Singapore – For one man, what started as a typical exercise session along Upper Boon Keng Road with friends became a painful encounter with a wild animal.

On May 13, a 77-year-old man was exercising near Kallang River when around 20 otters emerged, reported the Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News.

Upon seeing the otters, the man was glued on the spot. “I seldom saw them all out in a group, so I stood still and waited for them to leave,” he noted.

However, one of the adult otters went up to him and bit his left calf, causing him to cry out in pain, reported Shin Min.

“My friends were quite a distance away and couldn’t come to my aid in time,” said the man.

After the incident, he went home, where his wife helped disinfect the wounds and stop the bleeding.

The man also went to a doctor the same afternoon and spent about S$90 on medication.

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He added that he exercised every morning over the 10 years he had been living in the area.

“The otters started appearing about two to three years ago and used to move around in smaller groups of three or four.”

However, the wild animals started appearing in larger groups over the last year, and they’re physically bigger, the man said.

He hopes that the authorities would be alerted to the issue and other residents warned of the potential danger.

The National Parks Board (NParks) has released an advisory on what to do when encountering otters.

One should not touch, chase or corner the wild creatures. “Observe them from a distance. Going too close to the otters may frighten them.”

One should not use flash photography and talk loudly when near otters as noise and light may scare or provoke them.

The public is advised not to feed the others as they have their own food in the environment, and their natural eating habits keep the ecosystem healthy, said NParks./TISG

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ByHana O