When wild boars strike
Wild boars have made their home in the Lower Peirce area but according to media reports, they have been seen drifting into the Bishan – Ang Mo Kio Park. It was at the park where two boars attacked a five year old boy and a patrolling security officer.
The boar rammed the boy in his rear, throwing the boy about a metre away. The boy was reportedly not seriously injured. A Cisco officer was also attacked by a boar and hurt his hand after being knocked down by it. The two incidents sparked a hunt for the wild boars and NParks and Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) officers were called in. A boar was shortly spotted and put down with a dart gun. Its body was carried away by the WRS van.
‘Managing’ the wild boar population
National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan wrote in his blog that the incidents emphasized a need to ‘manage’ the wild boar population in Singapore. He added that “rehoming the animals is, unfortunately, not an option.”
Khaw added that “in a limited space of just over 700sq km, it is a zero-sum game and we need to prioritise”. He said that the ministry’s priority was firstly to protect Singaporean children “who are defenceless in such adversity”, justifying the need to take action against wild animals.
Indeed just last month, NParks helped to solve a stray dog problem by rounding up aggressive dogs causing a regular ruckus at Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West. It was deemed an “accident waiting to happen” before the authorities stepped in.
However, the decision of NParks to cull some of the wildboar population in the area has resulted in an outcry by residents and animal rights activists. The debate that rages on: are wild boars merely pests, or should they be respected as part of Singapore’s nature?
Tips to protect yourself
While the five year old boy was fortunate to escape without any major injuries, it is always good to prepare yourself and your children for situations involving wild animals.
1. Walk in groups
Wild animals look for easy, vulnerable targets. A young child walking alone, especially in the dark, is a prime target for most aggressive animals. Make sure that as parents, you stay close to your children and make sure they do not wander off in public places. Animals are more likely to attack lone individuals rather than groups.
2. Teach them about dangerous animals
Not all animals are as friendly as domesticated dogs and cats. Remember to teach your kids that animals outside of houses could be dangerous. If you live in an area near a nature reserve, teach your children about the creatures that roam the surroundings. Small snakes, wild boars and stray dogs are examples of animals that might show aggressive traits in a natural environment.
3. Do not provoke animals
Probably the most important piece of advice, do not provoke animals. Most animals do not attack unless they feel they are being threatened. Even approaching the animal from a safe distance may be regarded as a threat by the creature. It is best to ignore the animal and continue on with your way. Also remember to report to your local authorities, should you see animals behaving aggressive in residential areas.