Visitors turn wild boar feeding area into food dump

ONG YAN QUAN The New Paper 5 Jul 16;

The wild boars at Lorong Halus are still drawing the crowds. And with the crowds come a whole lot more rubbish as well.

When The New Paper (TNP) visited the forested site at about 4pm last Thursday, the area was littered with plastic bags containing food, some half-eaten.

Visitors who wanted to feed the boars, perhaps wary that the animals may turn aggressive, appear to have been throwing bags of food into the "enclosure", a patch of open land separated from the main road by a small drain and green railings.

This is despite pleas from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and animal experts to the public to not feed the boars.

A delivery driver TNP met at the site was appalled at the amount of litter there.

"Are we really in Singapore?" he asked.

The man, who would identify himself only as Ah Jie, 52, said he was taking a break from work and was curious about the boars.

Additional trash bags tied to the railings from weeks before do not seem to have helped.

Mr Andrew Chng, 52, a subcontractor and Sengkang resident who was riding his bicycle in the vicinity when we met him, said of the animals: "I fear the over-dependance that is created from feeding them."

Mr Ben Lee , 52, founder of Nature Trekkers, a nature conservation group in Singapore, said the area has become a dumping ground.

CAN BE PREVENTED

"Now the litter will create more hygiene problems in the future," he added.

Although no wild boar has been caught in the Lorong Halus area yet, the AVA has started control operations.

When caught, wild boars are euthanised as relocation options are not available in land-scarce Singapore.

Mr Lee said he was against culling the animals.

He added: "All this can be prevented if people stop feeding the boars.

"It all boils down to a human-created problem once again."

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