Wild boar incident: Population ‘needs to be managed’ (Today, Saturday 23 June 2012)

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Wild boar incident: Population ‘needs to be managed’

Singapore – As two wild boars were sighted at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park yesterday morning, with one of them charging at a CISCO security officer and a child, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in a blog post that the wild boar population must be managed.

“Rehoming them is, unfortunately, not an option,” he added.

His comments come amid a debate over ways to curb their growing numbers, which negatively impact the environment, acording to the National Parks Board (NParks).

At about 8.30am yesterday, the boars wandered into Pond Gardens at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park from the Lower Peirce area,where the population “has grown to levels beyond what is ecologically sustainable,” said NParks Director (Conservation), Mr Wong Tuan Wah.

When an NParks staff arrived at the site half an hour later, one of the wild boars dashed back towards Lower Peirce, while the other charged at a security officer on patrol and a five-year-old boy.

The boy, who was hit from behind, was knocked of his feet and landed about a metre away, sa id Mr Wong in a statement. Both the officer and child were not seriously injured.

Mr Wong sa id NParks contacted Wildlife Reserves Singapore, and the police cordoned off’ the area from other park users. The boar was put down with a dart gun and removed from the park after a one-hour operation.

Noting the wild boar population at Lower Peirce could double by year end, Mr Wong said it represented “an increasing risk to public safety”.

NParks is now consulting with Wildlife Reserves Singapore, government agencies, plus nature and animal welfare groups to explore the most appropriate method to manage the wild boar population at Lower Peirce.

Other measures suggested by the public, such as sterilisation and erecting barriers, can be considered but “cannot replace the need to manage the wild boar population”, added Mr Wong. “While our decision may not please everyone, we believe it is necessary,” he said.

In his blog post, Mr Khaw raised the “very stretched target” of having people co-ex ist with “as many species of living things as possible without endangering ourselves”.

But he highlighted his “prior ity” goes towards “protecting our babies”. “That is why we have to act on stray dogs and wild boars occasionally. It is to protect our ba bies. We will be as humane as we can, but the need to ma nage their population rema ins,” said Mr Khaw.

Last month , NParks and the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore worked with several a nimal welfare groups to round up and rehome 10 stray dogs at Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West.

 

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