Lessons from the Segar Road monkey saga
I tracked and filed a number of stories on the female monkey that terrorised Segar Road residents for more than two weeks, ever since it bit an elderly man last month.
What I thought would be a straightforward assignment turned into a hunt that lasted 15 days and involved multiple agencies.
The elusive monkey, nicknamed "Rogue One" by my editors, has since been named "Sugar" by the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), one of the agencies involved in catching the 3.5kg creature.
Why Sugar? Acres told me it was because every time they typed "Segar", it was auto-corrected to "Sugar".
Sugar is being rehabilitated and will be relocated later. The process might take a month.
Chasing Sugar's story offered me a glimpse of how the residents of Segar Road banded together during the saga.
After the elderly man was attacked, I attended a town hall meeting with residents called by Member of Parliament for the area, Mr Liang Eng Hwa.
More than 100 residents attended.
I was moved when a number of them asked Mr Liang how he would help with the medical bills of residents who had been attacked.
It showed they cared for their neighbours, who possibly would find it tough to pay for tetanus injections and antibiotics.
As Sugar continued to evade capture, I became as exasperated as the residents.
But I also saw how determined the officers from the various agencies were in their quest to capture the monkey, working hard even on Labour Day.
When Sugar was finally caught on Tuesday, the news was met with both excitement and relief.
Madam Saraswathy Sinndurai, a resident of Block 471 who witnessed the capture, told me: "Now we are free."
I felt the same way.
With the estate bordering Zhenghua Nature Park, which is a green buffer for the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, I am certain this will not be the last encounter with wildlife for Segar Road residents.
At least for now, the Sugar incident reminds us we have a responsibility to our neighbours to interact responsibly with wildlife, and not feed or abuse them.