Monday, February 21, 2011

Otters and disturbing sights at Punggol Beach

Just realised that I was not the only at Punggol Beach yesterday, after seeing RY’s disturbing post about Caesalpinia bonduc demise here.

A waterfront is in the process being constructed along Punggol Beach, and much of the route has been constructed to quite a distance. Many fishermen, joggers and leisure seekers were already attracted to this place when I was there.

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I spent quite a fair amount of time loitering about the eastern side of the waterfront, where Coney Island, or Pulau Serangoon is located. Around the far end of the island, near the mouth of Sungei Serangoon, I saw 2 sea otters at the bank of Coney Island. They quickly disappeared on seeing me but it left me deep in thought. This entire water body has already been blocked by the bridge linking to Coney Island and dammed from the island to Lorong Halus, and has been almost converted to freshwater, evident from the grasses and sedges growing partially submerged in the water on the island. Will this change affect the otters or its prey? Much of the entire reservoir banks have also been converted to stone walls and it does not appear to have much areas for the otters to venture about on land.

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With so many people coming to know about this new leisure spot, it is no wonder that many curious beach combers also came along during the low tide. I saw a man who caught a seahorse and tried to forcefully pushed it through the tiny opening of a mineral bottle filled with sea water. In vain, he tried again but gave up and dropped it in a plastic bag instead. This was probably the pinnacle of cruelty that I have seen a person treat a marine creature… No living thing deserves to be handled this way, and it was very disturbing seeing a mature adult do this.

It is for certain that more and more people will visit this place when the waterfront is completed. Perhaps some signboards should be placed to discourage people from unnecessary collection of live animals?

3 comments:

koksheng said...

Agree with you that the new waterfront will bring in even more people accessible to this shore. Given the current situations, I don't know how long this tiny shore can last :(

Sivasothi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sivasothi said...

Please add the otter record here, thanks: http://mammal.sivasothi.com/

Our tiny and fragmented habitats need protection; impact of individuals potentially have a disproportionate effect now.

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