Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Wild boar in Yishun incident euthanised as ‘last resort’, NParks says

SINGAPORE — Following a public outcry over its decision to euthanise a wild boar that caused a commotion in a Yishun housing estate, an official from the National Parks Board (NParks) said that euthanasia was a “last resort” response.

Wild boar in Yishun incident euthanised as ‘last resort’, NParks says

A file photo of a wild boar crossing a lane at a bus terminal in Tuas.

  • A wild boar that recently barged into a housing estate at Yishun was euthanised after it was caught
  • NParks said this was done with a view to public safety
  • The decision sparked an outcry among animal welfare groups and activists
  • Dr Adrian Loo from NParks said that what it did was a "last resort"

SINGAPORE — Following a public outcry over its decision to euthanise a wild boar that caused a commotion in a Yishun housing estate, an official from the National Parks Board (NParks) said that euthanasia was a “last resort” response.

In an interview with TODAY on Friday (March 25), Dr Adrian Loo, group director of wildlife management with NParks, said: "We didn't want to translocate it because there is a risk that it might come out (to human-populated areas) again.

“The wild boar may have dispersed out (to open urban areas) because it was seeking a new place, or it got chased out by another herd of boars, or it was disorientated, or it was habituated to human food." 

If the boar was moved elsewhere, there may still be a risk of it returning to urban spaces such as roads, which may be a hazard to motorists, vehicular traffic and itself.

“This process of euthanising is usually something of a last resort,” Dr Loo added.

When asked why the boar may have ventured into a housing estate, he said that this could be attributed to improper management of waste or illegal feeding.  

On March 9, the wild boar was on the loose at a Yishun coffee shop and knocked over a woman. The woman fell and remained on the ground for about 15 minutes before paramedics arrived, an eyewitness said.

It happened around Block 846 Yishun Ring Road at about 6.50pm.

The NParks team was first alerted to the incident at 7.11pm that day and arrived at the scene 12 minutes later. 

Dr Loo said: "Police officers were on site and saw the wild boar dash from the coffee shop and into Yishun Park. We tried to trap it the next day but it was just very skittish and was hiding already".

"We set up our closed-circuit television camera and monitored that area. The same wild boar came out and went to a rubbish point and then went back to the forest."

The NParks team hoarded the boar in a confined area and continued to monitor it for almost two weeks. 

The team shot a sedative dart at the boar, which made it unconscious before it was euthanised. 

News of the euthanasia greatly upset animal welfare groups and activists. 

Ms Anbarasi Boopal, co-chief executive officer of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), said that the boar’s death was "disheartening" because it goes against the organisation's efforts to educate the public on the peaceful coexistence between humans and wildlife. 

As a society, we must accept that wild animals are constantly being squeezed out of their homes because of our actions. As such, they are left with few choices but to venture into urbanised areas.
Ms Aarthi Sankar, executive director at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Mr Karl Png, 24, co-founder of Singapore Youth Voices for Biodiversity, said: "I felt very sad to hear that an animal had to be put down. I initially thought it would just be relocated.

“As we are moving towards a ‘City in Nature’, we must remember it is not just greenery, it is also building a more harmonious relationship with wildlife." 

Mr Png was referring to the Government’s vision and goal for Singapore to be a "City in Nature", which is to create a liveable and sustainable home for its people by increasing green spaces.

Echoing Mr Png’s sentiments, Ms Aarthi Sankar, executive director at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said: "The decision to euthanise the boar is unfortunate as it does not address the fundamental complexities of human-wildlife conflict.

"As a society, we must accept that wild animals are constantly being squeezed out of their homes because of our actions. As such, they are left with few choices but to venture into urbanised areas."

She added that before resorting to culling wildlife, "we should focus our efforts in protecting natural habitats so that wildlife can be preserved".

Simply saying that it was 'euthanised humanely' does not provide enough details to determine if other options were not feasible, especially when this was not a clear-cut case of an aggressive animal posing a very obvious threat to human safety.
Mr Ivan Kwan, founder of Nature Adventures SG

Mr Ivan Kwan, founder of Nature Adventures SG, said that the authorities can also be more "transparent in explaining the decision-making process". 

"In this incident, simply saying that it was 'euthanised humanely' does not provide enough details to determine if other options were not feasible, especially when this was not a clear-cut case of an aggressive animal posing a very obvious threat to human safety." 

He added that in its first statement on Monday, NParks should have provided more details on the capture methods used, how the animal was found and more contextual information.

In that statement, NParks confirmed that its officers have reopened Yishun Park for visitors after trapping the wild boar and they were removing all hoardings around the park. 

"The wild boar was euthanised humanely for public safety," NParks added. 

However, animal welfare groups and activists highlighted again the importance of public education.

Ms Boopal of Acres said: "We need to equip everyone with tips on wildlife etiquette instead, to end the feeding of wild animals and practise safe measures when encountering wildlife." 

Last February, after two wild boar attacks on humans in a Punggol housing estate, NParks said that despite its efforts to manage conflict between humans and wild boars, such as educating the public not to feed wildlife, illegal feeding may lead to situations where wild boars pose a safety hazard to the public.

For instance, intentionally feeding or discarding food irresponsibly may lead to wild boars relying on humans for an easy source of food.

They may then venture into urban areas in search of human food sources or display aggressive behaviour to people they encounter.

“If wildlife turn aggressive due to constant feeding, they may have to be put down to safeguard public safety,” NParks said then.

Related topics

wild boar yishun NParks wildlife animal welfare euthanasia

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa