Trio in kayak at Sungei Buloh, as crocs spotted nearby
Trio spotted kayaking in nature reserve, oblivious to crocodiles nearby
The trio - a man, a woman and a young girl - were eating biscuits and tidbits, as they glided in the mangrove swamp in their kayak.
At one point, the shirtless man even dipped both legs in the water, oblivious to the stealthy danger that lurked nearby - three crocodiles, one barely 30m away.
Their leisurely picnic in the mangrove swamps at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on Sunday shocked Mr Ben Lee, because kayaking is not allowed there.
The founder of nature conservation and environmental group, Nature Trekker, thought of calling out to them, but they were too far away.
So he took photographs of the trio instead.
"The crocodiles are untamed and highly dangerous. They could have died," Mr Lee, 52, told The New Paper.
He first spotted the trio at 2.30pm and noticed that they were not wearing life jackets.
Other than saltwater crocodiles, the nature lover said that there were other dangerous creatures in the reserve, such as poisonous sea snakes, stingrays, pufferfish and equatorial spitting cobras.
Canoes and kayaks are prohibited in the reserve. Offenders can be fined up to $5,000. Fishing is also prohibited.
TNP reported how three poachers on what appeared to be a makeshift styrofoam raft were spotted on Jan 11 casting their net at Sungei Buloh.
Mr How Choon Beng, deputy director of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, told TNP that its staff noticed the trio kayaking within the reserve yesterday.
He said: "When advised by our officers, they were cooperative and immediately left the boundaries of the reserve."
He also advised members of the public to keep within the designated land trails when visiting the reserve.
Mr Subaraj Rajathurai, 52, director of Strix Wildlife Consultancy, which conducts birding and wildlife observation programmes, said that there are "No Entry" signs around the reserve which indicates the prohibited areas.
He said that nature lovers should protect the eco-diversity of the reserve, and abide by the rules and regulations put in place by the National Parks Board (NParks).
"A nature reserve is not a zoo or a park," he said. "Nature lovers should not put themselves and the wildlife at risk."
Mr Subaraj, who is also a wildlife consultant and a volunteer nature warden with NParks, also said that trespassing in the wetland reserve is uncommon.
He has also observed frequent patrols by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, and rangers from the reserve.Crocodile warning signs have been erected in various parts of the reserve where they have been spotted.
He also warned that crocodiles living in the wild hunt to survive.
"The public should be educated and warned about the risks of being in a wildlife environment," he said.
"You are entering a wild animal's territory and you should not put yourself at risk and become part of the food chain."
The public should be educated and warned about the risks of being in a wildlife environment. You are entering a wild animal's territory and you should not put yourself at risk and become part of the food chain.
- Mr Subaraj Rajathurai, 52, director of Strix Wildlife Consultancy