Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean took to Facebook on Sunday (22 November) to urge residents of Pasir Ris to participate in a survey to find out their views on what should be done about wild animals in the area.
The survey was initiated after a wild boar attacked a 50-year-old woman at Sungei Api Api Park last Tuesday.
It was reported that the woman — an auditor identified by Shin Min Daily News as Madam Yu — was with her husband at the park off Pasir Ris Drive 3 when a wild boar charged at her and knocked her down.
The woman suffered lacerations on her left leg and face. The incident happened around 9.30pm.
Following this incident, Mr Teo, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, said in a Facebook post on Saturday that his team was looking into the matter with the National Parks Board (NParks) and the Ministry of National Development.
“In the meantime, please be on the lookout and take care when you are in that area,” he said.
In the survey, which is called the Survey on Wild Animals in Pasir Ris, residents were asked their opinions specifically on wild chickens, stray dogs and wild boars, as well as an additional category for “other wild animals”.
They were asked to choose from three options on what should be done about each group.
The first was to let them continue roaming freely. The second was to let them roam freely but with controlled numbers. The last option was to remove or relocate all such animals from the area.
The survey is opened to the residents from 22 November to 6 December 2020.
Wild animals lost their habitat and source of food
Upon reading about Madam Yu’s incident as well as the survey, netizens opined that deforestation is causing wild animals to venture out as they’ve lost their natural habitat.
Penning their thoughts on The New Paper’s Facebook page, online users stated that wild animals cannot be blamed when they attack humans, as we have cleared the forests to make way for developments, adding that wild animals will only attack if they feel threatened.
Some warned the public to not go out late at night or to places with wild animals to avoid being attacked by them.
On the other hand, other online users also pointed out that wild animals don’t have enough food after the forests are chopped off, forcing them to come out to the city to hunt for food.
As such, they suggested that the authorities “provide more food for the animals”.