Wildlife in Pasir Ris: Let it roam free, control numbers or relocate?
Residents given a say through online survey after woman was attacked by boar last week
Should they remain, be controlled, or removed? With boars, chickens and other wildlife living in our midst, residents in Pasir Ris are now given a say on whether these animals should go or stay.
A survey posted by Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean yesterday is seeking residents' views on what should be done about wild animals in Pasir Ris, following a wild boar attack in the area last week.
A woman was at Sungei Api Api Park on Tuesday last week when a wild boar charged at her and knocked her down, leaving her with lacerations on her left leg and face.
The woman, a 50-year-old auditor identified by Shin Min Daily News as Madam Yu, was with her husband at the park off Pasir Ris Drive 3 at around 9.30pm when the attack took place.
In an earlier post on Saturday, Mr Teo, an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, said his team was looking into the issue in consultation with the National Parks Board (NParks) and the Ministry of National Development.
"In the meantime, please be on the lookout and take care when you are in that area," he said.
The Survey on Wild Animals in Pasir Ris Estate asked residents for their opinions on wild chickens, stray dogs and wild boars specifically, with an additional category for "other wild animals".
Residents were asked to choose from three options on what to do about each group.
The first was to let them continue roaming free; the second, to let them roam free but with controlled numbers; and the final option was to remove or relocate all such animals from the area.
Pasir Ris residents welcomed the survey, but some expressed concern that too much intervention could change the rustic feel of the area.
Healthcare manager Sean Abdullah, 31, a resident of Pasir Ris West for the past 20 years, said that while the survey was important, he hoped it would not result in the removal of all wild animals from the area.
"I really appreciate the wildlife living with us in this town. It is what makes the town unique," he said.
Others, like learning facilitator Eileen Tan, 48, who has lived in the estate for 14 years, emphasised individual responsibility in ensuring safe encounters with wild animals.
"We try not to go to the park wearing the clothes we have on when cooking dinner. We've noticed that strong food smells seem to attract the boars' attention," she said.
In a statement on Friday last week, NParks said people who encounter wild boars should remain as calm as possible and move slowly away from the animals.
It also advised the public to avoid feeding wild boars, as this might cause them to associate humans with food providers and therefore approach them.
What to do when you see wild animals
Here are some tips on what to do if you come face to face with an undomesticated neighbour:
The National Parks Board (NParks) recommends that people remain calm and move slowly away from any boars they may encounter.
It is important not to approach or attempt to feed them, and not to corner or provoke the animals.
Some species of monkeys here have been conditioned to see man-made items such as plastic bags and containers as sources of food, leading to sometimes aggressive behaviour.
People who encounter a monkey should remain calm and quiet, refrain from making sudden movements and avoid direct eye contact with the animal.
Those who come across a snake should not try to hit, move or handle it themselves. They should leave the area and call for professional help.
The public can call NParks on 1800-476-1600 to ask for an expert to deal with an animal.
They can also call the Acres wildlife rescue 24-hour hotline on 9783-7782.