Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Singapore Zoo - Oriental Small-Clawed Otter 3.6.2011
Before I went to the Singapore Zoo I was advised by all the people I met, to make sure I saw the oriental small-clawed otter, which is also known as the Asian small-clawed otter. And I made sure I paid a visit to the resident otter family of this genre. It is the smallest otter species in the world, weighing less than 5 kg. It lives in mangrove swamps and freshwater wetlands of Bangladesh, Burma, India, southern China, Taiwan, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. This otter is distinctive for its forepaws, as the claws do not extend above the fleshy end pads of its toes and fingers. These attributes give it a high degree of manual dexterity in using its paws to feed on molluscs, crabs and other small aquatic animals.
On 3 June 2011, Singapore Post released a se-tenant strip of four stamps featuring the oriental small-clawed otter. An endangered species that is native to Singapore, this mammal has been spotted at the northwestern coast, the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, and on offshore islands such as Pulau Ubin and Pulau Tekong. Often found in zoos, children are attracted to its playful and inquisitive character. The oriental small-clawed otter is regarded as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in the Red List of Threatened Species.
Over a year ago, SingPost approached local artiste Edmund Chen to design this stamp series. The graphics designer is Wong Wui Kong. In this issue, there are two 50 cent stamps and two $1.10 stamps. The postmark for the first day cover is designed by Chen’s daughter Yixin, 11.