Singapore

Pioneering otter 'Ah Huat' missing, presumed dead

One of the first otters that appeared in central Singapore is missing and presumed dead, a community of otter watchers said on Thursday.

The alpha male of a family of otters living at the Singapore River began showing signs of illness last Thursday, said Mr Jeffery Teo, who is part of the Otter Working Group, which is made up of representatives from the public, government and other agencies involved in the welfare of otters.

The once robust otter, estimated to be about seven years old, "got weaker and smaller; he was seen vomiting and struggled to swim and eat", said Mr Teo.

Otter watchers found blood in the otter's spraint, or dung, in the past week. The otter was last sighted alive on Wednesday by the group at Jiak Kim Bridge, near Robertson Quay.

The Otter Working Group was informed of its condition and an operation involving Wildlife Reserves Singapore and the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society was planned for this week.

They were closely monitoring the otter and planning how to isolate it, but it was too late.

The otter has been missing for more than 36 hours as of yesterday morning.

Some people suspected that the otter might have accidentally eaten rat poison.

The otter, affectionately known as "Ah Huat" to otter watchers at Gardens by the Bay, first appeared there in 2013 .
- THE STRAITS TIMES

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