A dead otter was found in a cage on 14 June (Wednesday) along Marina Promenade in the Kallang Basin, and a man was caught setting up traps in the area on the same day, the PUB said in a statement on 16 June (Friday).
PUB informed the Otter Working Group and the dead otter was handed over to Wildlife Reserves Singapore for a post-mortem, where investigations are ongoing.
A PUB’s cleaning contractor found the dead otter at 11.40am. On the same day at about 5.30pm, PUB reservoir staff caught the man setting up traps in the reservoir along the Marina Promenade. PUB said it will be taking enforcement action against the man under the Public Utilities (Reservoirs, Catchment Areas and Waterway) Regulations 2006.
In a Facebook post on 16 June, watch group OtterWatch said that the dead otter is suspected to be a member of the Bishan family, as they had a missing member for two days.
PUB reminds the public that it is an offence to trap any animal or do any act which causes injury to the fauna in any reservoir and any person caught doing so may be fined up to $3000.
Members of the public are also encouraged to call the PUB hotline at 1800-2255-782 (1800-CALL-PUB) should they spot any illegal acts at the reservoirs.
When reporting, it would be helpful to furnish the date, time and location, along with any photos and/or videos.
Just slightly over a week ago, the father of family otters at Singapore River died on 8 June after being observed to be sickly. Affectionately known as Ah Huat (prosperity in Hokkien dialect), Marina Dad, who is estimated to be about seven years old, is the first otter in the city.
In an interview with The Straits Times, Mr Jeffery Teo, who is part of the Otter Working Group, said the father otter “got weaker and smaller, as he was seen vomiting and struggled to swim and eat.”
In a Facebook post titled Remembering Marina Dad, the watch group wrote: “Despite his condition, Marina dad still insisted to be with the pack, to be close with his family. He might swim & walk slower, rest longer but he was never too far from them. He still felt responsible to protect his family.”
The watch group was observed that blood was found in Marina Dad’s stools. Some watchers suspect that the otter might have accidentally eaten rat poison.
In a Father’s Day tribute on Facebook, the watch group described the father otter as a gentleman with a quiet personality. A patient father otter, Marina Dad is often on the lookout for his family while they play or fish. He is also patient with humans, the watch group said.
“Even with humans, he exercises maximum patience. We saw him once while he was leading his pack in the sea, and he literally waited for humans to finish their water polo match before continuing their journey,” the group wrote.
Marina Dad Ah Huat leaves behind his mate and six litters.
From all of us at Alvinology, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the dead otters.
Top images from PUB and OtterWatch’s Facebook page.