Netflix's Night On Earth features Singapore's famous otters and rare colugo

Smooth-coated otters in Singapore at Gardens by the Bay in Netflix's Night On Earth nature documentary series. (Screengrab)
Smooth-coated otters in Singapore at Gardens by the Bay in Netflix's Night On Earth nature documentary series. (Screengrab)

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s beloved otters and rare colugo are among the animals starring in Night On Earth, Netflix’s latest nature documentary series.

Released on the streaming service on 29 January, Night On Earth follows Netflix’s first big-budget nature series, Our Planet. Using advanced low-light cameras and thermal cameras, the show takes a special look at the activities and behaviour of wildlife during night-time.

It’s not the first time that nature shows have documented Singapore’s otters; BBC has also featured them in its documentaries. Episode five of the six-episode Night On Earth posits Singapore as an example of a city where wildlife have been able to retain their natural behaviour while living in close proximity to humans.

Smooth-coated otters in Singapore playing in sand at Gardens by the Bay in Netflix's Night On Earth nature documentary series. (Screengrab)
Otters playing in sand during a nocturnal romp. (Screengrab)

The show is narrated by Samira Wiley, who is best known for her role as Poussey Washington in Netflix’s comedy-drama Orange Is The New Black. The actress is Netflix’s answer to legendary natural historian David Attenborough, with her soothing and expressive voice perfectly suited for telling animal stories.

In the episode titled Sleepless Cities, we see Singapore’s famous family of otters emerging from Marina Bay to gambol around Gardens by the Bay at night.

Wiley says, “Although wild smooth-coated otters are active during the day, those that live in urban areas always become nocturnal to avoid humans. Incredibly, when most urban otters would be heading into hiding, these ones are still out and about.

“Singapore, a garden city with pristine waterways and more than 2 million trees, is providing the perfect environment for animals to revert to their wild ways. Could this be a vision of the future? Where our cities provide a home for all sorts of wildlife, not only at night, but also during the day?”

A Sunda flying lemur (Galeopterus variegatus) clings to a tree in the rainforests of Southeast Asia.
The colugo is found in the rainforests of Southeast Asia. (Photo: Getty Images)

The final episode, Dusk Till Dawn, features the colugo, or “flying lemur”, an animal also native to Singapore. We are treated to footage of the colugo escaping from a snake by gliding from a tree with its wing-like skin webbing.

Night On Earth also shows how animals such as cheetahs, elephants and killer whales behave differently at night. Its captivating stories on the lives of animals and their nocturnal activities highlight Netflix’s ability to deliver top-quality documentaries to match BBC’s revered nature series.

Here’s the trailer for Night On Earth:

And here’s a BBC clip of Singapore’s otters, because why not:

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