Pasir Ris otter family protect injured pup while animal welfare groups plan to capture and treat it

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The young otter with a deep gash around his midsection was spotted this morning as the family were caught on camera roaming a grass patch in what appears to be a residential area.

Although the otters, known locally to be the Pasir Ris otter family, do not seem to be wary of humans they were still noted to be protective of the injured pup. While the pup still seems hale and happy, its family were careful to ensure that the pup was always in the middle of the group, flanked by the rest.

Pasir Ris otters enjoying a family outing on Sunday morning. Good to see them looking after the injured pup so well, keeping him right in the middle of the group…

Posted by Jo Wright on Saturday, 4 November 2017

The injured otter pup went viral earlier this week when it was photographed in the disturbingly polluted waters of Pasir Ris Park, with a deep gash around its body.

Footage of the pup captured by nature enthusiast Abel Yeo shows that the pup has a metal wire wrapped around its body, which is causing a deep laceration:

The pup has been suffering from the wound caused by the metal wire for at least two weeks, although it is unclear exactly when it was ensnared in the wire. A photo showing the pup from two weeks ago reveals that the laceration around its midsection has deepened and widened since it was last seen:

Commenting on Yeo’s footage of the pup, veterinary pathologist at Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Chia-Da Hsu, opined has the wound could likely lead to infection and death.

She, however, also warned that removing the pup from its family could have negative implications, as well:

 

Since the photos of the poor pup went viral, the Otter Working Group (OWG) has confirmed that they are planning to intervene to save the life of the young otter.

The OWG, which comprises of NParks, ACRES, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), PUB and National University of Singapore, has titled the operation “Free Aquarius”

In a statement this Tuesday, Otterwatch revealed:

“Yes, we are intervening. Otter Working Group (OWG), which comprises of NParks, ACRES, WRS, AVA, PUB and NUS, has been mobilised for the Trap & Treat & Release of this injured otter.
“This family is highly mobile, often traveling between Coney Island and Pasir Ris Park, as well as up to Changi beach. We identified a few suitable locations for trapping and have decided on the optimum one – it requires dry land, frequent visits, etc. for maximum chance.
“The most critical first step is trapping. ACRES, NParks and different teams are considering varied methods and equipments. Most importantly, how can we single out and capture one otter out of a family of 10-11 otters? It is safe to presume that we have only one chance before the family turns wary of humans – it will just get more difficult if further attempts are required.
“Once successfully captured, the otter would be immediately sent to Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) hospital’s veterinary team for assessment and treatment.
“Release and reunion would be planned and executed upon the vet’s clearance – whether it be on the same day or a different day.
“The otter family is currently on the move, away from Pasir Ris Park. Spotters and park managers are on the lookout, and there are many more agencies and volunteers involved. We will seize the first opportunity to coordinate and execute the trapping. Can’t intervene when nature doesn’t let you.
“We’ll keep you updated.
“This operation is code named “Free Aquarius”. The injured Pasir Ris pup was born in Changi early this year, and it is an Aquarius baby.
“We are determined to free Aquarius.

[Free Aquarius]Yes, we are intervening. Otter Working Group (OWG), which comprises of NParks, ACRES, WRS, AVA, PUB and…

Posted by OtterWatch on Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Meanwhile an older clip of the Otter family scurrying out of Tampines North Primary School has been circulating online.

The otters can be seen in a short clip of CCTV footage dashing out of the school, earlier last month on 11 Oct. The injured pup had not been ensnared in the wire at the time:

This family was seen at Tampines North Primary on 11 October.

Posted by Darc Johnson on Saturday, 4 November 2017

Otter pup with deep cut caused by metal wire spotted in the polluted waters of Pasir Ris Park

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