Now that more otters have been found in our park’s lakes, it’s time we think about their safety!
Photo: Shariff Mohamad
The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has pledged for the protection of wild otters found in Klang Valley parks, especially after the increase in their sightings in Taman Tasik Metropolitan Kepong and Perdana Botanical Garden.
Kuala Lumpur mayor, Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan said DBKL decided to ‘adopt’ the animals at both parks to keep them safe and also to protect them from park-goers who may be too excited to see the otters, causing more harm than good to the wild otters because of their enthusiasm.
When interviewed by the Malay Mail, Nor Hisham said that “DBKL has made the wild otters as its ‘adopted children’ and will protect them in terms of their safety from visitors who go to the Taman Tasik Metropolitan Kepong and Perdana Botanical Gardens,”
He did not, however, elaborate on the process of adoption and the protection management for these furry wild animals just yet.
There have been more and more sightings of wild otter in the last few months, some of which were spotted in Taman Tasik Metropolitan Kepong, Perdana Botanical Garden, in greater Klang Valley near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang and recently in Subang Ria Park, Subang Jaya.
Woo Chee Yeong, a Malaysian Nature Society research assistant focusing on otters, told Malay Mail that the "discoveries" of these wild otters are a good sign as it can help create awareness amongst the public that will hopefully lead to better conservation efforts for the environment.
“But we also want to advise that if you want to take any picture or videos, it should be done in a distance, as close proximity will scare the otters away,” he told Malay Mail.
Woo is also positive that the presence of these wild otters indicates a healthy wetland and a functioning ecosystem seeing that the creatures can only survive in non-polluted environments.
“This too will help encourage local councils to keep the environment clean, for otters and for the people too,” he added.
That being said, let’s all help the local authorities in keeping the parks clean so more wild otters can swim happily in our park lakes!
By: Siti Farhana Sheikh Yahya