Best of our wild blogs: 31 Aug 15

5 Sep (Sat): Talk on "Secret Shores of Singapore" by Ria Tan
wild shores of singapore

Special snails at Pulau Hantu
wild shores of singapore

Seringat-Kias (29082015)
Psychedelic Nature

So much to see at Chek Jawa Wetlands!
Adventures with the Naked Hermit Crabs

Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) @ Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Monday Morgue

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Man found dead in Pasir Ris Park canal

A 29-year-old man was found dead in Sungei Api Api canal in a suspected case of drowning.
Channel NewsAsia 30 Aug 15;

SINGAPORE: The body of a 29-year-old man was found in a canal at Pasir Ris Park on Sunday (Aug 30) in a suspected drowning incident, said the police.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it received a report of a case of drowning at about 3.20pm at Sungei Api Api, located along Car Park D.

Rescuers conducted a surface search, while two divers combed waters in the canal, SCDF said. Rescuers also sent an amphibious vehicle to search the open waters. The man was later found motionless in Sungei Api Api, said police. SCDF added that he was found at about 5.50pm and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said they are investigating the unnatural death.

- CNA/xq

Body of man recovered from waters near Pasir Ris Park
Today Online 30 Aug 15;

SINGAPORE — The body of a man was recovered from a river at Pasir Ris Park today (Aug 30), after he reportedly drowned while in the waters near the park.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it received a call reporting a case of drowning at about 3.20pm at Sungei Api Api along Car Park D of the park. SCDF personnel arrived on the scene within seven minutes, and rescuers conducted a surface search, while two divers combed waters in the canal.

Rescuers also deployed an amphibious vehicle to search the open water near the shoreline. The body of the man was found in Sungei Api Api — a river that leads out to the sea — at 5.50pm.

As the search progressed — the whole operation took about two and a half hours — it drew a crowd of curious onlookers. Individuals believed to know the missing man were seen looking distraught, and angered by bystanders taking photos.

The man, 29, was pronounced dead at the scene. The police said it is investigating the unnatural death. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SIAU MING EN

Man drowns in canal near Pasir Ris Park
Zhaki Abdullah Straits Times AsiaOne 1 Sep 15;

Chef, 29, on a fishing trip, was reportedly in the water trying to untangle a fishing line

A 29-year-old man drowned yesterday afternoon at Sungei Api Api canal near Pasir Ris Park.

Relatives later identified the victim as Mr Syed Shafiq Syed Peer, 29, a chef. He was believed to have gone into the river to untangle a fishing line that had gotten caught.

Mr Mohammad Lutfi Ghazali, 29, a mover, said the victim seemed to be sure of himself as he climbed down into the water at around 3pm.

But later on, he appeared to be having problems. "He was showing signs of struggle but he didn't shout," said Mr Mohammad Lutfi, who had been at the park for a picnic with his wife.

It was high tide and there was a strong river current, which prevented bystanders from trying to rescue the victim, he said.

Nearby kayakers who had tried to save him were also turned away by the strong current.

Ms Joanna Tan, 29, a headhunter for the oil and gas industry, said she did not realise at first that the victim was drowning, as he did not shout or appear to be signalling for help. She said the victim's sister and maid, who were on the bridge, also did not seem to notice initially that he was in trouble. "He was right in front of them," said Ms Tan.

Eyewitnesses The Straits Times spoke to said they were not sure how deep the water was when Mr Syed Shafiq went into the canal.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and police were informed of the incident at 3.17pm.

The SCDF arrived at the scene at around 3.30pm and deployed amphibious vehicles and Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team divers to try to save the victim.

But his body was later recovered by the divers at 5.50pm and taken to a part of nearby Pasir Ris beach where a blue tent was set up.

By this time, a crowd of more than 100 people had gathered, with some taking photos and videos.

The victim's relatives, who had arrived at the scene, became upset with the bystanders who were taking videos, shouting at them to respect the dead and delete the videos.

Relatives said Mr Syed Shafiq had gone fishing in the park with his father, older sister and maid, who all lived together in Bedok North. His mother and eldest sister are both deceased. The youngest in his family, Mr Syed Shafiq did not go fishing very often, but was a good swimmer, relatives added.

Police, who have classified the case as an unnatural death, are investigating.

- See more at:

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Malaysia: Further drop at two Johor dams


JOHOR BARU: Two dams in Johor have dropped further below their critical levels as the hot spell continues in the southern peninsula.

SAJ Holdings Sdn Bhd corporate communications head Jamaluddin Jamil said the levels at the Sungai Lebam dam in Pengerang and the Sungai Layang dam in Pasir Gudang went down again in the past few days.

Water level at the Sungai Lebam dam was at 9.52m yesterday, which was a 0.02m drop from the previous day, and 3.18m below its critical mark of 12.7m. It supplies to 75,000 consumers.

He said the level at the Sungai Layang dam, which supplies water to some 580,000 consumers in Pasir Gudang, Masai and some parts here, dropped further from its critical mark of 23.5m.

The dam recorded 19.05m yesterday, a 0.01m decrease from Saturday.

“Scheduled water supply in affected areas continues, which means consumers affected by the Sungai Layang dam will have water supply for 24 hours before taps go dry for the next 48 hours,” he said.

Consumers using water supplied from Sungai Lebam get regular water supply for 24 hours and are advised to store water before supply ceases for the next 24 hours.

Rationing by SAJ Holdings started on Aug 16 and is scheduled to last until Sept 15.

“But we will review from time to time whether to resume regular supply or to extend the scheduled supply,” Jamaluddin said, adding that it depended on the weather.

However, a solution may be in sight for the over half a million users.

SAJ Holdings and the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) had been recommended to replenish Sungai Layang dam by pumping water from the nearby Sungai Johor, which was just about 10km away.

DID Water Resources Management and Hydrology director Datuk Hanapi Mohamad Noor said the plan needed to be executed fast.

He pointed out that Sungai Johor had ample water and the plan was more feasible than cloud seeding.

The measure had been used successfully during the Malacca water crisis in the early 1990s. Water from Sungai Grisik, Muar, was pumped 70km to replenish the Durian Tunggal dam.

“Based on the Malacca experience, we estimate that it will take five months to fill up the Sungai Layang dam using pumps,” he said.

Hanapi said DID was not recommending cloud seeding as the measure depended on clouds and the right wind direction.

“There is no guarantee the rain will fall at the dam water catchment area,” he added.

For details and updates, visit or call SAJ Info Centre at 1-800-88-7474, SMS 019-772 7474 or e-mail

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Malaysia: ‘Selling wildlife is killing Miri’s image with tourists’

The Star 31 Aug 15;

MIRI: Poaching and selling of wildlife can jeopardise the image of the city as a tourist haven, warned Sarawak Assistant Minister for Communications Datuk Lee Kim Shin.

He said this following reports that wildlife was found being sold illegally at various native markets here.

“Expatriates and foreign tourists are especially sensitive to issues on wildlife protection and cruelty towards animals,” he said.

Lee was informed a few days ago that an expatriate family had come across native traders at Tamu Muhibbah, a market in the city centre, selling live tortoises kept in inhumane conditions.

He then alerted the Sarawak Forestry Department, which ordered the enforcement unit in Miri to investigate.

“The Sarawak Forestry officers carried out a probe at the native market and found dozens of live tortoises being sold,” said Lee.

“The tortoises were hidden in con­tainers underneath some tables. None of the traders wanted to admit that they were the ones selling the tortoises.”

Lee said the animals were seized and the enforcement officers issued a warning to the traders.

“I hope that the enforcement will continue regularly. There must be strict monitoring to stop such illegal trading of wildlife.

“Expatriates and foreign tourists are very sensitive to such cruel acts and the image of Miri as a tourist spot can be jeopardised,” he said.

The Star had in the past heard public complaints of wildlife – even baby monkeys – being sold secretly by native traders.

Miri has numerous native markets, including Tamu Muhibbah and at the Emart commercial centre beside the highway to the Sarawak-Brunei border.

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