Turtle found in Yishun with fish hook in its mouth, dies from wound

The Turtle succumbed to its injuries after it was found by a passer-by in Yishun Avenue 1.

Lydia Lam, 6th January 2018;

A Turtle that was found in Yishun with a fish hook in its mouth was taken to the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) to be treated, but it died that same day.

Acres highlighted the incident, which happened on Dec 22, in a Facebook post on Friday (Jan 5).

Acres deputy chief executive Anbarasi Boopal told The Straits Times on Saturday that a passer-by had found the turtle in Yishun Avenue 1 in the wee hours of Dec 22.

“The call came in at 2am. The caller said there was a nail sticking out of its mouth, and we realised it was a fish hook. It was taken to Acres and our vet removed the hook, however, the Turtle died that same evening,” she said.

The turtle was an Asiatic Soft-shelled Turtle (Amyda cartilaginea), native to Singapore. They live in freshwater streams, rivers or in reservoirs. However, it is unclear where this particular turtle came from.

“There are a few possibilities. It could be a native turtle from nearby Seletar Reservoir, or it could have been a released or abandoned turtle,” said Ms Boopal. “People think they are doing good by releasing them into the sea or a water body, but they might die as they are just suddenly left in an unfamiliar environment.”

Ms Boopal said the animal rescue group “increasingly sees a lot of wildlife affected by fish hooks, like Monitor Lizards, Snakes and a lot of Turtles”.

“We have rescued quite a few Red-eared Terrapins (Trachemys scripta elegans) with fish hooks in their mouths, even Box Turtles (Cuora amboinensis),” she said.

She advised members of the public who come across wounded Turtles or animals to call Acres at its hotline 9783-7782.

Callers should provide photos if possible and seek advice on what further actions to take. Some Turtles may bite, particularly if in pain.

Source: The Straits Times



Imagine the worst sore throat you ever endured, or a large fish bone stuck in your throat. Poor Monsty barely endured the fishing hook wedged in her mouth, and it must have painful and excruciatingly uncomfortable for her. Sadly, she succumbed to her injuries.

The Asiatic Soft-shelled Turtles (Amyda cartilaginea) are a native species, but Singapore also imports several thousands of wild-caught Asiatic Soft-shelled Turtles annually for turtle soup.

You can help wild animals by not buying them from markets or contributing to mercy releases, because it only fuels the demand for the species. Help dispose fishing lines, nets and hooks that may be littered around our environment.

Source: Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Singapore) (ACRES) Facebook


We were alerted to the cases of snake sightings (shown in the photos), and to our shock both were dead on arrival. Similarly the cobra (on the right) from another case at a different location was also dead on arrival. Even though we did not rule out the possibility of grass cutting machinery injuring the snakes, we often come across such situations where the snakes are dead either through trauma or other methods like hot water. Unfortunately, the individuals who called us were also not aware of what had happened to these animals.

We often face such situations, where concerned individuals call us to help, but there might be others at the scene who are not aware and hurt these animals purely out of fear. Please remember that these wild animals do not attack or bite unless provoked or handled in a wrong manner. They continue to adapt in urban environment and the best option is to leave them alone when sighted in green spaces, drains and canals.

Please help us share and spread the word about our native wildlife to prevent such incidents.

Please remember to call our 24hr wildlife rescue hotline 9783 7782 for assistance if you see any wild animal in distress.

Source: Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) Facebook


Recently, we received a call for an injured Turtle at a pond in Punggol. To our shock, we rescued a Red-eared Terrapin/Slider (right) with his/her whole face bitten off by another Turtle in the pond. The poor Turtle had to be euthanised to end the suffering. We received another call the same weekend for another injured Turtle from the same location. It was heart-breaking to receive another similarly injured Red-eared Slider (left), who faced a similar fate.

Even though Red-eared Sliders are legally sold and allowed to be kept as pets in Singapore, they are wild animals with diverse needs in terms of space, sunlight and more. Very often, these animals end up being abandoned to fend for themselves in unfamiliar environments, and may end up getting run over on the roads or stranded in small drains and at times attacked by other animals.

When the demand stops, the trade will too! Please say no to buying/keeping these turtles as pets. If you already have a Red-eared Slider and are unable to provide for him/her – please do not release or abandon him/her. Instead, it is your responsibility to find the Terrapin a suitable home. You can enquire with landed properties with contained outdoor ponds for a possible re-homing solution!

Source: Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) Facebook

A fairly large Chinese Softshell Turtle (Pelodiscus sp.) has been photographed in the same pond, and might possibly be the culprit, biting and attacking the Red-eared Sliders due to hunger and overcrowding in this pond.


Last week, our 24-hr wildlife rescue team received a call about a Python sighted in a canal on Jurong West Street 92. To our shock and frustration, we arrived at the scene to find a dead 1.5m long Reticulated Python (Malayopython reticulatus) in the canal. The Python’s head was smashed by a heavy object, which no doubt killed her. There were signs that Python had recently eaten an animal, most likely a huge Rat (Rattus sp.), making him/her immobile and defenceless for a while.

With no one around to confirm what happened, and no cameras in the vicinity, all we can ask is for increased awareness and protection for these animals.

Reticulated Pythons are protected native wild animals, which use canals (and rivers) to navigate. They mainly feed on Rats, and play an important role in our ecosystem as natural pest managers!

It is best to leave them alone when sighted in canals/drains, or in natural areas. They are very shy and will keep away from humans – nothing like the fierce, scary creatures that they are often portrayed as in movies. If they are cornered or handled inappropriately, they can give a nasty bite in defence, just like any wild animal. These Pythons grow to a maximum length of 4m or slightly more, and do not pose a danger to humans if left alone.

Please remember to call our 24-hour Wildlife Rescue Hotline 9783 7782 for assistance if you see a wild animal in Singapore who may need some help.

