Territory wars between the various otter familes in Singapore are amusing to observe from a distance.
But when said otter family is nipping at your heels for a perceived slight, things may get a little scary.
I mean, have you seen how they beheaded the fishes at someone else’s house?
Woman Chased by Otters in West Coast Park
The incident took place around 6pm on Friday (22 Jul), according to Shin Min Daily News.
An eyewitness by the name of Lu Xiufeng, aged 48, recalled that she was taking a stroll with her children in West Coast Park that evening.
Her family had stopped near the public toilet area to take some photos because they discovered the traces of some otters.
However, their attention was quickly caught by a shocking sight: a woman was being chased by a group of six to seven otters.
Otters may look like sausages from afar and have short legs, but they’re pretty agile and fast on land.
After a minute or two of the otters doggedly on her trail, they catch up with her.
Because of how chaotic the scene was, Ms Lu is uncertain if the otters bit the unfortunate woman.
(Probably not, we haven’t heard any news report from any hospitals stating that they have a victim in the emergency department needing disinfection from otter bites.)
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Although there were at least 10 people nearby, no one dared to help the woman.
For good reasons too, as Ms Lu explained that the otters’ teeth are “no joke”.
Fun fact: adult otters have 36 teeth (four more than humans), which is composed of 12 incisors, 4 canines, 14 premolars, and 6 molars.
So yes, their bites do and will hurt.
Had anyone interfered, they might have drawn the bevy’s attention to the other passers-by, including the elderly and children.
If that were to occur, the elderly wouldn’t be able to run away.
Thankfully, the urban otters eventually return back to the woods.
While Ms Lu didn’t catch what happened at the start, she suspects that the woman might have stepped on a baby otter.
This would have made the adult otters—who are a co-parenting species—feel threatened, and they will gang up on the “offender” to chase them away as a form of protection.
Strength in numbers and all.
This incident reminded others of what happened in Botanic Gardens last year, where a runner was bitten by otters even though he had stopped for the otters to pass, and the accident aggressor had been the passer-by behind him.
For everyone’s safety, treat the otters like how India treats their cows. Don’t try to run them over and give them a wide berth.
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Featured Image: Shin Min Daily News 新明日报
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