Young monkey found dead in cage in Lentor

A juvenile Long-tailed Macaque found dead in a large cage in Lentor on May 17, 2018. Photo: ST Reader

By Audrey Tan
17th May 2018;

A young monkey was found dead near private houses in Lentor on Thursday morning (May 17), the latest in a string of cases involving human-wildlife conflict.

The Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis) was found lying in a large makeshift cage by a resident of the area, who then contacted wildlife rescue group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres).

“We arrived at about 9.15am to find a young Long-tailed Macaque dead with ants on her face,” said Acres deputy chief executive Anbarasi Boopal.

The cause of death was not immediately clear.

But the incident has raised questions over the processes involved in dealing with animals considered a nuisance to humans.

One issue, for example, is how often contractors check traps for ensnared animals, so that an animal does not suffer too long in the cage.

Mr Louis Ng, Acres chief executive and MP for Nee Soon GRC said: “The monkey should not have died this way and the contractor who trapped the monkey should be investigated thoroughly and brought to task.”

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said it is investigating the case. “We have suspended the contractor while investigations are ongoing,” said the AVA spokesman.

She added that the agency would not hesitate to take strong enforcement action against the contractor if it finds any wrongdoing.

The area where the incident occured is located next to a construction site where a secondary forest used to exist. Works are underway to build private housing in the area.

To save the animals that once lived in the forest, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in 2016 embarked on a novel wildlife management plan. This involves gradually clearing the land so that animals are herded to nearby green areas, such as the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

The AVA said it has received feedback from residents and the Neighbourhood Committee at Munshi Abdullah Walk area about a troop of monkeys in the neighbourhood.

Residents had expressed concerns over public safety, said the spokesman.

“AVA conducted surveillance and assessed that the monkeys pose a public safety threat. As such, AVA activated our contractor to conduct trapping operations in the area,” said the AVA.

Ms Boopal said removal should not be the first solution, if the surrounding areas remain suitable habitats for macaques. She urged residents to learn to coexist with wildlife.

“This could be done, for instance, by not feeding the animals or leaving food out, providing less of an incentive for macaques to be around”.

Source: The Straits Times

PUB investigating report of dead fishes spotted in Sungei Tampines, says no impact on drinking water quality

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Dead fishes seen in Sungei Tampines on 13th May 2018.
Photo: Nori Ishmael on Nature Society (Singapore) Facebook Group

By Ng Huiwen
15th May 2018;

National water agency PUB is investigating a report of dead fishes spotted in Sungei Tampines on Monday afternoon (May 14).

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, PUB said that the dead fishes have been removed after they were seen in the river between Pasir Ris Drive 1 and Pasir Ris Drive 3 at 2.20pm.

Sungei Tampines flows through parts of Tampines and Pasir Ris before draining into the sea.

“Online water quality sensors and in-situ water quality readings show water quality is within the normal range,” PUB said in the post.

There is no impact on the quality of drinking water, it added.

“PUB has not observed any visible signs of pollution on the site that may be the cause of fish kill,” it said, adding that it will investigate further.

In 2015, a 1.1km stretch along Sungei Tampines was outfitted with new decks and a community plaza to bring people closer to the river.

The project was part of a move by PUB to rejuvenate Singapore’s drains, canals and reservoirs.

Source: The Straits Times

Collision into buildings cause of many birds’ deaths: Study

Mr David Tan (at right) with the carcass of a Changeable Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus cirrhatus) and Dr Yong Ding Li with the carcass of an Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris). Of the 362 carcasses picked up between November 2013 and last October, 104 were found at the base of buildings and exhibited injuries confirming their deaths were the result of building collisions, said Mr Tan. Photo: Mark Cheong

By Audrey Tan, 29th January 2018;

Birds here are dying from encounters with an unexpected “predator”.

A new study by scientists here has shown that almost a third of resident birds found dead in Singapore over a four-year period were killed because of collisions with buildings.

Between November 2013 and last October, a total of 362 bird carcasses were picked up by ornithologists from institutions such as the National University of Singapore (NUS), non-profit body BirdLife International and Nature Society (Singapore). They were alerted to the carcasses by members of the public.

The study’s lead author from NUS, Mr David Tan, said 104 of the carcasses were found at the base of buildings and exhibited forms of facial injury or head trauma, confirming that their deaths were the result of building collisions.

It was not possible to pinpoint the causes of deaths for most of the carcasses – 225 of them – although the remainder were killed by, among other things, vehicular collision and attacks by animals such as cats.

The rise in bird-building collision rates is not unique to Singapore. In North America, estimates of bird deaths from collisions range from 100 million to one billion a year.

The Singapore study, published last November in The International Journal of Tropical Veterinary and Biomedical Research, also found some species of resident birds were more susceptible to building collisions. Pink-necked Green Pigeons (Treron vernans), Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis) and Asian Emerald Doves (Chalcophaps indica) seemed exceptionally vulnerable, making up 64 out of the 104 carcasses found.

