KUALA LUMPUR, 18 June 2020: This global pandemic has caused a massive number of mass gathering events to be cancelled to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. But, let World Otter Day alleviate some of the uneasiness and racing thoughts. Not only does this small, furry carnivore have one of the top appearances for a cuteness overload, but otters also play important ecological roles with their semiaquatic characteristic and as indicators for the health of our freshwater ecosystems.

World Otter Day was initiated by the International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF), one of the world’s leading charity organisations spearheading the conservation works of otters, both in UK and around the world. The celebration is designated for the last Wednesday of May each year, and in 2020, fell on the 27th of May. World Otter Day aims to raise awareness on the threats that the otters are facing and promote the people/organisations who work tirelessly to protect them.

With otters being the latest addition to the Malaysian Nature Society’s species conservation work, we are taking the initiative to celebrate our very first World Otter Day in Malaysia. In response to these terrible times, we have turned our celebration into a virtual one through our MNS Facebook and Instagram platforms. Themed “Born to be WILD; Not caged; Live WILDLY”, the campaign will celebrate the success of strengthening global enforcement on illegal otter trading for both our Asian otter species, the smooth-coated otter and Asian small-clawed otter, last year.

The celebration involves MNS organising a series of online content to educate the public about Malaysia’s otters, such as the species found here, their importance, and threats they are facing, plus contests for public participation. Two of these (Caption Contest and Trivia Contest) have ended while another three (Colouring Contest, Drawing Contest and Short Story Writing Contest) are ongoing until 20th of June 2020. We encourage you to join us and together learn and understand more about this neglected carnivore.

On a related note, MNS has been awarded a small grant from the IOSF to create a network of professionals and researchers who are actively working on otters across the nation in conjunction with World Otter Day. The aim is to compile existing information from different regions into a conservation management policy which would increase the protection of the four threatened otter species (smooth-coated otter, Asian small-clawed otter, hairy-nosed otter and Eurasian otter) in Malaysia.

With the current difficult situation that we are facing throughout the world, please join the celebration by sharing our MNS otter stories with fellow otter enthusiasts and do join our online contests with your fabulous artworks or stories! Please stay safe and thank you for helping us keep the otter stories alive!

Ahmad Ismail

President, Malaysian Nature Society


For more information about the contests, please check out the MNS Facebook and MNS Instagram or contact Mr. Woo Chee Yoong at

Malaysian Nature Society (MNS)

MNS is the oldest and largest membership-based environmental non-governmental organization in Malaysia. It is run by elected members on a voluntary, non-profit basis and backed up by about 40 full time personnel. Established in 1940, its mission is to promote the study, appreciation, conservation and protection of Malaysia’s natural heritage. MNS has been the main force behind the protection of many key habitats as well as national, marine and state parks in Malaysia. The Society is also actively involved in species conservation (especially birds) as well as, in the ratification of climate change convention in Malaysia.

MNS World Otter Day Celebration

MNS Facebook Page

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