Singapore

Man in hospital after wild boar attack at Bukit Gombak

The authorities will step up surveillance in the Bukit Gombak area after a resident was injured in a wild boar attack outside a condominium at 25, Hillview Avenue yesterday.

The 44-year-old man, identified only as Mr Jin, suffered cuts on both legs and was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital for treatment, where he is expected to be warded for a few days.

The Straits Times understands that he was walking towards Hillview MRT station when he spotted the animal approaching him.

As he tried to run, he lost his balance and fell, and the wild boar charged at him. When the animal tried to escape, it was hit by a passing bus and later died.

Ms Low Yen Ling, an MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC (Bukit Gombak division) who visited Mr Jin, told ST: "I am relieved to see that his condition is stable. His wife and two children... are (also) calm about the situation."

Ms Low is working closely with the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore, the National Parks Board, the Land Transport Authority and Acres, an animal protection and rescue organisation, to look into the safety of the residents, pedestrians and motorists.

Ms Low said a town hall will also be held at the Hillview Community Club this Sunday to teach residents how to handle encounters with these animals.

While wild boars have been spotted in forested areas nearby, this is the first time one of the animals has been seen at the location where the attack took place, Ms Low said.

ST understands that one possible reason could be the feeding of these animals, which encourages them to wander away from their natural habitats.

To raise public awareness, AVA and NParks will also put up more signs to tell residents that wild boars have been seen in the area.

While wild boar sightings are quite common around the island, attacks are relatively rare.

The last attack that was reported occurred on June 30, when a woman who was walking her dog near Windsor Nature Park was gored in the leg by a wild boar. She received 60 stitches for her 10cm-long wound.

Last month, there were also two road accidents involving wild boars over a space of two days - one along the Ayer Rajah Expressway near the Tuas Checkpoint, and another along Lentor Avenue, in the direction of Yishun. The accidents resulted in five people taken to hospital.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said it was alerted to yesterday's incident at around 8.40am.

Republic Polytechnic student Agnes Chan, 19, witnessed the aftermath of the attack.

"There were medics surrounding the injured man and police officers cordoned off the bus stop near the condominium," she told ST.

"I had to alight from the bus just before the bus stop to walk to the MRT station."

Hillview resident Anita Srinivasan, 38, was shocked to hear about the wild boar attack.

"It is a residential area, so I thought it was very strange that there was an attack," she said.

She added: "I am worried for my kids, especially in the early morning when they go to school, and late at night when they come home.

"The lights at our walkway is always dim, so it is hard to see any animals."

Members of the public who encounter a wild boar are advised to:

• Be calm and move slowly away from the animal. Do not approach or attempt to feed the animal.

• Keep a safe distance and do not corner or provoke the animal such as by using a flash while taking pictures of it.

• If you see adults with young piglets, leave them alone. These are potentially more dangerous because they may attempt to defend their young.

AGRI-FOOD AND VETERINARY AUTHORITY (AVA)busNg Teng Fong General Hospital