm the sex of the pair and also to check on the condition of the animals. Generally healthy but one of them has an open cut on its right hind paw.
The otter on the right has a cut on its right hind paw

The female is the one in the background
He's the boy
This fly on the wall has a couple of points to make: -
  • Not sure why but several people called these smooth-coated otters - beavers and sea otters. I think we need to educate Singaporeans on our local biodiversity. 
  • The old uncles were grumbling that the otters were eating up all the fish in the river and pond. They have lodged complaints against the otters at the park office. They believe that they should be caught and returned to wherever they came from. Bottom line: they don't belong in the eco-system. I couldn't keep quite on this so I chimed in that we took all the homes of the otters and they have no where else to live. Also the fish in the river and pond are invasive species introduced by humans.
  • Another said otters are wasteful animals because they don't eat the entire fish that they catch. Well hello!!! Do we (humans) eat from tail to snout all the time? Don't we also have preferred cuts of the animals we consume? Who's been responsible for the decimation of elephants, rhinos, sharks and many other species?
  • They said the otters are cruel to eat the fish alive. Hmmmm....may be they should open their eyes to see what goes on in the abattoirs.
  •  Another said the otters were terrorizing the fish.
  • Someone then said they might attack humans since they eat meat. I said only if humans get too close and threaten them. I asked if he would protect himself if he were attacked.
  • Lastly, people have been bringing whole slices bread to try to feed the otters. They don't need our processed food, they can catch their own meals. 
I worry for this pair as we seem to have so many people who lack compassion and respect for the animals that try to live among us. I hope that they will continue to do well and stay. Posting this notice as they are so tiny and I don't think many have read it.

There should be a way to get old and young to appreciate our biodiversity. We have lost so many rich sites in the recent years, and Bidadari is about to destroyed too.

No comments: