Best of our wild blogs: 26 Apr 17

Friend's day out Island Exploration at St John's Island, Lazarus and Seringat-Kias
Offshore Singapore

When starfruits fall from the sky and rare birds just fly by
Love our MacRitchie Forest

7th Parrot Count 2017
Singapore Bird Group

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Large wild boar hit by car near Lentor Avenue, driver reportedly unhurt

Lydia Lam Straits Times 24 Apr 17;

SINGAPORE - A large wild boar said to weigh up to 100kg was killed after being hit by a car near Lentor Avenue on Sunday night (April 23).

While the animal's leg was broken from the impact, the driver was not hurt, Lianhe Wanbao said in a report on Monday.

The incident happened at a road near Lentor Avenue, towards Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6, at about 8pm.

Wanbao reported that the boar had dashed out into the middle of the road, and the driver could not stop in time.

When Wanbao visited the scene, the driver had already left. A reader told the Chinese newspaper that he had not been injured.

Mr Kalai Vanan, deputy chief executive officer of Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (Acres), told The Straits Times that the group did not receive a call about this case.

"It is unfortunate that the wild boar sustained injuries and died," he said. "They can be found in this area due to the close proximity to nearby nature areas like Lentor and Seletar."

According to the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority's (AVA's) website, wild boars are "unpredictable animals and can be dangerous".

"Due to their solid body build, wild boars are considered to be particularly dangerous when involved in car accidents," said the advisory.

Mr Kalai said he advised the public to be alert when driving on roads where there are adjacent nature areas, and to look out for wild animals that may be crossing.

"In the event of an accident, please call us at 9783-7782," he said. "Do not approach the animal as they may be severely injured and defensive. If possible and safe, help to divert traffic and call the relevant authorities for help."

Last November, a motorcyclist was hospitalised after colliding with a wild boar on the Bukit Timah Expressway at night.

In April last year, another motorcyclist fractured his shoulder after running into a wild boar in the evening along the Seletar Expressway.

Here is what to do if you encounter a wild boar, according to an advisory by AVA, the National Parks Board and Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

- Be calm and move slowly away from the animal. Do not approach or attempt to feed the animal.

- Keep a safe distance and do not corner or provoke the animal i.e. by using flash while taking pictures.

- If you see adults with young piglets, leave them alone. These are potentially more dangerous because they may attempt to defend their young.

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New Zika cluster reported at Highland Road, Jansen Close in Kovan

Channel NewsAsia 25 Apr 17;

SINGAPORE: A new Zika cluster has been confirmed at Highland Road and Jansen Close near Kovan, with two cases of locally transmitted infection, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Tuesday (Apr 25).

Both are residents in the area, said NEA, adding that it has started operations to kill mosquitoes in the area.

There are now three active Zika clusters in Singapore around the same neighbourhood. NEA said an additional case was confirmed at the Glasgow Road cluster on Monday and another new case at the Poh Huat Road West/Poh Huat Terrace/Terrasse Lane cluster on Tuesday.

The cluster at Flower Road/Hendry Close closed on Tuesday and is being kept under surveillance, said NEA.

It urged residents to be vigilant and continue to eliminate mosquito breeding habitats, as there could still be "asymptomatic or mild, undiagnosed cases which might result in further transmission of the virus if there are mosquitoes in the vicinity".


New Zika cluster identified at Highland Road/Jansen Close
Today Online 25 Apr 17;

SINGAPORE — A new Zika cluster at Highland Road and Jansen Close has emerged, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Tuesday (April 25).

The agency said on its website that two new cases had been reported in the past two weeks, and it has started vector control operations in the area.

However, the cluster at Flower Road/Hendry Close has since been closed and is under surveillance. The clusters at Glasgow Road and Poh Huat Road West/Poh Huat Terrace/Terrasse Lane are still active.

The NEA has urged residents and stakeholders to remain vigilant and to take immediate steps to eliminate mosquito-breeding habitats by practising the five-step Mozzie Wipeout.

Most people infected with the Zika virus do not develop symptoms, which heightens the risk of a Zika resurgence, as it may take some time before a reintroduced Zika virus is detected.

Members of the public are advised to seek medical attention if they are unwell, especially with symptoms such as fever and rash. They should also inform their doctors of the location of their residence and workplace.

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Malaysia: Sun bear injured by poacher's snare stages remarkable recovery

BRANDON JOHN New Straits Times 25 Apr 17;

KOTA KINABALU: A sun bear caught by a poacher's snare and left injured three weeks ago, was successfully treated and released back into the wild yesterday.

In a video uploaded to the Sabah Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Rescue Unit Facebook page, the adult male bear can be seen tentatively exiting its cage, which was unlocked by a ranger, before eagerly scurrying off into the woods.

According to unit veterinarian Dr Laura Benedict, the bear's current condition is in stark contrast to when wildlife rangers first found it on March 25, in a forest on Sabah’s east coast.

"He was (limping around) the Maliau Basin conservation area, with part of the snare still attached to his front paw.

"In addition to a deep cut caused by the trap, there was also a (badly) infected wound on his back, which was likely caused by a spear, locally known as ‘bujak’," she said when contacted.

Laura added that considering the injuries, the fact that the bear recovered so well is nothing short of amazing – though her team did meet with some difficulties.

"Being a wild animal, his natural instinct is to avoid or act aggressively towards humans – this made it quite challenging for us to treat him.

"But he eventually co-operated quite well, making the recovery process go much smoother," she explained.

Although this sun bear's story turned out well, concerns remain over the increase in poaching activities in Sabah, and the effect it is having on the state's endangered species.

"If poachers can do this in a protected conservation area like Maliau Basin, it means they can do it elsewhere just as easily.

"These acts of poaching need to stop before it is too late (for endangered animals to survive)," Laura added.

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Indonesia: Two caught apparently trading Sumatran tiger skin

Syofiardi Bachyul Jb The Jakarta Post 25 Apr 17;

The Kerinci Seblat National Park's Sumatran tiger preservation team claimed to have recently caught two people transporting a piece of a Sumatran tiger skin on the border of Bungo regency, Jambi province, and Dharmasraya regency, West Sumatra.

The team, together with another from the National Park Management Section Region 2 Merangin and the Bungo Police, on Sunday evening searched a car in which they said they found a bag containing a skin of the critically endangered Sumatran tiger, the head of the park, Arief Toengkagie, said. The tiger was determined to have been a one-and-a-half-year-old female.

"The tiger could have been hunted some six months to a year ago in a forest in Dharmasraya,” Arief said on Monday.

The two suspects were Syamsir, 55, of East Dumai, Riau province, and Aris Sulardi, 57, of Koto Baru, Dharmasraya. Both were under investigation by the Bungo police. A third person ran away during the raid, Arief said.

The raid was conducted following a tip-off that Syamsir was allegedly about to procure a tiger skin in the area. Surveillance on him led investigators to a suspicious car that had stopped at a gas station.

"Syamsir could be the trader or middleman that looks for goods to be traded from hunters, while Aris' role is still being investigated," said Arief.

There are only between 162 and 174 Sumatran tigers left in the national park, he added.

The population continues decreasing year after year because of conflicts with people, as well as because of poaching.

"Illegal trade and poacher networks can be found in every area around the park," he said.

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