Bishan-AMK otter family is one of my favorite families. Similar story to the Gardens otter family, it started with 1 otter from no where. Then mysteriously found its mate and grew into a small family of 5 since early 2015.
The pups were born and raise in the drainage holes located within SMRT facility in bishan. Till about 3 month old, the pups first showed themselves to the world. Due to the proximity to human population and residential estates, this family is also the one causing many of us sleepless nights. We worry about overly curious visitors, worry about them and unleashed pet dogs, worry about SMRT chasing them away, worry about how their ability to survive and many real and some imagined issues.
Glad many residents stepped up in providing "guardianship", always looking out for the well-being of them. Nparks and volunteers also came in stepping up the game by providing their otter signage, public education program, liaison with SMRT corporation and among many good backend work not known to many. All these work and sweat put in, just to ensure the otters are given a chance to survive, especially for the 3 young pups.
All turned out well so far. The pups have grown up, strong enough to swim and climb upstream to the reservoirs where they have more privacy and a more natural environment to live.
The bishan-AMK otters remain close to mine, many residents' and visitors' hearts. Many strangers turn friends because of bishan otters. Through this family, we learn a lot about smooth-coated otters, their behavior and interaction between male, female and pups, their interaction and reaction to human crowd and threats, and potential human conflict due to the animal presence. What a great and invaluable learning.
From time to time, these otters will still show up in bishan park for 1-2 days and their presence still generate much excitement in the community. We like to think they miss park and residents too as much as we miss them. And to the parent otters, they would probably know that the entire human community lend help to parent their 3 pups together.
Good luck, live well and hope to see you again one day.
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