Monkeys outside reservoir area

Letter from Chin Kee Thou, Today Online 23 Nov 09;

IN THE past, monkeys have been seen in Toa Payoh Rise near the Singapore School of the Visually Handicapped, some distance away from the MacRitchie Reservoir catchment area.

On Saturday at 7am, a monkey was seen in Toa Payoh on the railing of the pedestrian overhead bridge leading from Block 236 - across Lorong 6 - to Block 211.

Could regular park maintenance work of pruning and cutting down of trees, as well as the second phase makeover project at the MacRitchie Reservoir Park, be the reasons why these primates are being forced to seek refuge away from their natural habitat?

Monkey smell, monkey come
Letter from Sharon Chan Asst Director (Central Nature Reserve), National Parks Board
Today Online 26 Nov 09;

WE REFER to the letter, "Monkeys outside reservoir area" (Nov 23).

Mr Chin Kee Thou suggests that tree pruning and construction work at MacRitchie have driven monkeys into housing estates. From our observations, the availability of food sources is the main culprit.

Feeding monkeys alters their natural behaviour, and makes them too familiar with humans. Hence, we have strict regulations prohibiting monkey-feeding in our parks and nature reserves. Feeding makes the monkeys a nuisance, even to visitors who do not give them food.

Should residents spot any monkeys in their estate, please do not encourage this behaviour by feeding them. Left-over food should also be kept in covered dustbins so it is not accessible to monkeys. Let them return to their natural habitat to forage.

We thank Mr Chin for his feedback. For further clarification, he is welcome to contact us at our 24-hour helpline at 1800 471 7300.

Related links
More about the impact of feeding monkeys on the wildsingapore website.