Otters Photographed Enjoying a Swim at Angkor Thom

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CEOCambodiaNews
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Otters Photographed Enjoying a Swim at Angkor Thom

Post by CEOCambodiaNews »

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Cambodia News: An account name Kim Thonn, posted on social media:
" Good News! Two otters were captured by the camera when they were swimming in the moat at Tonle Om or Southern gate of Angkor Thom on Friday, December 13, 2019. Please everyone hang together in order to conserve this endangered species and allow our next generation to enjoy them in nature".
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SternAAlbifrons
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Re: Otters Photographed Enjoying a Swim at Angkor Thom

Post by SternAAlbifrons »

Cute - for top predators.
They belong perfectly in Ankor Thom, and everywhere.
I reckon in some places they are making a come-back.

These are the Smooth-coated otter. The most common, largest and most gregarious.
Magnificent animals.can be as big as the biggest dog (body bulk) and jaws as powerful.
Pack animals. Classed as marine mammals.
Now that tigers and most crocs have gone they are the top predator in many areas. Both secretive and sometimes very curious. Can visit/live in virtually any waterway in cambodia.

The other two species we have -
* Asian Small-clawed. super-cute, smaller. In the mountains in the NE only (i think)
*and the Hairy-nosed. More mink/ferret like. More solitary, very very secretive.
Koh Kong and the Lake.
Nearly was classified "extinct" twice last century, but popped up both times just before the "20 year no-see" qualifying period kicked in.
Now popping up in camera trap photos all over SEA.

Phnom Tamao Zoo (refuge centre actually) have some Smooth-coated.
Worth a trip for that - your Khmer friends will flip out at how much fun they can be.

They also have the world's only captive Hairy-nosed. name Pursat.
He is the recognised genetic "marker" for this species. They did not have a gene set to study until he came along. This is actually important stuff. Goodonya Pursat! Legend.
(rescued and unable to fend for himself if released, because he was captured as a baby and kept as pet. Family animals, and he was not taught the skills)

This is such good news, Angkor Thom, but doesn't actually surprise me.
If they feel safe they could hang about - until they eat everything in the water and scamper off to another fun pool. If there are two there could be more, or soon will be for sure. Quite high breeding rate but they must feel safe.

I am hopeful these kind of stories, and otters, will start popping up more often, more places.
Realistically hopeful i reckon.
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Re: Otters Photographed Enjoying a Swim at Angkor Thom

Post by SternAAlbifrons »

Pursat. the worlds only captive Hairy-nosed otter
.the rarest otter species in the world
.male, one year old here, a bit skinny and wasted
.rescued from a family on the lake that kept him on this chain
.his last swim in the lake
.and checked out by some of cambodias best otter scientists in PP, enroute to Phnom Tamao
.bottom photo, otter poo on the Tonle Sap (on that broken bit sticking out, around the fish scales)
.now we have Pursat's genic marker for the species, you can tell if this is very special Hairy-nosed poo, or not.

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Re: Otters Photographed Enjoying a Swim at Angkor Thom

Post by SternAAlbifrons »

PS, he's off the chain now, in his designer otter pool at P.Tamao.
I've got the chain in a paper bag somewhere - and around my heart.
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Re: Otters Photographed Enjoying a Swim at Angkor Thom

Post by SternAAlbifrons »

Some good news, very exciting actually, and some sad.

Firstly, Pursat ^^ "the worlds only captive hairy-nose otter" died last year at Phnom Tamao. Aged 10. (not unusual for a captive) I went looking for him today for an update - was planning a long story for another publication.

Don't rest easy, you unbearably lovely slinky wriggling little tearaway. Keep demanding constant life and movement as you wriggle around, turning the underwater underworld upside down.
I know you will be watching me, even if i don't spot you - you bloody otters are good at that. except when your incessant curiosity gets the better of you.
Thanks for the bite, you little mongrel, i've still got scar if i look hard enough. Showing it off whenever i can - and telling your story to the world.
See you soon mate..
(Oh, ps - and your genes will be famous into eternity. every otter poo ever found in the region will be checked against your genetic 'mark". You da MAN, Bros! forever)

NOW the GOOD NEWS, da dah..

The two otters reported at Angkor Thom a couple of weeks ago ^^^ are actually FIVE.
Released - yes released, free to go, explore, stay, create havocs of mad adventure wherever they want.
- by Wildlife Alliance, from Phnom Tamao. An amazing demonstration of faith.

Link is from a couple of months ago when preparations were being made
https://www.wildlifealliance.org/our-ne ... -exciting/
Apparently it all went well.

Spot the otter
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(ps, i am wriggling off too. this is not suitable for a last post, but that will come soon. best..., s.)
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Re: Otters Photographed Enjoying a Swim at Angkor Thom

Post by pczz »

otters eat fish, so do khmer. i see an imminent conflict of interest followed by some electro or hand greande fishing unless the otter numbers are contained and a steady supply of fish provided
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Re: Otters Photographed Enjoying a Swim at Angkor Thom

Post by BR549 »

A lovely story. I was on that bridge 3 times in August.
Wonderful pics and superb expertise on the subject.
Wildlife can come back if given the chance.
I am sitting here in Kansas out in bumfuck Bourbon County. I have hung out here where my house is since 1968..Back then, I never saw turkeys and a host of other creatures. Like these otters..they were reintroduced and flourished.
I have been back here far too much away from my Khmer wife this year dealing with family business.
I saw a creature in my yard last summer called a marmet. I had seen them in the mountains of Colorado many times. I did not know there were 17 species..I have seen badgers, beaver, bald eagles, big cats, bob and what we would call a cougar over the years. I have quail because I provided some fields that gave them a habitat to nest in.
Asia can do the same.
Africa can do the same.
I have some old friends who are trying to save the wildlife of Africa..hard to do when people are starving.
The better economy of Cambodia and better education opportunities will hopefully enable many species to come back.
That huge python in Sihanoukville was a great story.
Hopefully, these otters will flourish and not end up on a menu at some game bar with Srai Whisky chasers.
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Re: Otters Photographed Enjoying a Swim at Angkor Thom

Post by Cinnamoncat »

Great information, Stern!

Thank you. I enjoyed the entire read, although seeing the hairy-nosed guy on the chain was worrisome. I was glad to see that it enjoyed water elsewhere. They sure love to swim and play, and are so highly social and curious.
"Love and Loss in Cambodia: a memoir" available on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578537788
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