The fact that all three species are forest-edge fruit-eaters suggests that both feeding patterns and habitat affect a species’ susceptibility to collision, the study said. “Given the patchy distribution of parks and forest fragments in Singapore, it is likely these nomadic forest-edge frugivores pass through urban areas as part of their foraging movements, which increases the likelihood of building collisions occurring,” the scientists wrote in the paper.

Dr Yong Ding Li from Nature Society (Singapore) said this suggests that buildings near nature areas could incorporate wildlife-friendly measures in their designs, such as reducing the use of huge glass panes which birds tend to crash into.

The findings of the recent study mirror the results of an earlier one focusing on causes of death for migratory birds in Singapore, done by the same group of researchers. That study, published last June, found that between 1998 and 2016, 237 migratory birds collided with buildings and 157 of them died.

On the need to differentiate between migratory birds and resident birds, Mr Tan said: “Migratory birds are pass-through species, not long-term residents, so the factors that result in collisions may be different.

“For example, why is Jurong West a death hot spot for migratory birds, but not for resident birds?”

But the latest study found two regions where resident and migratory collision hot spots overlap: in the Clementi area, near the NUS campus, and in the Central Business District. Finding out the reasons for this – such as whether it was due to light pollution-is what the scientists hope to do next.

In New York, a growing number of building owners are switching off non-essential lights after becoming aware of the fatal attraction birds have to lights. Since 2005, over 90 buildings in the city, including the Rockefeller Centre, have joined the Lights Out scheme, which encourages buildings to take a lights-off approach to keep birds safe.

Here in Singapore, scientists are hopeful that more can be done to reduce bird-building collisions. Mr Tan is in touch with owners of buildings where dead birds have been found, such as at Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) on Pulau Ubin.

An OBS spokesman said a staff member has found three bird carcasses over the past two years. “As part of our efforts to better understand and appreciate the biodiversity of our flora and fauna on Pulau Ubin, we welcome the opportunity to work with Mr David Tan on his research efforts.”

Source: The Straits Times

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

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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

The Wild Boar tried to escape but was hit by a bus and later died.
Photos: Shin Min Daily News

More checks after attack by wild boar outside condo
44-year-old pedestrian injured in Bukit Gombak after the animal charges at him
By Lee Min Kok, Adrian Lim & Rafaella Nathan Charles, 20th October 2017;

The authorities will step up surveillance in the Bukit Gombak area after a resident was injured in a Wild Boar (Sus scrofa vittatus) attack outside a condominium at 25, Hillview Avenue yesterday.

The 44-year-old man, identified only as Mr Jin, suffered cuts and lacerations on both legs, and was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital for treatment, where he is expected to be warded for a few days.

The Straits Times understands that the man was walking towards Hillview MRT station when he spotted the animal approaching him. As he tried to run, he lost his balance and fell. The Wild Boar charged at him. When the animal tried to escape, it was hit by a passing bus and later died.

Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Low Yen Ling, who visited Mr Jin, told ST: “I am relieved to see that his condition is stable. His wife and two children… are (also) calm about the situation.”

Ms Low said she is working closely with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), the National Parks Board, the Land Transport Authority and ACRES, an animal protection and rescue organisation, to look into the safety of the residents, pedestrians and motorists.

“AVA has agreed to mobilise more resources to step up surveillance in the area,” she added. This could involve deploying more staff on the ground to monitor the Wild Boar situation.

Ms Low said a town hall session will also be held at the Hillview Community Club on Sunday to educate residents on how to handle encounters with these animals.

While Wild Boars have been spotted in forested areas nearby, this is the first time one of the animals has been seen at the location where the attack took place, Ms Low said.

ST understands that one possible reason could be the feeding of these animals, which encourages them to wander away from their natural habitats.

To raise public awareness, AVA and NParks will also put up more signs to tell residents that Wild Boars have been seen in the area.

While Wild Boar sightings are quite common around the island, attacks are relatively rare.

The last attack that was reported occurred on June 30, when a woman who was walking her dog near Windsor Nature Park was gored in the leg by a Wild Boar. She received 60 stitches for her 10cm-long wound.

Last month, there were also two road accidents involving Wild Boars over a space of two days – one along the Ayer Rajah Expressway near the Tuas Checkpoint, and another along Lentor Avenue, in the direction of Yishun. The accidents resulted in five people taken to hospital.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said it was alerted to yesterday’s incident at around 8.40am.

Republic Polytechnic student Agnes Chan, 19, witnessed the aftermath of the attack.

“There were medics surrounding the injured man and police officers cordoned off the bus stop near the condominium,” she told ST.

“I had to alight from the bus just before the bus stop to walk to the MRT station.”

Hillview resident Anita Srinivasan, 38, was shocked to hear about the Wild Boar attack.

“It is a residential area, so I thought it was very strange that there was an attack,” she said.

She added: “I am worried for my kids, especially in the early morning when they go to school, and late at night when they come home.

"The lights at our walkway is always dim, so it is hard to see any animals.”

