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Bid to track down otter pup with hook in eye

HAVE YOU SEEN IT? Otter watchers and Acres are looking for this injured pup, part of a family of 10 otters last seen at Kallang Basin.


    Apr 05, 2016

    Bid to track down otter pup with hook in eye

    SHE was following a family of otters, snapping photographs of them, when she realised that one of the pups had a fish hook in its eye.

    Yane Kang, 40, is part of a group of about 10 otter watchers, who track the movements of wildlife including this particular family of two parents and eight pups, often spotted at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

    Ms Kang told My Paper yesterday that she had been observing the otters on Saturday evening when she spotted the hook in one of the younger pups' right eye.

    The pup is believed to be four to five months' old, part of a second litter born in December. The family is known affectionately to insiders as Bishan 10.

    Asked if it was done deliberately, Ms Kang paused.

    "We are not sure," she said. "When I noticed, the otter already had a hook in its eye."

    My Paper reported about a similar case in October last year.

    Otter lover Nick Soo, known by his moniker Fast Snail, had taken a video capturing an angler who seemed to be trying to hook an otter.

    The otter squealed and was caught, before escaping with an injury that left it limping.

    The video went viral and the angler turned himself in to the police later.

    Mr Soo uploaded Ms Kang's photos of the hooked pup to Facebook on Saturday.

    He wrote that it was "related to illegal fishing again".

    Ms Kang, who has made a report to the Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (Acres), said the pup still has the hook in its eye and they are trying to locate it.

    "We tried following them but they're swimming too far away," she added.

    "We hope that members of the public will be more aware that we are sharing our environment with wildlife.

    "Wildlife in Singapore is unique to our land and we believe that humans and animals can co-exist."

    Otters have become an increasingly common sight in Singapore, and can be spotted in waterways along Punggol Waterfront and Sungei Buloh, other than Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

    Anbarasi Boopal, director of Acres Wildlife Rescue Centre, said it is working with the otter watchers to help the pup.

    "If any member of the public spots the injured pup, they can call the Acres 24-hour hotline at 9783-7782," she said.

    The otters are believed to have been last spotted at Kallang Basin on Sunday.