Monkey that attacked residents in Segar Road caught: AVA

Channel NewsAsia 2 May 17;

SINGAPORE: The monkey that was harassing and attacking residents at Segar Road in Bukit Panjang was captured on Tuesday (May 2) evening, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said.

The monkey is currently in the care of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) and will be handed over to the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) for rehabilitation, AVA said in a Facebook post thanking WRS and ACRES for their help.

An elderly man was hospitalised after being bitten by the wild monkey about a fortnight ago. Another resident told Channel NewsAsia that the aggressive monkey has also been climbing into houses and attacking people.

Later on Tuesday, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP Liang Eng Hwa said he was happy to be told that the monkey that "caused public safety concerns to residents" has been caught.

He thanked the team from AVA, ACRES and WRS for the "unenviable task" of camping out at the estate for the last few weeks as they tried to trap the monkey, and noted that some residents even volunteered their homes to AVA to set up monkey traps.

AVA reiterated that monkeys should not be fed as it would alter their behaviour and cause them to become reliant on humans for food.

Members of the public can also help minimise the risk of monkey nuisance by keeping windows and doors closed as much as possible, AVA said, as well as keeping food out of sight from the monkeys and practising good refuse management.

Wild monkey that terrorised Segar Road residents finally caught
SIAU MING EN Today Online 3 May 17;

SINGAPORE – After a two-week joint operation, a female long-tailed macaque that was responsible for harassing some of the residents living near Segar Road was captured by the authorities on Tuesday evening (May 2).

Member of Parliament for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, Liang Eng Hwa, told TODAY the monkey was captured by personnel from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), animal welfare group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Singapore) (Acres), and Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) at around 6:45pm.

The monkey, a sub-adult, was subdued by a dart from a tranquilliser gun before it fell onto a netting supported by the personnel on the ground.

An AVA spokesperson said the monkey is currently in the care of WRS and it will be handed over to Acres for rehabilitation.

It was reported last month that the monkey bit an elderly resident Tan Leng Choo, when he was lounging at the void deck of Block 472 Segar Road on Apr 17.

Following the incident, AVA issued an update noting that there were 160 instances of wild monkeys attacking people or causing a nuisance in the Segar Road area in the last six months. The agency also described the situation as a “public safety risk” and was working with Acres to capture the monkey, after another monkey was removed.

The cluster of flats at Segar Road face Zhenghua Nature Park, which was recently expanded to provide a larger green space for residents and to increase the green buffer for the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

An Acres spokesperson told TODAY that personnel from the joint operation had been monitoring the monkey’s movements in the last two weeks. Whenever the monkey had been sighted, the team on the ground had tried to administer a dart on the monkey where possible.

The spokesperson added that this particular monkey had been conditioned to human feeding, which was why it had been entering homes.

Over the next few months, Acres will try to recondition the monkey to reduce its dependence on humans for food and, at the same time, provide it with a wild diet to condition it to eat the natural food available in the wild. The rehabilitation process could take between a month and a few months.

Mr Liang said that, while monkeys had previously been spotted near Segar Road given the area’s proximity to the nature reserve, this particular one had posed some safety concerns as it had bitten a few residents.

It took a while to capture the monkey as the authorities wanted to do it in a safe manner, he said.

He added that residents were happy and relieved to hear that the monkey was captured as they had concerns about it attacking people.

Going forward, the agencies will continue to remind residents not to feed the animals to prevent them from returning for more food, said Mr Liang.

Cameras set up to catch elusive monkey
Alysha Chandra AsiaOne 2 May 17;

After 14 days of not being able to catch an aggressive monkey around Segar Road, the authorities have turned to installing surveillance cameras to monitor its movements.

A spokesman for the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) told The New Paper last Friday that five cameras were deployed last week at the Housing Board estate in Bukit Panjang and nearby Zhenghua Park.

The spokesman said the cameras will give the AVA a better understanding of the monkey's movements, allowing for more targeted operations.

"Depending on the situation and the behaviour of the monkey, we will modify our operations accordingly."

For the last few months, residents in Segar Road have been attacked by a monkey. The AVA had said it received about 160 reports of monkey attacks and nuisance in the area since last October. It caught one monkey in November, but the attacks since then have been caused by another monkey.

A joint team made up of personnel from the AVA, Animal Concerns Research and Education Society and Wildlife Reserves Singapore have been on the ground daily since April 17, trying to nab the monkey by deploying traps and using tranquiliser darts.

MP for the area, Mr Liang Eng Hwa, told TNP last Friday: "I have been speaking with AVA and going down to the blocks around Segar Road almost every day. Darting the monkey is a challenge as AVA personnel have to take care not to injure passers-by."

At around 7.30am last Friday, TNP saw the monkey climbing along the walkways near Block 465, Segar Road. AVA personnel were present, but none of them were carrying tranquiliser guns.

They warned residents to stay quiet and move away from the area while they called for more AVA personnel.

By 7.55am, the monkey had run back into Zhenghua Nature Park, before more AVA personnel could arrive.

The attacks are believed to be by a single monkey.

A resident, Mr Partha Biswas, 35, whose son was bitten by the monkey which entered their flat two weeks ago, told TNP: "We don't know when the monkey will be caught. We are concerned and are still taking precautions, like keeping our windows closed most of the time and not leaving our son alone."

The AVA has received reports of two monkey sightings in Beacon Primary School, which borders Zhenghua Nature Park. The monkeys did not attack anyone.

Shree, a Primary 3 pupil in the school, told TNP: "The monkey entered a Primary 2 classroom, took my friend's lunch box and ran out."

A Primary 2 pupil said after the incident, the pupils left the classroom and the doors were locked.

A school spokesman said: "Monkeys do visit the school occasionally, especially when students are not around. The safety of our students remains a priority.

"We will continue to work closely with the AVA and share its public advisories with our students... including safety tips and precautionary measures, such as not feeding the animals."

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