Kuala Lumpur Otters

Over the years, I've met some very interesting wildlife within the limits of Kuala Lumpur. Two days ago, on a walk through a hilly area of forest in the city, I heard quite a large splash in a small lake hidden by trees and wondered if that could have been an otter. This afternoon I went back to focus on the lake and see what could be seen.

Once again, there was a large splash and ripples moving across the surface of the lake, which I could only glimpse through small gaps in the trees. I found a way down towards the lakeside and there they were, four very lively otters splashing, surging, turning and making quite a lot of noise. I managed a couple of photographs, but once they noticed my presence, they disappeared, leaving a calm lake surface disrupted only by pond skaters and the occasional fish.

Here are three of them boisterously chasing a fourth. They are smooth-coated otters (Lutrogale perspicillata).

And here is the calm lake after their disappearance.

I walked slowly and quietly around the lake, hoping for a reappearance, but none came. 

Here's an uncommon white-thighed surili monkey in the trees above otter lake.

Here's another white-thighed surili showing off a white thigh.

There were also many dragonflies, such as this one.

And a good variety of butterflies. This one is Parantica agleoides, the dark glassy tiger.

And here is a Ypthima baldus, the Common five-ring.

This is Faunis canens, the common faun.

This is Arhopala athada, the vinous oakblue. 

And there was this vivid Julia heliconian, Dryas iulia. I had never seen anything quite like that here and later read that it is not native, but a descendent of a Brazilian form escaped from a Thai butterfly farm, now at home as far south as Singapore.

Amongst all the green were splashes of other colours such as these flowers (the yellow is Dillenia suffruticosa and the red and yellow is an Ixora).

I always enjoy seeing otters, but very rarely do. This boisterous group was a delight to observe, even if only briefly. The excursion was a wonderful antidote to the concrete jungle with its endless shopping malls and masses of vehicles.

a romp of otters


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