Wild boars found trapped in cage off Sime Road

Channel NewsAsia 8 Oct 18;

SINGAPORE: Two adult wild boars and three piglets were found in a trap off Sime Road near the Central Catchment Nature Reserve on Sunday (Oct 7).

"The pigs were found very distressed, desperately trying to get out by knocking themselves on the metal cage," said Ms Anbarasi Boopal, deputy chief executive of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES).

"They also appeared stressed from the vehicle traffic just on the road."

A member of the public had alerted ACRES to the matter, said Member of Parliament Louis Ng, who is the founder and chief executive of ACRES.

He shared a video of the trapped animals on Facebook, saying investigations into who laid the trap are ongoing.

ACRES said it arrived at the scene at about 4pm, adding that it took about 20 minutes to rescue the animals.

"We had to carefully cover the cage on all sides to minimise the stress, climb on top of the cage to open the cage door safely so they can run out to the forests and not to the road," said Ms Boopal.

She added that some leftover corn was found in the cage, and that the boars could have been trapped in the late morning or early afternoon on Sunday.

ACRES said it has not come across any wild boars caught in traps at Sime Road prior to this incident, although it has investigated more than 20 cases of wildlife poaching in Singapore, especially birds, in 2017.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said it had received public feedback about wild boars trapped at Sime Road on Sunday afternoon and responded to the incident with ACRES.

The trap was removed after the animals were released into the forest, it said.

The authority said it was investigating the case, and urged members of the public to come forward if they had relevant information.

"In Singapore, it is an offence to kill, take or keep any wild animal without a licence from AVA," said the authority. "Offenders, upon conviction, can be fined up to S$1,000 per wild animal, and the forfeiture of the wild animal."

It added that this was the first such case that AVA had encountered this year.

Last August, ACRES responded to a case of wild boars being illegally trapped in Segar Road in Bukit Panjang. It was one of at least three cases that the group has been alerted to in the past couple of years.

Members of the public can report relevant information to AVA at 6805 2992 or via an online feedback form at https://csp.ava.gov.sg/feedback.

Source: CNA/ic/nc/(gs/hm)

Family of 2 wild boars and 3 piglets found distressed, trapped in cage off Sime Road
Ng Huiwen Straits Times 8 Oct 18;

SINGAPORE - A family of five wild boars, including three piglets, were found trapped and in distress in a metal cage off Sime Road, just outside the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, on Sunday afternoon (Oct 7).

MP Louis Ng, who is also the founder and chief executive of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), said in a Facebook post on Sunday night that a member of the public had alerted Acres to the case.

The Acres team has rescued the animals and released them back into the wild, he said, adding that the trap has also been removed.

He said that investigations on who laid the trap are ongoing.

Acres deputy chief executive Anbarasi Boopal told The Straits Times on Monday that the trap appears to be targeted at wild boars, as it was "quite big in size" at about 1.2m by 1.8m. The cage also had food bait, such as corn.

Acres received a call on its wildlife rescue hotline at about 3.30pm and a team arrived at the location at about 4pm.

Officers from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority arrived about 15 minutes later, said Ms Anbarasi, 35.

While she is unsure when the animals were caught, she believes that it was likely on Sunday morning or early afternoon.

She added that this was the first time Acres had come across a trap placed at the site and that the wild boars appeared to be in great distress.

"I saw a piglet climbing on top of the mother pig, and the two adults were repeatedly pushing against the cage, trying to get out. They were clearly very stressed out," she said.

The cage was also found by the side of a road that had vehicular traffic, which could have further agitated the animals.

Ms Anbarasi said that the Acres team safely released the wild boars by covering the cage with a cloth, before going on top of the cage to lift the trap door.

The team took about 15 minutes, after ensuring that the animals were not injured and that there were no vehicles around.

Fortunately, the family of wild boars had been trapped together and none of them had been crushed when the trap door shut, Ms Anbarasi said.

"It could have gone wrong in so many ways, for example, if the piglets had been left outside on their own. And if a piglet was crushed and injured by the heavy trap door, it could eventually die from the stress."

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) told ST that it received one piece of feedback from the public about the case, and responded to the incident with Acres.

Investigations are ongoing. Offenders convicted of killing, taking or keeping any wild animal without an AVA license can be fined up to $1,000 per wild animal, and will have to forfeit the animal.

Members of the public who have information on the case can report it to AVA on 6805-2992 or through AVA's online feedback form, the authority added.