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Posts Tagged ‘otters’

Year of the Otter

In Environment on 16/02/2018 at 5:10 am

“It’s our year. In S’pore’s national language, we are known as “anjing ayer”: “anging” is “dog” and “ayer”* is “water”. So it’s our year.” (More: Why Malay name for “otter” is apt)

Didn’t want to disappoint them by telling them that today is the start of the “earth dog” year. 2042 is “water dog” year.

Whatever they should go tell McDonalds and other hypersensitive KS ang moh consumer brands afraid of being bombed by Jihadists or boycotted by Muslims to replace “dog” with “otter” in their versions of the Chinese zodiac. I’m sure these MNCs will listen to the “water dog” argument. And at least in S’pore, the Chinese would not be too upset.


*Or “air” as it is now spelt.

 

 

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Bishan otters PAP members?

In Environment on 14/02/2018 at 4:51 am

Or did the otters got co-opted into being constructive, nation-building animals? Did the otters got paid for this?

Seriously, this video shows the PAP, knowing that we love the otters, and are using them to influence us

Whatever fun to watch.

Why Malay name for “otter” is apt

In Environment on 06/12/2017 at 7:53 am

The name reminds us that otters have fangs and claws and are prepared to use them.

Yes, another tale from Udrahpore or Otterpore:Udrahpore not Singapore

This pix from OtterWatch, reminding S’poreans that otters are protective of their pups, reminded me that the Malays call an otter “anjing air”. This translates literally into “water dog”.

 

And yes, the Chinese term for “water dog” is  “sui kow”, the name of a type of Chinese dumpling.

So the original dumpling was made using otter meat?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our otters: A global first

In Environment on 05/11/2017 at 4:28 am

Really. Our otters are uniquely S’porean. No where else in the world has wild otters like ours.

Yes, another tale from Udrahpore or Otterpore:Udrahpore not Singapore. But this time not a tall tale.

Our otters are the product of sex between two otter species.

A paper 

published on 27 January 2017 in the ‘Scientific Reports’ journal (www.nature.com/srep) has shown that the apparent Smoothcoated
Otters in Singaporeare hybrids of two local species – the Smooth-coated
Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) and the Asian Small-clawed
Otter (Aonyx cinereus). This is the first worldwide record of hybridization in a
wild otter population. Hybrids of these two species have been recorded in captivity before (between a L perspicillata male with an A cinereus female).

For more see page 9 in

https://www.nss.org.sg/newsletter/902d1c3a-2Nature%20News%20Mar&%20Apri%202017C.pdf

Udrahpore not Singapore

In Environment on 01/11/2017 at 7:12 am

Or “Tale the otters tell their  pups”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all know the legend that S’pore was called Singapura because FT Sang Nila Utama was told that the animal he saw when he landed here was a lion (“Singa” in Sanskrit). The animal had a red body, black head and a white breast. Strange lions in the olden days.

The otters say that he saw a big white-breast otter that got bloodied in a fight with his siblings. They bit him, causing a deep cut on his back. The wound was bigger than this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Injured pup photographed by Abel Yeo. Attempts are being made to catch and treat this pup.)

Blood streaked down his sides.

He was then seen by Sang Nila Utama.

 

 

 

S’poreans not begrudging S’poreans enjoying free lunches

In Environment on 05/08/2017 at 10:07 am

And not complaining to the govt to take away the freebies because it’s welfarism.

When I saw the following on FB, I tot the above

I am so ENVIOUS of our Otters. They are so fortunate to have regular meals of fresh fish. We must do all we can to protect our heritage. With LOVE to our Otters.

OK, OK the original otters from Bishah, AMK are FTs. But what the heck, they are the kind of New Citizens I welcome. But I can’t help but wonder if their aggressive behaviour towards the Marina (then S’pore River, now Bukit Timah) otters is the result of first settling in PAP areas?

Whatever, I’m sure Kate Spade Tin’s running dogs will feed the Bishan otters better fish than the local otters, if otters move into Tin’s ward. They may even poison the latter so that the former can take control.

Btw, otters are now in Siglap.  Yesterday afternoon, I saw a mum and pup alongside Siglap Canal where it intersects East Coast Rd, beside St Patrick’s School. They were sunning themselves, mum belly up, abd wriggling her bottom.

I had my dog with me, so no photos.

But I’m sure the Katong Convent gal taking photos will be posting them on FB soon. When I spoke to a friend, he said he saw them in the sea off Marine Parade and on the beach. Apparently these otters are the Tanah Merah otters.

I’m waiting for the day when otters are spotted in WP territory. Bedok reservoir is in WP area, But maybe otters (local or FT) are smarter than the majority of voters in Aljunied and Hougang?

