28 Feb '14, 4am
It is "marvellous" to have otters and whistling ducks "right smack in the city", said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in a blog post on Friday. This comes after a pair of otters and a pair of lesser whistling ducks were sighted at the Gardens by the Bay. Whistling ducks are rarely seen here, while the smooth-coated otters are of the same species as those that are now frequently seen in Pasir Ris Park. They were a native species but had not been seen "for decades", he said in a blog entry titled "Year of the Horse, Otters and Ducks at Marina Bay". In the past 10 years, sightings of wild smooth-coated otters have soared. In 2000, just four sightings were reported. But by 2011, the number had risen to 39, according to figures from otter researcher Meryl Theng.