Saturday, 18 July 2020

Oooo Otter!

Today is Day 124 since our lockdown on 18th March 2020. I haven't been back visiting the mangrove since July 5th. I have already caught a glimpse of our Brown-Winged Kingfisher while kayaking with Mee Fung and her family. 

Mee Fung and her active family spend a full day with me starting with mangrove kayaking and then an easy jungle trek after lunch. It poured heavily while we were heading back to the jetty. All drenched when we were already dried up after lunch. Fortunately, the rain stopped when we arrived at the trekking site. 

I have seen our Mangrove Pit-viper on the 3rd of July while on the Mangrove Boat Cruise with Shahaanaz and her friends.

One of the wildlife that I also miss having to see is our mammal friend aka giant rat! The otter!

Blast from the past, I finally managed to edit this video taken in June 2019 with Mark, Kim, Alan, Emily, Robyn and Wayne. It was low tide when we started and I was hoping to bypass the narrow channel before the tide level reduce. We were blocked by a fallen tree and having no choice, we turned around. It was a blessing in disguise. If we had continued on, we would have missed this fella completely. 

This individual here has a shorten tail, likely from an injury. It was hunting and absolutely oblivious to our boat. We had a marvellous time indeed watching it dived, chasing after the fishes, chomping down the fishes and lastly the pooing! Strangely, it was on its own. When I encountered otter, it is usually a pair or a family.

This is a Smooth Otter Lutrogale perspicillata which is commonly found here and the only species that I have seen on Langkawi. I was told that the Asian Small-Clawed Otter Amblonyx cinereus occurs here but I have yet to see one. The difference between these two are the overall size, the size of their paws, nose features and the webbed feet. But if they are on the move or swimming, it will be difficult to observe the paws. The Smooth Otter has a larger nose (like mine). I have found an interesting link documented by the National University of Singapore (NUS) which describes the differences of these two in detailed. Click the link here

Smooth Otter is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and is threaten by the loss of habitats and illegal hunting. In Langkawi, they can be found in the the mangrove, the coastline and even the beaches of some resorts.

Thank you otter for being there. I have spend quite a fair bit of time editing this video. Hope you like it. If you can't view the video via the mobile version, you may click on this link:

Here's Mark and the gang. If it wasn't for the pandemic, they would have returned to Langkawi in June 2020. Oh well...see you guys next year then.

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