Otters, Watergate: What’s worth of ministers’ parly statements?

In Environment, Political governance, Public Administration on 03/03/2017 at 5:12 am

I recently wrote that I was afraid for our Bishan otters because

a population of five in mid 2015, has expanded to 14 in about two years. By the end of 2018, there’ll be 10 sexually mature otters. They won’t be stopping at two for sure.

And

what happened at Sing Ming can happen to the Bishan otters because based on what happened to wild pigs and the fowl, the default mode at AVA to any animal problem is “Cull first, ask questions and BS later”.

So it was really nice that on Tuesday, a junior minister made it clear that

The culling of animals is only a “very small part” of the overall work of the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), and it does not track the expenditure it incurs on doing so, said Senior Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee.

Answering a question in Parliament on Tuesday (Feb 28), Mr Lee said AVA takes a multi-pronged approach to manage the animal population and mitigate health and safety concerns. It first undertakes a professional assessment of potential threats that animals might pose to public health and safety, he explained, and AVA will have to act if there “significant health and safety concerns”.

“Where feasible, it will work with stakeholders, including the animal welfare groups and organisations like Wildlife Reserves Singapore, to relocate and rehome these animals,” said Mr Lee. “Culling is used only as a last resort.”

In response to a clarification from Member of Parliament Louis Ng, Mr Lee added that AVA’s total budget for animal management operations for 2016 was S$800,000.

CNA

But then I learnt that VivianB had said in parly in 2015 (juz before GE) that there was no need to change the price of water because of PUB’s improvements in membrane tech and productivity and that the water tariff and WCT reflected the scarcity of water.

But we now know 18 months later than that isn’t true any more (Wah facts change so fast? Can tell us what changed? Or cock-up somewhere? Or 2015 statement was “political”?) and that the price of water will be 30% more because of the cost of producing water and to reflect the scarcity of water.

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“The consumer must feel the price of water, realise how valuable water is in Singapore, every time he or she turns on the tap, right from the first drop,” says Water minister Masagos Zulkifli.

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So we can’t trust the word of a PAP minister even when he makes a statement in parly.

Sad.

Bishan Otters: Why they’ll be on AVA’s cull list

In Environment on 21/02/2017 at 4:51 am

S’poreans are great at KPKBing after the event; Jus look at the noise after the culling of the Sing Ming Avenue fowl be they be junglefowl, feral domestic chickens or mixed breed (My take on that).

If S’poreans are their usual lazy, unthinking, reactive selves what happened at Sing Ming can happen to the Bishan otters because based on what happened to wild pigs and the fowl, the default mode at AVA to any animal problem is “Cull first, ask questions and BS later”.


This assurance on culling reported by CNA is only for free-ranging chickens: Culling of free-ranging chickens will only be done as “last resort” says MND junior minister Dr Koh.

Otters are not chickens.

Image result for otters singaporeImage result for jungle fowl singapore

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And there’s good reason to be concerned about the environmental impact of the otters. They are not stopping at two: a population of five in mid 2015, has expanded to 14 in about two years. And the first three youngsters will be maturing soon.

In April 2015, two adult otters — believed to have swam over from Malaya to S’pore — were caught on camera with triplet baby pups in tow, having settled down in the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

Five new pups, believed to be born in late December 2015, made the family the Bishan Eight.

Then there was a new litter of five pups some time in mid-November 2016. But one is missing it seems.

All in all, a population of five in mid 2015, has expanded to 14 in about two years. By the end of 2018, there’ll be 10 sexually mature otters. They won’t be stopping at two for sure.

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Dr Koh said AVA found that the free-roaming chicken population near Sin Ming Avenue had more than doubled in the last two years from about 20 to more than 50 birds. (CNA)

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As bitch otters, I’ve read, reach sexual maturity at approximately two years of age and males at approximately three years, the triplets will soon be sexually mature: the gals by April this year, and the boys by April next year.

The gals in the next batch will mature in December this year and the boys by December next year.

So by the end of 2018, there’ll be 10 sexually mature otters. They’ll breed like their parents.

As pups live with their family for approximately one year, the otters range further.

Add to that the issue of in-breeding and we could have otter conservation issues as a legtimate and reasonable concern.

Let’s hope the AVA is planning ahead and that culling isn’t the usual default option, or even on the agenda. Maybe MP Lous Ng and his ACRES: Animal Concerns Research and Education Society can keep the AVA on its toes.

The Bishan otters deserve better than the exterminated Sing Ming Avenue fowl be they be junglefowl, feral domestic chickens or mixed breed.