Have a pleasant weekend everyone!

Source: Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) Facebook

ACRES makes police report about dead snake at Bukit Timah Plaza; animal abuse suspected

By Amelia Teng, 2nd November 2015;

The Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) made a police report on Monday about a possible case of animal abuse.

It found a dead Python along a walkway leading to an upper parking deck at the Bukit Timah Plaza last Wednesday evening, with its head and body crushed, and a cigarette butt in its mouth.

This follows a spate of cat deaths in Yishun in the last two months, with the most recent occuring last Friday morning.

“We have come across other incidents where snakes are killed because people fear them. They don’t know that snakes can be left alone,” she added.

“But this incident looks different,” she added. “It looks like the snake was hurt and stepped on, as there’s trauma to the head.

"Its skin at the rear portion was stuck to the floor and there was a cigarette placed in its mouth.”

“It couldn’t have been run over by a vehicle because it was at a walkway and not on the driveway,” she added.

The snake, which was up to a metre long, was a Reticulated Python (Malayopython reticulatus), a species that is commonly found in Singapore. Its carcass is currently with ACRES.

Those found guilty of any unauthorised killing of an animal under the Wild Animals and Birds Act face a maximum fine of $1,000 per animal.

Under the Animals and Birds Act, anyone who neglects to supply the animals with food and/or water or subjects them to unnecessary suffering and distress is guilty of animal cruelty.First offenders may be fined up to S$15,000 and/or be jailed for up to 18 months.

Anyone who has information regarding the death of the python can inform the ACRES Animal Crime Investigation Unit at acrescrime@gmail.com.

Source: The Straits Times

ACRES makes police report about dead snake at Bukit Timah Plaza; animal abuse suspected

So uhh… This showed up in the lab today.

Source: David Tan Facebook

An update on the Frigatebird retrieved earlier this month by the good people at Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES). The bird was reported to ACRES on 9 October 2015 by a member of the public near Marina South Pier, where he said that the bird was first spotted entangled in fishing line by construction workers in the area. He also mentioned that the construction workers saw the frigatebird with a fish and hook in its beak, and despite their best efforts were unable to stop the bird from swallowing both fish and hook, although the workers were able to free the bird from the fishing line.

When the ACRES wildlife rescue team picked up the bird, they found the bird in a very weak condition and so passed it on to the Bird Park for rehabilitation. Unfortunately, the bird did not survive for long, and NEA suspects that the fishing hook may have been the cause of death (they found the hook in the stomach when they dissected the bird). Up until this point, it was generally assumed that the bird was a Christmas Island Frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi), but a closer examination (with advice from Lau Jiasheng and Lim Kim Seng) shows that this is in fact a Lesser Frigatebird (Fregata ariel), a very rare non-breeding visitor to the Singapore Straits, as can be seen by the black ventral patch extending into the lower belly and the absence of an incomplete black breast band.

Source: David Tan Facebook

This Lesser Frigatebird had swallowed a baited fish hook and was found entangled in the fishing line at Marina South Pier.

Unfortunately, even with the help of the bird keepers and vets at Jurong Bird Park, the poor bird eventually passed away.

The use of glass is considered aesthetically appealing in building construction. However, many birds lose their lives flying into these glass windows as they are not able to differentiate between a reflection off a hard surface and an open area.

Seabirds like this one, face not only problems from glass buildings, but also mistaking fish bait as easy meals.

Source: Shaun Spykerman Instagram

I had the rare but sad privilege of transporting the body of Singapore’s first known record of the White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus) from the Bird Park, where the exhausted bird spent its final days under the expert care of their vets, to the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum’s Cryo Collection, where it will eventually be skinned and preserved for scientific research. We have just taken a chunk of breast muscle tissue from the bird for DNA work, which is why you can see that bird has a massive chest wound.

The yellow wash of this bird’s plumage suggests that it belongs to the fulvus subspecies, which is known to breed only on Christmas Island.

Source: David Tan Instagram

This White-tailed Tropicbird had been found in Tuas, and rescued by the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES).

Road kills are always heart breaking – whether the animal is a little toad or a macaque. In this case, the Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) was found dead, after being run over by a vehicle just in our own area. Like we mentioned before, we always move road kills to the roadside to prevent secondary road kill. But what makes this worse is the fact that these Red-eared Sliders are imported in thousands every year to meet the demand for the “legal” pet trade. However, most who buy them often are not aware of their housing/dietary needs, lifespan and maximum size, resulting in abandonment or release into unsuitable environment. Most sliders who are released sadly end up as road kills.

Source: Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) Facebook

Here at ACRES, rescuing an animal isnt about rescuing as many animals as we can so that we feel good at the end of the day. It isnt about bailing as many animals out from the shelter or releasing an animal trap in a cage. It isnt about preaching to the already converted. It is about countering the root of the problem and bringing in change.

This afternoon, this very young female macaque died on my lap while I was driving to the vet. She was knocked down by a car at Singapore Island Country Club. And she still had food in her cheek pouch. The injuries sustained were too massive for her small body to take.

Macaques have the capacity to project emotions, even in death. And a lot of these emotions are not captured and shared with the general public. Misconception leads to reactive steps which have failed terribly till today.

Amending the road traffic act may take years or it may never happen. I’ve picked up one too many macaque carcasses and as depressing and disturbing it can be, I do know that wildlife road collision is unavoidable. Some will lose their lives but we have to keep on reminding ourselves of the many others still alive. Being emotional won’t solve anything. But staying focused and tackling the ways to solve the many challenges our native wildlife face is the right way forward. I hope this be a reminder to the many gracious souls on the front line trying their best to create change in animal advocacy and animal protection.


Source: Sabrina Jabbar Instagram