Alysha Chandra, The New Paper AsiaOne 18 Apr 17;
Madam Tan Lai Choo, 52, was on her way to take the bus to work yesterday morning when she noticed police cars and a commotion at Block 472, Segar Road.
She immediately thought of her father, Mr Tan Kim Leng, who regularly spends his mornings at the void deck beneath the block. Her fears were confirmed when she walked over to find her father had been attacked by a monkey.
The 77-year-old retiree had been sitting on a bench at around 7am when a monkey came from behind and bit his leg. Two passers-by called an ambulance and helped to stop the bleeding.
He now requires surgery, Madam Tan told The New Paper, and is warded at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.
"I just want people to know that monkeys can be dangerous," she said.
The attack did not surprise the area's residents, who have encountered monkey problems in the last few months.
A resident of Block 472, housewife Rohana Ismail, 55, told TNP: "The monkeys come inside (our homes) and steal fruits and have scratched a few children at the playground.
"It has gone from bad to worse and something should be done before they hurt more people."
Mr Murugaian Elango, who also lives in Block 472, said monkeys climbed into his flat on the fourth storey 10 days ago, biting his elderly mother. She went to the hospital to get an injection.
Mr Elango filed a report of the incident with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), as have other residents.
A resident of Block 471, who was bitten by a monkey that entered her flat on the seventh storey, has even taken to placing flyers in the lift to warn her neighbours to close their doors and windows to prevent the monkeys from sneaking in.
Earlier this month, citizen journalism site Stomp reported two other cases involving monkeys chasing a woman and breaking into flats in Segar Road.
These blocks are close to Zhenghua Nature Park, which was expanded in 2015 and is a green buffer for the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
The AVA told TNP it had received about 160 feedback on money attacks and nuisance in the Segar area since last October.
After surveillance, it deemed the monkeys as a public safety risk and has been conducting "monkey control operations" in the area, catching one monkey in November.
"Catching the monkeys can be challenging as they are very nimble. The many high-rise buildings in the area also make it easy for the monkeys to be out of reach by climbing up the blocks," an AVA spokesman said, adding that it is working with the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society.
AVA has worked with the Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council to prune trees and harvest fruits from trees to mitigate the situation.
Monkey situation in Bukit Panjang a 'public safety risk': AVA
Melissa Zhu Channel NewsAsia 18 Apr 17;
SINGAPORE: The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said the monkey situation at the Segar area in Bukit Panjang is a "public safety risk" after receiving about 160 reports of monkey attacks and nuisance in the area since October last year.
Two monkeys have been entering into homes at Segar, according to Member of Parliament for the Holland-Bukit Panjang Group Representation Constituency Liang Eng Hwa, and while one was caught in November last year, the other has been running free and becoming "more aggressive".
A resident, Ms Serene Lee, told Channel NewsAsia that the aggressive monkey has been climbing into houses and attacking people and that there have been at least four cases within a week.
Ms Lee added that her son, who is in Primary 6, was walking home from school with a friend two weeks ago when a monkey started chasing them from a distance. The children managed to run away, she said.
"We are all very worried about (the situation)," she added.
In a statement on Monday (Apr 17), AVA said monkeys may carry diseases harmful to public health, and those that are aggressive are also a risk to public safety.
An elderly man was hospitalised after being bitten by the wild monkey on Monday morning. Another resident, Ms Audrey Leong, posted a photo in a group for residents in the Segar Gardens estate showing what appeared to be blood on the floor near a bench. The man was sitting on the bench when he was attacked from behind by the primate, according to Ms Leong.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force sent the elderly man to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital after it received a call for assistance at the void deck of Block 472 Segar Road at about 7.10am on Monday, it said.
AVA said it was aware of the incident and was investigating.
MONKEY CONTROL OPERATIONS UNDERWAY: AVA
Mr Liang said in a Facebook post on Monday that he had visited the injured man, whom he identified as "Mr Tan".
"Like everyone at Segar, I am very concerned about the lone monkey harassing and hurting our residents," he wrote.
Mr Liang said he had asked AVA to take "even stronger measures" to catch the monkey and that the authority has agreed to step up action.
The Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council has also stepped up surveillance on monkey sightings and is working with AVA to catch the monkey, the Member of Parliament said, adding that he advised residents not to feed and provoke the monkey in the meantime.
After conducting surveillance in the area, AVA has also been conducting monkey control operations in the area, it said.
The agency is working with the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) to remove the monkey that is running free.
"Catching the monkeys can be challenging as they are very nimble. The many high-rise buildings in the area also make it easy for the monkeys to be out of reach by climbing up the blocks," it said.
AVA has also worked with the Town Council to prune trees and harvest fruits from trees in the estate to mitigate the situation, it added.
