We don't see boars in Singapore very often. So when we do, should we keep them or cull them?
It is not everyday that we get to walk out of the house into a herd of large wild animals. But about a year ago, it was close to reality for residents living near the Lower Peirce Reservoir.
What's going on?
The National Parks Board (NParks) has been culling wild boars since August last year, after their population size became a concern. In June this year, up to 100 boars were estimated to be living in the Lower Peirce area. After putting down 40 wild boars to date, NParks has no plans to stop.
The boars, attracted by oil palm trees, often dig up soil in the area, while searching for food. This causes unsightly potholes in the grassy areas.
RESIDENTS FROM KEBUN BARU VISTA HARD AT WORK.
PHOTO CREDIT: TODAY ONLINE
To patch the damage, about 50 residents from Kebun Baru Vista got down to work last Sunday morning. Armed with tools provided by NParks, they evened out the ground to restore the area.
Wild boars are not the only animals that are culled in Singapore. Other animals include monkeys, cats, dogs and chickens. About 360 macaques were euthanised by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) between January and June this year. Residents had complained a lot about the monkeys, as the macaques were entering houses, ransacking balconies, stealing food, and spoiling furniture. The boars are less intrusive and destructive, it seems, and residents seem less unhappy about them.
THEY MAY BE LARGE, BUT ARE THEY VIOLENT?
PHOTO CREDIT: VISIT SINGAPORE ZOO
Patch-Up at the Park, a ground-up initiative by the neighbourhood committee, was formed to enable the boars to co-exist with residents.
The organising chairperson of Patch-Up at the Park, Dr Robert Liew, told TODAY: "We want to be able to co-exist happily with the wild boars and other wild animals. So things they've put out of place, it's our job to put it in place again, so we both can enjoy the park."
"We find (the boars) quite likeable… We've even given one a name. His name is Boris," he added.
AREN'T THEY JUST ADORABLE? CAN'T IMAGINE THEM DOING ANY HARM.
PHOTO CREDIT: JAPAN PROBE
Russell Ng, a retiree who lives near the park, added: "I haven't seen any convincing arguments for (the culling) yet… We can live with animals in our midst."
However, the wild boars have caused harm to people on the road. There have been reported cases of wild boars colliding with vehicles at Upper Thomson Road. Despite the danger, some still oppose the culling of wild boars.
A SIGN IN THE PARK WARNING RESIDENTS.
PHOTO CREDIT: TODAY ONLINE
Student Joni Sng, 18, told Youth.SG: "I think they shouldn't have been culled because it's not exactly a very huge population. If people can co-exist with them, I don't see a reason not to keep them there."
"Ultimately, (NParks) is not the ones directly affected. The residents are," Joni reasoned.
Another student, Darien Chua, 18, added: "I understand that culling wild boars makes it safer for people to enter the reservoirs and parks, but killing animals is cruel, if not, ethically wrong. And it's not like the boars will attack humans randomly without some form of provocation."
What's your take?
1. Do you think the wild boars should be culled? Why?
2. Will you be happy living with some wild animals, like the wild boars and macaques, around your estate?
3. Besides culling, how else can we reduce the dangers these wild animals pose?
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