CCTV cameras set up to catch elusive Bukit Panjang monkey
Segar Road residents still worried
After 14 days of not being able to catch an aggressive monkey around Segar Road, the authorities have turned to installing surveillance cameras to monitor its movements.
A spokesman for the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) told The New Paper last Friday that five cameras were deployed last week at the Housing Board estate in Bukit Panjang and nearby Zhenghua Park.
The spokesman said the cameras will give the AVA a better understanding of the monkey's movements, allowing for more targeted operations.
"Depending on the situation and the behaviour of the monkey, we will modify our operations accordingly."
For the last few months, residents in Segar Road have been attacked by a monkey. The AVA had said it received about 160 reports of monkey attacks and nuisance in the area since last October. It caught one monkey in November, but the attacks since then have been caused by another monkey.
A joint team made up of personnel from the AVA, Animal Concerns Research and Education Society and Wildlife Reserves Singapore have been on the ground daily since April 17, trying to nab the monkey by deploying traps and using tranquiliser darts.
MP for the area, Mr Liang Eng Hwa, told TNP last Friday: "I have been speaking with AVA and going down to the blocks around Segar Road almost every day. Darting the monkey is a challenge as AVA personnel have to take care not to injure passers-by."
At around 7.30am last Friday, TNP saw the monkey climbing along the walkways near Block 465, Segar Road. AVA personnel were present, but none of them were carrying tranquiliser guns.
They warned residents to stay quiet and move away from the area while they called for more AVA personnel.
By 7.55am, the monkey had run back into Zhenghua Nature Park, before more AVA personnel could arrive.
The attacks are believed to be by a single monkey.
A resident, Mr Partha Biswas, 35, whose son was bitten by the monkey which entered their flat two weeks ago, told TNP: "We don't know when the monkey will be caught. We are concerned and are still taking precautions, like keeping our windows closed most of the time and not leaving our son alone."
The AVA has received reports of two monkey sightings in Beacon Primary School, which borders Zhenghua Nature Park. The monkeys did not attack anyone.
Shree, a Primary 3 pupil in the school, told TNP: "The monkey entered a Primary 2 classroom, took my friend's lunch box and ran out."
A Primary 2 pupil said after the incident, the pupils left the classroom and the doors were locked.
A school spokesman said: "Monkeys do visit the school occasionally, especially when students are not around. The safety of our students remains a priority.
"We will continue to work closely with the AVA and share its public advisories with our students... including safety tips and precautionary measures, such as not feeding the animals."