A sighting of otters in Sungai Klang, which runs through several dense population and industrial centres in the Klang Valley, has sparked a debate among netizens about the cleanliness and health of the river. — Screengrab from Social Media
A sighting of otters in Sungai Klang, which runs through several dense population and industrial centres in the Klang Valley, has sparked a debate among netizens about the cleanliness and health of the river. — Screengrab from Social Media

KUALA LUMPUR: A sighting of otters in Sungai Klang has sparked a debate among netizens about the cleanliness and health of the river.

The 22-second video posted on the Reddit social media platform by @rose-dacquoise showed otters rolling in the sand to dry their coats before jumping into the river again.

"I heard of this family of otters showing up during dusk and dawn during the start of MCO but feel glad to be finally able to spot them," the caption accompanying the video said, referring to the Movement Control Order enforced in Malaysia at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The post prompted netizens to debate the cleanliness of the river in the comments sections.

"It's sad to see they don't have a clean environment for them to swim around. Our river is so dirty," wrote reddit_account2025.

"Yeah, trash just floats down occasionally from further up the river. Not to mention the occasional flood during heavy rains that brings down debris. Though I think the otter family appreciates the little sandbank on the side of the river as it gives them some dry land to rest for a bit," commented user rose-dacquoise.

"River otters live in lake, river, swamp, and estuary ecosystems across North America. They are sensitive to environmental pollution, and only thrive where the water is clean. A clean and healthy habitat means a clean and healthy otter," commented a user.

"Just because it's brown doesn't mean it's not 'clean'. Large rivers in humid areas always create clays (sediment) around their basin, the clay actually traps a lot of dirty stuff and cleans the water. There are tons of bottom feeders to eat waste at the bottom of the clay too. For far too long the western world has pushed this idea that blue means clean water," wrote Leo.

"If there's otters, it means the river is clean enough for them. Yes, our rivers could be cleaner, but otters are good news," comments another user.

Sungai Klang runs through several dense population and industrial centres in the Klang Valley, making it at risk to pollution.

The waterway is part of the RM4.363 billion River of Life revitalisation project, which the auditor general recently said in its report would not be completed this year due to missed implementation targets.