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After sea turtles have been watched on Koh Samui, residents on Koh Phayam locals in Ranong Friday observed at least ten otters playing on the water, months after visitors fled the island because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"I am so pleased and happy to see them," said Jutharat Ladkaew, owner of a Koh Phayam resort who shared pictures of them online. "We have a new community of sunbathers, instead of sunbathing farangs and vacationing families."
Jutarat was counting around 10 otters. They are believed to have swum from the mainland, along the wetland region around Kra Buri River that acts as a border between Thailand and Myanmar.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Ranong, along with many other provinces, had shut down its air, sea, and land borders and enabled local wildlife to recover. Thailand 's natural reserves also seen animal communities coming back due to a lack of tourists.
"The otters play in the sea, sunbathing in spots of farangs," Ranong Tourism Council president Sonchai Ui-Tek-Keng said. "It proves Ranong is so biodiversity-rich."