Now, otters spotted near KLIA too

A pictured shared by Malaysia Airports via its official Twitter account of the otters that were purportedly spotted near KLIA in Sepang recently.
A pictured shared by Malaysia Airports via its official Twitter account of the otters that were purportedly spotted near KLIA in Sepang recently.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — A month after Malay Mail’s report on the appearance of wild otters in Kuala Lumpur, an eagle-eyed plane spotter has taken photos of the critters near Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, Selangor.

The photos were given a shout-out by airport operator, Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad (MAHB), on Twitter — cheekily posting that the otters were ready to assist international travellers passing through the airport.

"’Umm.. sir, how can we help you?’ asked these otters. Our planespotter friend recently spotted them near KUL,” MAHB tweeted, using the airport code for KLIA.

The post has since received a positive response from users.

The photos were taken by self-confessed “aviation geek” Nigel John Shim from Kuching.

On his Instagram account @kchavgeek96, Shim regularly posts photos of local carriers Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia.

Otters are an unusual sighting in urban areas, as these sleek, semi-aquatic mammals are normally found in coastlines, freshwater rivers, wild lakes, marshes and oceans. KLIA is located near a wetland nature preserve.

In another cheeky tweet, MAHB also hoped the otters would not “waltz” onto the KLIA runway unlike the crabs in Sandakan Airport — a reference to an incident in June.

Last month, Malay Mail reported that otters were spotted at the Taman Tasik Metropolitan Kepong, a 222-acre public park located in North Jinjang.

They can be seen at noon when they emerge from their nests to hunt for fish, frolic and come onto dry land to bask in the sun.

Currently, experts are unable to ascertain how these otters made their way to Taman Tasik Metropolitan. They, however, have strongly advised members of the public not to disturb or feed them.

Currently, Malaysia is home to four protected otter species, including the smooth-coated otters (Lutrogale perspicillata) that are listed as “threatened”: Asian small-clawed otters (Amblonyx cinerea), hairy-nosed otters (Lutra sumatrana) and Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra).

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