There have been several reports of wild boar attacks in Singapore lately. This has not only resulted in damage of vegetation in forested areas, but the rising boar population is also posing an increased risk to human health and safety. Especially because they are carriers of ticks.
These cases have forced residents and authorities to seriously reconsider safety measures against wild boars.
What To Do If You Spot A Wild Boar?
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As you may know, a wild boar can weigh up to 100 kg and usually has a lifespan of over 20 years. Each female wild boar can start reproducing at 18 months of age and can produce 4 to 6 piglets a year. This math by itself is proof that their numbers can increase exponentially in no time.
Plus, poaching is illegal in Singapore. This has further resulted in an unchecked population of wild boars and resultant attacks on humans. These have inadvertently alarmed authorities and forced parents to be more careful. If you haven’t come across one, it might be a good idea to be prepared and take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family.
If you spot a wild boar, remain calm and move slowly away from the animal.
Try not to not approach or attempt to feed the animal.
Maintain a safe distance and do not corner or provoke the animal.
The animal can get provoked by the flash of your camera while taking pictures of it. So most certainly avoid doing this.
Remember, if you see adults with young piglets, leave them alone. These are potentially more dangerous because they may try to defend their young ones. You should leave them alone.
Finally, you can call the Animal Response Centre on 1800-476-1600 to report any wild boar encounters. NParks has also issued some do’s and don’ts to protect against wild boars.
As parents, you also need to educate your kids about the rising wild boar attacks in Singapore. There might be times when your kids are alone and unaccompanied, and therefore, they must know how to react in such a situation.
How To Prepare Your Kids Against Wild Animal Attack
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It’s always advisable to prepare kids for the inevitable, even if that include wild boars. While authorities are doing their job by issuing regular warnings, here are some things you can do too.
Ask your child to not panic or scream loudly if they spot a wild boar
Your kids should never try to feed the animals. As Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office & Ministry of National Development, Tan Kiat How, told CNA, “Feeding of wildlife whether intentionally or through irresponsible discarding of food is a key reason for such wildlife-human incidents.”
Encourage them to reach out to those around to get first aid immediately as it can prevent blood loss. Remember, wild boars carry harmful bacteria in their mouths. They can cause serious problems if untreated.
Remember, wild boars run very fast. So, if you don’t have the time to run away, then try to climb a tree.
Teach your kids never to disturb any wild animals without any reason like throwing stones. But, if the animals come attacking your child, tell them to stay calm and slowly move away from the animal.
Teach your kids that even though the animals may appear shy, their behaviour is highly unpredictable. This could pose a risk to public safety.
Why Singapore Is Becoming A Haven For Wild Boars And Animals?
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The cases of wild boar attack in Singapore has jumped due to increased wildlife to human conflict. A recent online survey revealed the urgent need to stop feeding them and to protect their habitats. Because the truth is that it is possible to co-exist without harming each other.
Protect their habitat
Wild animals are being constantly pushed out of their homes as jungles have been cleared for new housing projects. With no option left in hand, animals venture into the more urbanised areas.
In order to mitigate the damage caused by habitat loss, the National Parks Board (NParks) works with developers to build hoarding panels around construction sites to prevent wildlife from dispersing into urban areas. It also replaces oil palms, which wild pigs seek out for their fruit – with native plant species.
Let’s not forget that forest areas should always be protected. Planting trees should never be the alternative for the destruction of natural forests.
Stop illegal feeding
Illegally feeding animals and irresponsible discarding of foods contributes to their increased presence in residential estates.
Under the Wildlife Act, feeding wildlife is reportedly illegal and could also incur a fine of up to $5,000 for a first, and up to $10,000 for subsequent offences.
Educate yourself and your kids
NParks has stepped up its outreach efforts with the ‘Say no to feeding wildlife’ campaign. Educational signs, standees and posters have been installed at feeding hotspots.
The authorities are further educating food stall vendors on ways to reduce food sources for wildlife like pigeons and mynahs. The table cleaning contractors are being educated on the disposal of waste and proper tray return.
Researchers point out that more studies are needed to see if we need a specific form of population control of wild boars. In the meantime, it is important to stay alert and educate your kids about the growing menace of wild boar attack in Singapore.