Monkey menace at Segar Rd a risk to public safety: AVA
Today Online 19 Apr 17;
SINGAPORE — In the past six months, there have been 160 instances of wild monkeys attacking people or causing a nuisance in the Segar Road area, said the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA).
Describing the situation as a “public safety risk”, the authority said it is working with the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) to remove a monkey that has continued to wreak havoc in the Bukit Panjang estate since November last year, after another monkey was removed.
The update from AVA came after the monkey on the loose bit an elderly resident, Mr Tan Leng Choo, when he was lounging at the void deck of Block 472 Segar Road on Monday morning.
Checks on a Facebook group of residents in Segar Garden show there were posts on the monkey menace in their neighbourhood dating back to last November. Besides photos and videos of the monkeys, there were also photos of injuries residents suffered from attacks by the monkeys.
The cluster of flats face Zhenghua Nature Park, which was recently expanded to provide a larger green space for residents and increase the green buffer for the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. The park’s 3.8ha extension was officially opened in 2015.
In February, TODAY reported that residents have spotted monkeys appearing on most mornings and evenings, often climbing into homes, presumably in search of food.
Sales executive Ken Soh, 37, who sees the monkey several times a week when he leaves for work in the mornings, said: “We try to be careful after accounts of monkeys attacking. But sometimes, there’s little you can do because monkeys move very fast.”
Madam Janice Tan, 40, who has an eight-year-old daughter, said she was more concerned about children getting hurt.
The AVA told TODAY it had been conducting monkey control operations in the area and managed to remove one monkey in November. It has also worked with the Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council to prune trees and harvest fruits from trees in the estate to mitigate the situation.
But it noted that catching monkeys was a challenging task as they are very nimble. “The many high-rise buildings in the area also make it easy for the monkeys to be out of reach by climbing up the blocks,” it said.
The AVA reiterated that its priority in managing the wild animal population is to ensure public health and safety are not compromised.
“For animals that pose significant public health or safety concerns, such as when animals enter premises and destroy property, injure residents or are potential carriers of disease, the AVA will work with the relevant stakeholders to explore removal or relocation options where possible,” it said.
“Monkeys may carry zoonotic diseases that are harmful to public health. Aggressive monkeys are also a risk to public safety.”
To avert encounters with monkeys, the AVA advised the public to keep food items out of sight and practise good refuse management, such as double-knotting garbage bags and throwing garbage in bins with secured lids.
It added: “The public is also advised against feeding monkeys as this alters their natural behaviour and causes them to become reliant on humans for food. As monkeys are attracted to food hand-outs from people, they may grab at plastic bags, or any other food containers that the monkeys have been conditioned to recognise.”
5 reported monkey attacks this week in Segar area, says AVA
Calvin Yang, The Straits Times AsiaOne 19 Apr 17;
As development continues and housing estates are built adjacent to green belts, the likelihood of wild encounters, such as monkey attacks could go up, say experts.
With nature areas being encroached by urbanisation, it is believed that less space is left for wildlife. The Segar area in Bukit Panjang is one recent example.
Since last October, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has received about 160 pieces of feedback on monkey attacks and nuisance in the estate.
The agency has deemed the monkey situation a public safety risk, adding that it has been conducting monkey control operations there. It is aware of five reported monkey attacks in the Segar area this week.
Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP Liang Eng Hwa said: "While it is not uncommon for monkeys to appear at the estate, given our proximity to the nature reserve, this recent encounter has been the most serious, with incidents of residents being bitten by the monkey."
The Segar area is near the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
Wildlife rescue group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) said such wild encounters "will become inevitable, as the animals will use the green corridors adjacent to housing estates".
Experts noted that "hot spots" for conflicts between wildlife and humans often include areas near large swathes of nature, such as Bukit Timah Hill.
Mr Ben Lee, founder of nature conservation group Nature Trekker, said one problem is that the public may resort to feeding the wild animals.
"The monkeys become reliant," he said. "They may end up becoming aggressive."
In the Segar area, the monkey is so emboldened that it has been entering flats through the windows, stealing food and making a mess in residents' homes. Some people have also been bitten by it.
Acres said in a Facebook post yesterday that the behaviour of the monkey has been altered due to public feeding and harassment.
The Straits Times understands that the public has been feeding and provoking the monkey, such as throwing stuff at it. AVA said it is working with Acres to safely remove the monkey.
However, catching these intelligent creatures can be challenging.
"The many high-rise buildings in the area also make it easy for the monkeys to be out of reach by climbing up the blocks," it said.
The authority has worked with the Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council to prune trees and harvest fruits from trees in the estate to mitigate the situation.
Meanwhile, AVA advised that residents can make their premises less attractive to monkeys by keeping food items out of sight and practising good refuse management.
Alysha Chandra, The New Paper AsiaOne 18 Apr 17;