Members of the public who encounter a Wild Boar are advised to:

  • Be calm and move slowly away from the animal. Do not approach or attempt to feed the animal.
  • Keep a safe distance and do not corner or provoke the animal such as by using a flash while taking pictures of it.
  • If you see adults with young piglets, leave them alone. These are potentially more dangerous because they may attempt to defend their young.

Source: The Straits Times

  1. The Wild Boar was hit by a passing bus and died from its injuries after the attack.
  2. The Wild Boar lying on its side at a bus stop outside the Hillview condominium
  3. The bus stop where the attack took place was cordoned off by police.

Photos: Lianhe Wanbao, ST Reader

Man injured in Wild Boar attack outside Hillview condominium
By Lee Min Kok & Raffaella Nathan Charles, 19th October 2017;

A 44-year-old man was injured when a Wild Boar (Sus scrofa vittatus) attacked him outside a condominium at Hillview Avenue on Thursday (Oct 19) morning.

He suffered cuts and lacerations on both legs. The Straits Times understands that the man was walking towards Hillview MRT station when he spotted the animal approaching him.

As he tried to run, he lost his balance and fell. The Wild Boar subsequently charged at him.

The Wild Boar was then hit by a passing bus as it tried to escape, and suffered injuries. It later died.

A Singapore Civil Defence Force spokesman said it was alerted to the incident outside 25 Hillview Avenue at 8.43am.

The man was taken conscious to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.

Photos posted on social media showed the Wild Boar lying on the ground. Republic Polytechnic student Agnes Chan, 19, who witnessed the aftermath of the attack, said she spotted the animal near the condominium bus stop.

“There were medics surrounding the injured man and police officers cordoned off the bus stop,” she told The Straits Times.

“I had to alight from the bus just before the bus stop to walk to the MRT station.”

Hillview resident Anita Srinivasan, 38, said she was shocked to hear about the Wild Boar attack.

“It’s a residential area, so I thought it was very strange that there was an attack. If it’s at MINDEF or nearer to a park, we would expect it more, but not in a residential area, where it’s supposed to be safe,“ the auditor added.

"I’m worried for my kids, especially in the early morning when they go to school, and late at night when they come home. The lights at our walkway is always dim, so it’s hard to see animals.”

While retiree Mr Khoo, 70, agreed that the attack came as a surprise to many, he is not worried about further attacks.

“I drive up to the nature reserve a lot so I always see the Wild Boars in groups. I don’t disturb them, so they don’t disturb me either,” said Mr Khoo, who lives in Glendale Park condominium.

“Probably they’re also forced under circumstances to look for food outside, like when their habitat gets removed. Most wild animals are like that.”

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said in a Facebook post on Thursday evening that it was aware of this morning’s Wild Boar incident at Hillview Avenue.

“We are monitoring the situation and working with relevant agencies to put up signages,” it said. “We are also working with the community to create awareness and educate residents on what to do when they encounter Wild Boars.”

Chua Chu Kang GRC (Bukit Gombak) MP Low Yen Ling wrote on Facebook about the incident, saying she has been in touch with AVA, LTA and ACRES to ensure that follow-up procedures are in place with regard to the animal and also the safety of residents and pedestrians in that area.

While Wild Boar sightings are quite common in Singapore, attacks are relatively rare.

The last reported attack occurred on June 30, when a woman who was walking her dog near Windsor Nature Park was gored in the leg by a Wild Boar.

She received 60 stitches for her 10cm-long wound.

Last month, there were two road accidents involving Wild Boars in two days, which resulted in five people being taken to hospital.

Should members of the public encounter a Wild Boar, they are advised to:

  • Be calm and move slowly away from the animal. Do not approach or attempt to feed the animal.
  • Keep a safe distance and do not corner or provoke the animal such as by using a flash while taking pictures of it.
  • If you see adults with young piglets, leave them alone. These are potentially more dangerous because they may attempt to defend their young.

Source: The Straits Times

Second accident caused by Wild Boar in 2 days – 3 taken to hospital after Lentor Avenue crash

By Fabian Koh, 29th September 2017;

Three people were taken to hospital after they were involved in an accident caused by a Wild Boar (Sus scrofa vittatus) along Lentor Avenue on Friday (Sept 29) morning, in the second accident involving a Wild Boar in two days.

The police were alerted at 6.59am to the accident involving two cars, a van and the Wild Boar on Lentor Avenue, in the direction of Yishun.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force took three people to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital conscious.

They were aged between 17 and 53, according to the police.

Police investigations are ongoing.

In a photo sent by reader Jason Soon, a car with its rear badly damaged was facing sideways in the leftmost lane of the road.

The Wild Boar can be seen lying motionless beside it. It is not clear if the animal was killed.

This is the second time a Wild Boar has caused a road accident in two days.

On Thursday (Sept 28) morning, the sudden appearance of a Wild Boar on the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) after the Tuas Checkpoint caused a traffic accident that sent two people on a motorcycle to hospital, and left the animal dead.

Source: The Straits Times

Second accident caused by Wild Boar in 2 days – 3 taken to hospital after Lentor Avenue crash