Initially, there was one lone male that was sighted on many occasions exploring the park. And then there were sightings of a pair roaming the park. They may have also followed the canal system to the Singapore Botanic Gardens but found the site unsuitable. They returned to the park and settled in.
The river is well stocked with exotic species of fish released by people. Contrary to what some might say there is ample fish stock to sustain the pair. There’s no need to restock the river as the fish will replenish themselves.
Some don’t like the otters as they think that they are fish terrorists. All animals hunt to survive, we used to do it too but now the killing animals are hidden away in abattoirs.
Where’s the female? What happened to the other otter? Were some of the common questions asked by park regulars. Well she was in the holt nursing her pups. They are born blind and need about a month before their eyes open. She was seen occasionally but she doesn’t stay long. The minute something scares her, she is ready to seek the safety of her holt and pups.
He on the other hand stayed close to the holt and protected his territory by marking it with his spraint. There are days when I can’t find them but sighting of his fresh spraint told me they were still around.
Finally, the pups were seen with their parents on April 15 at dusk. So begins a new chapter for the young pair. They have three SG50 babies. At the start, mama wasn’t comfortable with all the attention. She panicked when someone set off a flash and for the next couple of days she hid her babies.
By end-April, the pups were stronger and more rambunctious. She remained the ever attentive and sometimes strict parent. She snatches fish from one pup to give to the other. Did you know that the female is also the matriarch of the family? Although she’s smaller than the male, she calls the shots.
The contented family slumber in the wet weather. The pups will continue to grow and learn from their parents. Once they reach maturity, they will leave to find their own territory.