Relook monkey island idea

Straits Times 4 Aug 13;

I was dismayed to read that almost 360 macaques - estimated to be one-fifth of the total population here - were killed by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority in the first half of this year ("Monkey complaints up, so culling rises too"; last Sunday).

At this rate, macaques will be extinct in Singapore by 2015.

Not only is the culling a wanton and inhumane way of dealing with another species, but it also destroys Singapore's natural heritage.

Why then are we building a $17million bridge for monkeys and other wildlife at Bukit Timah Expressway ("Wildlife bridge ready by year-end"; July 25)?

In 2004, a group of animal lovers proposed that Pulau Tekukor be turned into a haven for monkeys, to save them from culling as well as to serve as an eco-tourism attraction ("An island getaway - for monkeys"; July 5, 2004).

However, the proposal was rejected.

Since then, Singapore's population has grown, increasing the conflict between wildlife and humans.

It is obvious that culling is not a solution.

It is high time the authorities stopped the culling and reviewed the proposal to turn Pulau Tekukor into a monkey island, as a creative and humane method of preserving the flora and fauna of Singapore.

Patrick Low