Residents of The Crest Condominium near Alexandra Road were taken by surprise on Tuesday afternoon (6 Apr) after witnessing otters devouring almost all the fish kept in the pond in the estate.
The residents said that a dozen of otters entered the condominium — located next to Alexandra Canal — and took a swim at the pool before entering the pond and eating almost all the fish kept there.
Speaking to CNA, resident Veron Tan said she saw a romp of otters at about 4 pm, noting that they have eaten about “80 to 90 per cent” of the fish living in the pond.
“Twelve otters terrorised my condo today. They ate up pretty much most of the fish we had. Depressing. We feed the fish every weekend,” she said, adding that the otters also swam in the condominium’s pool.
“Now that they are gone, we have to spend money to clean both (the) pond and pools.”
Ms Tan also went on to note that some children were “frightened to tears” looking at what has happened.
“My heart goes out to all the fish at The Crest. Some fish (were) left with an eye, some without,” she said.
Another resident, who only wanted to be known as JT, said to CNA: “I just feel that the pond has always been a place where children will gather around to feed the fish. So it’s very sad to see them gone.”
This news came to light after a video was uploaded on ‘Singapore Wildlife Sightings‘ Facebook group on Tuesday by Facebook user Yvonne Chan, showing a large family of otters taking a dip in the swimming pool at the said condo.
According to the caption of the post, the otters “had a feast” in the pond next to the pool, having eaten up all the fishes that were reared by the residents.
Commenting on this incident, a senior lecturer in biological sciences at the National University of Singapore (NUS), N Sivasothi, told CNA that these particular otters come from “the Zouk family”, which is probably the world’s most urban-adapted otter family.
“Having been forced away from Singapore and Kallang Rivers by rival otter families, they have been forced away from the rich waterways, and wander the urban matrix as nomads,” he noted.
He also pointed out that the nearby Alexandra Canal leads to the Singapore River and Marina Bay, and that the water is clean and can hold a large exotic fish population.
“Otters have been using the area for years and will explore areas adjacent to their home range from time to time. This is to suss out potential new feeding sites or places to rest,” he said.
Normal for otters to feed on fish, netizens say
Over on social media, online users pointed out that it is normal for otters to feed on fish as fish are their natural source of food.
Penning their points on the CNA Facebook page, netizens expressed that whatever has happened is how nature works and that this is the reality of life.
Others noted that parents should take this opportunity to educate them about otters and how the “food chain system” works.
Some online users expressed that humans are being a hypocrite by creating a big fuss about otters eating fish, but in reality, they eat fish as part of their own diet.
Apart from that, netizens also stated that animals such as otters trespass residential areas because humans have destroyed their natural habitat in the name of development.