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British man recounts Singapore garden otters attack

FILE PHOTO: Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong look at a family of otters
FILE PHOTO: Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong look at a family of otters as they go to a barbecue at a neighboring park in Singapore June 28, 2015. REUTERS / Edgar Su

December 11, 2021

By Chen Lin

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – A British man taking an early morning walk in the Singapore Botanic Gardens said he was attacked by a school of wild otters, leaving him with 26 injuries to his buttocks, legs and fingers.

Graham Spencer, age 60, was taking his usual 6am walk in his garden on November 30th, when a “convoy” of about 20 otters ambushed him, caused him to fall, and trampled and bit him. grandfather.

“The whole process took 10 or 12 seconds, I couldn’t move… I thought I was going to die. If they bite my face or neck, I’ll die,” he told Reuters.

Spencer escaped when his friend ran to scream at the otters and drag him away.

Animal rights groups say otters rarely attack people unless they feel threatened. Spencer said he thought the otters mistook him for a jogger who ran past him, stepping on one of the animals in the dim early light.

Spencer, a permanent resident in Singapore, said he hopes the government will come up with measures such as installing more solar-powered lights along the roads.

“I weigh over 200 pounds and I can’t get up without the help of my friend, if the otters attack a girl or a child, they certainly cannot survive,” Spencer said.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

(Reporting by Chen Lin, edited by Ros Russell)

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DUSTIN JONES

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