Wild boar found dead in illegal poaching trap in cemetery

Ng Huiwen Straits Times 7 Mar 19;

A wild boar was found dead after it was caught in an illegal poaching trap at the Lim Chu Kang cemetery on Monday.

The incident has prompted the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), which shared details on its Facebook page on Monday evening, to warn against the use of illegal traps, which could threaten wildlife.

In its post, Acres said it was saddened to find the wild boar dead when it arrived on the scene, about 30 minutes after it received a call.

An Acres veterinarian assessed the condition of the young male boar and noted that it had died from the stress of being trapped in a tight space.

"His hooves were heavily damaged, possibly from trying to get out, which also caused severe bleeding," Acres said.

"He still had a metal spring in his mouth when found, which could have been where the bait was."

Acres said the huge trap is suspected to have been set up on site using construction metal, wood and wires. The post said the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority as well as the National Parks Board also responded to the incident. They are investigating.

Acres added that the Western Catchment area and cemetery grounds are home to many wild animals, including the critically endangered Sunda pangolin and various species of birds, insects, snakes, turtles and amphibians.

Setting up such a huge trap for a wild boar could also harm other animals that live in these habitats, it said. "Singapore's wildlife is never restricted to nature reserves," said Acres, adding that the animals constantly explore and inhabit green pockets, including military training areas.

Protecting wildlife outside of the nature reserves is also vital to Singapore's biodiversity, it said.

In October last year, 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.

After receiving a call on its wildlife rescue hotline, the Acres team rescued the animals and released them into the wild.