Tuesday, May 5, 2009

crocodile and otters at sungei buloh

in the past, whenever i heard visitors to sungei buloh wetland reserve mention that they had seen a crocodile, i would always brush it off as a case of mistaken identity. 'these people can't tell a monster monitor lizard from a crocodile'. now, i am not so sceptical because i saw one - a baby crocodile -in the sungai buloh besar today. at high tide, it was 'floating like a log' seawards, towards the river mouth.

when i reported this to the officer at the reception, he told me that there was a bigger one, an adult crocodile in the same river. to him, today was my lucky day because i saw not only the crocodile but also a family of otters. i had seen the otters before i chanced upon the crocodile.

the family of otters were forlicking in the pond near the visitors' centre. i was on my way to the mangrove walk when i first heard some squealing sounds. i recognised them immediately as those made by otters. all my four previous sightings of otters were all made when the tide was low. i had not expected to see the otters as it was high tide.

they were chasing one another in the muddy water of the pond, emerging now and then among the water lettuce and water hyacinth to peer around. there were at least three monitor lizards stalking in the pond but otters did not seem to be part of their diet. still, the otters were quite wary of them; they did not get too close to the lizards.

i think there were two adult otters and three or four young ones. could be the same family i once saw near the mouth of sungai buloh besar. one moment, they were all in the water. the next moment, as if a signal had been given, all of them clambered onto the dry ground. they were playing on the ground for a while but when i tried to get near them, they all disappeared.

i walked to the bridge to look for them. after a while, i found them. they were swimming up the river. soon after that, they disappeared. i was about to leave when i spied the 'log' floating out to sea. the crocodile appeared to be lifeless but after it passed under the bridge, i found it moving towards some trees by the side of the river.


Victor said...

How big was the log, er... I mean crocodile? You should have dipped your leg into the water beside it and taken a photo to let us have an idea of its size.

yg said...

victor, i was up on the bridge. anyway, my leg's not as long as yours. my estimate is that it was slightly more than a metre long.

Anonymous said...

you know, a number of places you mentioned in your posts I never knew existed ... I guess many others do not know too. Haha, I think you can write a book with a title something like that.


yg said...

hi fr, yet there are still some interesting places in s'pore that i have not explored.