Another Reason to Run At Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park: Cute Otters!
If you have been running frequently at the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, you might have heard chirps, growls, grunts and even chuckles followed by the sight of otters playing near water areas. This is because otters are social creatures that use a variety of sounds to communicate.
If you are lucky enough, you might even get the chance to witness the famous family of otters known as the "Bishan 10" since 5 additional members were born in December last year.
If you haven't had the chance to see the whole family in action, here's a Facebook video shared by Fast Snail which shows the pups playing with each other under the watchful eye of the older members and mother otter.
It's not easy to find them at the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park but with luck and patience, runners and park-goers can be hopeful. So are wild otters seen only at the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park? Apparently no, although often found at sea, otters need a source of fresh water nearby.
There have been reported sightings of these social marine mammals at Gardens by the Bay, Botanic Gardens and East Coast beach, and even at heartland areas such as Pasir Ris Park and the Punggol Waterway.
What Should You Do When You Spot An Otter?
Otters are usually harmless to humans and they are hard to see in the wild in most areas as they cleverly avoid human presence unlike other dangerous animals you could find on a trail. Otters are carnivores, eating mainly fish, crayfish, and frogs. Don't worry, humans aren't on their menu.
National Parks Board (NParks) advises that if you ever encounter the otters, you should keep a respectful distance, observe them silently and avoid flash photography so as not to frighten them. Do not feed the otters as they are perfectly capable of feeding themselves, which keeps the ecosystem healthy too.
Additionally, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) advises the public not to feed, disturb or approach any wild animals they spot. Trapping them is an offence. To give feedback on wildlife, you can contact AVA at 1800-476-1600.
So if you spotted these cute creatures, have your smartphone ready to snap those cute photos and share with the community.
What are some other wild animals that you encounter during running in Singapore? Let us know in the comments below!