Otterageous! Otter families in Singapore clash over territory; Internet has a field day

The Bishan otters and the Marina otters engage in an intense 'gang war'


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Photo: Screengrab
Photo: Screengrab

Published: Wed 22 Nov 2023, 5:30 PM

Last updated: Wed 22 Nov 2023, 5:41 PM

In a dramatic showdown of Singapore's prominent otter families, the Bishan and the Marina engaged in a heated territorial dispute. Captured on video, the fierce confrontation unfolds as the otters emit angry squeaks, charging at each other in the calm waters of the Kallang Basin, Singapore. The clash escalates from the water to the muddy shores of the inner-city basin. In the otter showdown, one family was later seen splitting and backing off from the other.

Watch the video here:

Viewers were highly entertained with the video. One user cleverly wrote, “Harry Otter [Porter] and the Deathly Shallows. [Hallows]”

Many shared otter puns in the comments, with phrases like "Otterageous!" and "It's otter madness, guys!"

A comment suggested, "They otter put a stop to this."

Referring to the iconic film The Godfather, a few compared the otter families to the crime families — Barzini and Corleone. "The docks were under the control of the Botterzini, but the Cotterleone family was ready to make a move."

The Bishan and Marina otter families in Singapore have a rivalry marked by territorial disputes and occasional clashes. The Bishan otters primarily inhabit Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, while the Marina otters stake their claim around Marina Bay. The Bishan family, also known as the Bishan Ten, moved to Marina Bay in 2015, pushing out the Marina otter family.

Since then, they've had a few fights, and in 2017, there was a battle that sadly led to the death of a Marina otter pup, according to the Daily Mail. The recent confrontation in the Kallang Basin highlighted the territorial nature of these otter groups.

N. Sivasothi, a biology lecturer and leader of the OtterWatch group in Singapore, shared insights, mentioning that otters, being territorial carnivores, need to manage sizable territories to ensure an adequate food supply for their families. “Physical contact happens when one family is much stronger than the other, there is very strong motivation to drive off another group, or when repeated encounters build up to extreme action. In the footage, the Marina otters break away without pursuing contact - they must have seized up the odds and broken off,” Sivasothi said,


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