Otters are astoundingly clever animals, who live in large social groups travelling and hunting together. Sadly, their welfare is endangered by the increasingly popular "exotic pets" trade, which is causing them to be snatched from the wild in great numbers and to be bred irresponsibly in appalling conditions.
The best ways to see these animals is to observe them in their natural habitat, just like photographer George Turner did in a recent trip to Singapore, where smooth-coated otters live wildly within a separate urban environment. Also known as "George The Explorer", the pioneering ethical wildlife photographer shared with us his favourite shots from this adventure.
Keep scrolling for some seriously adorable otter photos!
Otters in their habitat
We asked George what it feels like to observe these animals in their natural environment.
"Due to water pollution and loss of habitat, smooth-coated otters vanished from Singapore's waterways for thirty years. In that time, not a single otter was seen. Then, due to a concerted effort to combat water pollution and encourage rewilding, the first otter returned in 1998.
Now, 22 years later, smooth-coated otter families are thriving across a city of 5.6 million people. As a result of their comeback, various fish species returned, insects, birds and recently, even saltwater crocodiles.
In May of 2019, I experienced this for myself, photographing the famous 'Bishan' group on assignment. Those two weeks will live with me forever; never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined such a perfect symbiosis between concrete and 'wild'.
Singapore is a shining example of conservation and animal protection in action. It's my hope that other countries follow such an example, particularly in tackling the exotic pet trade, now a primary threat for these beautiful animals. If the world's most densely populated city can do it, surely others can?".
Keep scrolling - more amazing wild otter photos below!
George Turner is an award-winning British wildlife photographer, who puts animal welfare at the heart of everything he does, championing a responsible approach to observing wild animals. To see more of his stunning photographs follow George on Instagram or check out his website.
Make a difference > Join our community
We campaign to improve animal's lives in the UK and around the world. Why not join us today?