Wild boar attacks pregnant woman in Punggol
Victim's husband says attack from behind was sudden and did not stop until passing cyclist went to her aid
A wild boar suddenly attacked a pregnant woman from behind, inflicting deep cuts on her right calf, at Edgefield Plains in Punggol on Tuesday afternoon.
The incident occurred as she was walking to a bus-stop from Punggol Secondary School, where she works as an administrator.
Her husband, who declined to be named, told The New Paper yesterday: "All of sudden, the wild boar attacked her from behind. She did not know what happened and the wild boar kept attacking her."
He said the attack ended only after a passing cyclist stopped to use his bike to fend off the beast, which ran away, leaving her in pain and bleeding badly from her wounds.
It was not clear if the boar, which weighs 40kg, had gored her, but her husband said she had many bite marks.
"It was not a face-to-face confrontation where she provoked the animal to attack her," he said.
"People think she provoked the wild boar, but the fact is she was attacked from behind and had many bite injuries, not just injuries on the leg."
When the story broke on Tuesday night, some netizens had speculated whether the woman had provoked the animal.
The wild boar later entered the nearby Waterbay executive condominium, where it was trapped in the bin centre by security guards. It was then tranquillised and captured.
It was not a face-to-face confrontation where she provoked the animal to attack her.The victim’s husband, responding to online speculation whether she had provoked the wild boar
The husband said students from the school also helped his wife, who is in her 30s. She later underwent surgery at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.
Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News reported that her foetus was unharmed in the attack.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force said it responded to a call for medical assistance at about 5.15pm at 51 Edgefield Plains, and the woman was conscious when taken to the hospital.
Punggol Secondary School principal Benedict Keh told TNP yesterday: "We have reminded our staff and students to be vigilant and watchful of their surroundings.
"As an added precaution, we are working with the relevant authorities to ensure (their) safety."
Waterbay's security supervisor, Mr Douglas Rabin, 44, told TNP that the wild boar charged into the bin centre where several cleaners and a security guard were resting, at about 5.30pm.
"When we shouted, they dashed out. That's when we closed the gate so it could not get out," he said.
The animal was finally subdued at about 8.10pm after the condominium management called the police and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).
Mr Rabin added that the boar had smashed some items in the bin centre but no one was hurt.
Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) personnel relocated the boar to the Lorong Halus area after sedating it.
Acres said the subadult boar could have come from Lorong Halus, a couple of kilometres south-east of where the attack occurred.
AVA said the boar could have also come from forested areas at the end of Punggol or Coney Island. It said there has been no increase in wild boar sightings there.
Mr Ben Lee, 54, founder of nature conservation group Nature Trekker, told TNP that animals usually do not attack humans unless provoked.
He wondered if the woman might have unknowingly made a movement that the boar found threatening in the unfamiliar urban environment.
Mr Kalai Vanan Balakrishnan, Acres' deputy chief executive, said development works could have caused the boar to venture out of its comfort zone.
Mr Kalai said: "Feeding by people may have had a part to play as well."
TNP reported in 2016 that some families would feed wild boars in the Lorong Halus area.
An AVA spokesman advised the public not to approach, disturb, feed or try to catch any wildlife, including boars.
Residents in the area said they were not surprised by the appearance of a wild boar because of the loss of forested areas to development.
Some, like Mr Eric Kam, 58, were concerned about the safety of the young and the elderly.
"I'm definitely worried because this area has a lot of children. There are so many schools here," he said.