A young injured otter was spotted swimming in a canal at Pasir Ris Park in Singapore on Monday, October 30, by a passer-by. The otter has a deep cut on its back, near the neck, where a wire is believed to have sliced into his skin, creating a disc-shaped wound.
Photos of the otter were posted on social media by Abel Yeo, whose Facebook bio says that he is an environmental science student. The photos show the otter pup with a pinkish wound on its back and sides. Yeo said in his post that the wound does not seem to be infected.
Yeo also stated that the otter might have been born in January or February and is part of a family of nine otters, called the Changi family. These creatures are often spotted In the Pasir Ris and Lorong Halus region, to the delight of watchers and passers-by.
Reports said that a thick wire has got embedded in the baby otter's skin but it seems to be doing well in spite of the injury. In the photos and videos that have emerged, the otter is seen swimming with its family and also eating enthusiastically.
However, the photos from two weeks' before show it with a smaller wound, suggesting that the injury is getting bigger and graver with time. Additionally, the water body in which it is residing is quite polluted, with garbage and plastic floating all around. This increases risks of infection.
Rescuing the animal is proving to be difficult, as pointed out by Chia-Da Hsu, a veterinary pathologist at Wildlife Reserves Singapore, on Facebook. Her comment implies that the pup has high chances of dying from septicaemia or the event of the wire cutting through its stomach. But, removing it from its habitat and separating it from family could also prove tricky as the baby might not do well in tensed conditions.
The Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) is currently looking for methods of rescue the animal safely and send it to Wildlife Reserves Singapore to get treated for its injuries.
This is not the first time that Singapore has reported seeing an otter in its water bodies. Otters were spotted near Marina Bay in September, following which Singapore's Nature Society organised 'Fun with Otters at Marina Bay-Kallang River', an event in which several wildlife enthusiasts participated.
Eurasian otters have been assigned a 'Near-Threatened' category in IUCN's Red List due to its rapidly dwindling population. In a country where otters are spotted periodically in their natural state, it becomes extremely important to rescue them and look after their conservation.