Singapore

Families feeding wild boars at Lorong Halus as entertaiment

Authorities warn that they are unpredicatble and could pose risk to public safety

In a quiet corner in the north-east of Singapore, feeding wild boars has become a form of family entertainment.

The families gather in a fenced area at Pasir Ris Coast Industrial Park 6, near the Lorong Halus wetland, to feed the herd of wild animals.

Shin Min Daily News reported that as many as 30 people were feeding 10 wild boars in the area on June 18.

This was despite reports of boars attacking people - even killing a couple in Malaysia last year - and advisories from local animal conservation groups and the authorities not to feed them. (See report on right.)

When interviewed by Shin Min, Mr Aziz Wan, 20, said he has been feeding the wild boars for about three years as he sees them as meek and docile creatures.

BABY BOARS

When The New Paper visited the site at 6pm yesterday, there were eight big boars and five baby boars being fed bread and apples by two families.

A couple, who wanted to be known as Mrs Helen, 44, and Mr Simon, 54, said that about two months ago, there were no baby boars, but now there are five to six.

Mr Simon said that he is "worried that the wild boars do not have enough food to eat".

So the couple brought with them quite a lot of food, including one loaf of bread and a bag of biscuits.

A joint advisory by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore, NParks and Wildlife Reserves Singapore warns that "although they appear shy, they are still wild animals and are unpredictable in behaviour which could pose a risk to public safety".

Ms Anbarasi Boopal, 33, the deputy chief executive of Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Singapore), said: "I would urge people not to feed them, because they would start to associate humans with a source of food. Once that happens, they may start charging at humans."

She encourages people to just appreciate the wild boars from a distance, but not approach to feed or interact with them.

"They have enough food in the wild, so if left alone they will forage on whatever food is available and survive. They don't need to be fed by humans," she said.

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