Two otters found dead at Changi Beach
SINGAPORE ― Two otters were found dead at Changi Beach on Wednesday (April 25). One of the otters was found in a metal trap used to catch crabs and fish near the Changi Sailing Club, while the other was found along the beach.
SINGAPORE ― Two otters were found dead at Changi Beach on Wednesday (April 25).
One of the otters was found in a metal trap used to catch crabs and fish near the Changi Sailing Club, while the other was found along the beach.
Otter community group Otterwatch posted photos of the dead animals on Facebook on Thursday morning, and the news spread quickly on social media.
There are at least 60 otters in Singapore, and they can be found in places such as Pasir Ris, Sungei Buloh, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Pulau Ubin, and the Gardens By The Bay. Popular with Singaporeans, the smooth-coated otters have often been spotted frolicking in the water and on land.
OtterWatch said in a post that the two otters were “likely” to be members of the Pasir Ris family, and that they were discovered by members of the public.
A spokesman from OtterWatch told TODAY that the otter in the trap had half of its head “chewed off by (a) monitor lizard”.
This is not the first time that such an incident has occurred. In June last year, a dead otter was found in a cage along the Marina Promenade, and a man was subsequently caught setting traps in the area.
“Many traps were recovered and removed by agencies and volunteers… When will there be an end to this irresponsible trapping?” said the Otterwatch spokesman.
“One man’s leisure and pleasure is causing so much harm to marine creatures. It should be banned.”
Changi Sailing Club general manager Edwin Low told TODAY that this was the first time he had heard of an otter being killed by a trap. He added: “Maybe the authorities could issue advisories to these fishing enthusiasts, and even ban the use of these traps.
“I would like to see a ‘no fishing zone’ where we are located.”
Responding to queries, Mr Kalai Vanan, deputy chief executive of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society, said it is aware of the incident and is “very sad that (the) two otters have been found dead”.
Abandoned fish and crab traps, as well as fishing lines with hooks and nets can be found in many of Singapore’s waterways and coastal areas, added Mr Kalai. Apart from otters, turtles and monitor lizards caught on fish hooks often suffer slow and painful deaths.
He also called on the public to be vigilant when walking along the waterways and coastal areas “to look out for abandoned fish traps/lines and report them to the authorities”.
“We hope the agencies will investigate this matter to find out more and look into better enforcement measures to deter such incidents,” added Mr Kalai.