While the world is busy fighting against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and people have retreated into ‘self-isolation’ at home, animals have been seen wandering around the cities in many countries.
For instance, herds of goats were spotted roaming around the streets in North Wales days after the British government imposed tighter restrictions in the United Kingdom, CNN reported on 1 April.
Penguins wander like they are ‘spectators’ in the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago after the lakefront aquarium was closed indefinitely, in which the Shedd Aquarium captioned on social media: “While this may be a strange time for us, these days feel normal for animals at Shedd,” Time reported on 19 March.
In Singapore, two groups of otters were seen having ‘turf war’ in a viral video on Reddit yesterday (2 April). One netizen claimed that the fight between the two groups of otters took place in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park on 29 March.
In the video, the two groups of otters swam towards each other before they went head-to-head in the water. The fight continued even after they reached the grass. One of the groups retreated at the last minute but was chased by the larger group of otters.
Following the video, netizen with username Gibwater explained the story behind the ‘turf war’ between the two groups of otters.
The larger group of otters on the right was the ‘Bishan Family’ which is the largest family of otters in Singapore.
“They are highly aggressive and expansionist towards other otters and are the most famous and well-documented family in Singapore. They have, to our knowledge, won every single fight against other otter families, no doubt due to their sheer numbers which makes them three times the size of a wild otter family,” Gibwater wrote.
Meanwhile, the other group of otters on the left was the ‘Marina Family’ which is the second-largest family of otters in the country.
Gibwater described Marina Family as otters that are highly adaptable to urban areas as they mastered the skills to climb ladders and navigate storm drains. However, Marina Family constantly in a feud with the Bishan Family and always the one who ends up losing the fight.
The fight between the two families of otters was caused by a territorial dispute, and apparently, otter fights are more vicious than it looks.
In 2015, the Bishan Family migrated from Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park to the Marina Bay and invaded the home of the Marina Family otters. Bishan Family subsequently ousted the Marina Family from Marina Bay. Thus began the ‘turf war’ between the two families of otters.
“The Marina family moved to East Coast Park for a while, but were unused to the rough seas and steep coast, leading them to try and reconquer Marina Bay. In 2018, they successfully slipped past the Bishan family to move upstream to Bishan-AMK Park,” Gibwater said.
Referring to the recent viral video, Gibwater theorized that the Bishan family has moved upstream once again, and the Marina family will have to move out of the park soon.
According to Gibwater, at least one otter was killed when the Bishan Family fought the Marina Family in 2017 and sometimes the fights cause major injuries.
“Like when a female of the Bishan family lost her ear fighting another female in the same family,” the netizen noted.