After travelling across Malaysia for three weeks, hubs and I spent our last three days in Singapore. I wasn’t particularly excited, as, having visited before, I was wondering what we would find to do, that we hadn’t already done.
It was also a little odd returning to civilization after spending so much time in natural locations, surrounded by wildlife.
The first day we relaxed and hung out around the river, mainly walking and enjoying a few beers, then on day two I decided to head off to the Marina in the hope of catching a glimpse of a sea bird or even a dolphin, as that area is a lot less populated, with little human activity.
After walking for a few hours in the rain, hubs rebelled and refused to go any further as there was little to be seen, apart from orange sea-sluggy things, clinging to rocks, so, we turned back and as we did we spotted three dark shapes emerging from the water.
Dolphins? Seals? I found myself holding my breath!
Then, the water erupted, and a seething mass of these appeared.
I have never seen an otter in my entire life, and here I got to watch over fourteen of them close-up!
In Singapore….of all places! Who knew? I shall always google local wildlife wherever I go in future.
Initially they indulged in a feeding frenzy, the water was obviously teeming with huge orange fish, so many in fact, that the otters seemed to be playing with them, just like cats with mice. They hurled them into the air, caught them again, let them swim a little and then pounced…..they were clearly enjoying the game, maybe they were teaching their cubs how to hunt.
After the feeding frenzy, the otters played, they play-fought, writhed around and around in groups and generally seemed to be high on life! To me, they appeared to be a cross between ferrets and seals! Such fascinating creatures, clearly intelligent, wily and curious, and, oh sooooo sleek and agile.
When we returned to the hotel I looked them up. Seems these otters are rather famous.
They have featured on David Attenboroughs’ BBC Earth, the episode on Rivers. I watched that very episode on the plane on the way home.
The orange fish turned out to be a very expensive ornamental koi carp, introduced into the waterways. To date the otters have munched through $80.000 worth.
They are known as the Bishan 10, obviously there are a lot more of them now!
Smooth coated otters were thought to have disappeared in Singapore in the 70’s, their re-appearance is a result of cleaner waterways. It doesn’t take much to encourage wildlife back does it?
How lucky I was to spot them when I did, locals prowl the waterways trying to get a glimpse of them as they’ve proved to be very elusive. You just can’t beat being in the right place at the right time!
I opened my eyes in Singapore after that and discovered bats, monitor lizards and many species of birds and butterflies. Life exists everywhere, in jungles and cities…….a lesson well learnt!
Over the last few days, my small pond in the back garden has been invaded by frogs. I knew there were a lot of frogs in the garden, now I suspect there may be hundreds.
The frogs were extremely skittish during the day, so I couldn’t get near them, but at night they appeared unconcerned by my presence, even with a torch.
At one point I counted 37……37 frogs in a tiny pond! There are layers and layers of frogspawn and the chorus keeps me awake at night, in a really good way mind!
These are all common frogs, which come in all colours. Most are green/brown, but others can be orange, black and even red.That orange one really stands out.
Here’s a short video that my wildlife cammie captured in Taman Negara.
Retrieving it each morning was a real treat, or…an utter disappointment.