Established by the International Otter Survival Fund in 2014, World Otter Day is now celebrated in over 26 countries and raises awareness about otters and the threats the species faces including loss of habitat, illegal trade and more. On May 29, Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu celebrated World Otter Day with “Otter, The Underrated Bornean Carnivore,” an educational talk led by Leona Wai, the Otter Conservation officer with the Danau Girang Field Centre and member of the IUCN Otter Specialist Group.
An expert in all things Sabahan otters, Wai has a bachelor’s degree in conservation biology from the University Malaysia Sabah (UMS). Wai’s master project focused on the ecology of otters in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. Wai is planning to pursue her PhD by conducting a state-wide otter survey.
Held at the Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club and Discovery Centre at the Rasa Ria Reserve, Wai educated guests, students of the University Sabah Malaysia, members of the Sabah Tourism Board, members of non-governmental organizations and more about the importance of otters to the Sabah ecosystem. After the educational talk, attendees participated in a guided “safari” on the 18-hole golf course, where otters are commonly spotted. Guests were delighted when they spotted an otter scurrying across the course.
Thank you to Wai, the Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club and our visitors for celebrating World Otter Day with Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu.