The results of a recent survey carried out on Pasir Ris residents to get their views on co-existing with wildlife in the estate are out.
And it seems residents' differing views on how to deal with the various wild animals that call the estate their home are pretty evenly split.
The survey period lasted from Nov. 22 to Dec. 6. The survey was open to all, but more weight was given to Pasir Ris residents on the outcome.
Residents could indicate their preference on how grassroot leaders and relevant agencies could deal with the wild animals — namely chickens, wild boars and stray dogs.
Three options were given: Leave the animals alone in the estate, allow them to stay in Pasir Ris but control their populations, or relocate or remove them from Pasir Ris.
Chickens are well-liked
The results from 4,505 Pasir Ris residents and 183 other respondents were revealed in a Facebook post by Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean.
Chickens appear to be rather well-liked by residents — 72 per cent of residents voted to let them continue to roam freely, and only seven per cent opted to remove or relocate them.
Stray dogs and wild boars however, had a less than stellar reception, with over one-third of residents (36 per cent for the former and 39 per cent for the latter) choosing to remove or relocate them.
Meanwhile, 29 per cent of residents were alright with stray dogs and wild boars remaining in the estate, but preferred having measures in place so that their populations are controlled.
35 per cent and 32 per cent of residents prefer to let the stray dogs and wild boars, respectively, be.
More education needed
Residents' views from the survey have been conveyed to the National Parks Board.
Numerous residents also commented that efforts to educate people on human-wildlife interactions should be improved, something which Teo said NParks will work with Acres on.
Signs have been installed around the estate to advise people on what to do in the event they encounter wildlife.
Some signs also discourage people from feedings wildlife like pigeons.
Teo however, did not reveal in his post what specific course of action authorities would take following the survey.
Teo Chee Hean visited injured woman
The survey comes after a woman was attacked by a wild boar near Sungei Api Api park on Nov. 17.
She sustained a large laceration on her leg and facial injuries.
Teo visited the woman recently, and shared that she is currently recuperating.
"Her family has lived in Pasir Ris for 20 years, and like many residents, loves walking in our park and seeing the wild life. She hopes that park users do not feed the animals; and that we can all work together for the park to be safer, especially for the elderly & young children."
The incident follows another wild boar encounter on Pulau Ubin, where a bold wild boar stole a cyclist's food.
Since then, nature lovers, including a local biologist and National University of Singapore lecturer N Sivasothi, have urged people not to feed wildlife like wild boars, as that could alter their behaviour and make them more accustomed to human presence.
This sentiment was echoed by Teo in his post as well.
"Let us work together as a community, so that we can continue to enjoy the wild life while keeping our town safe, especially for small children and the elderly," Teo said.
You can read his full post here.Totally unrelated but follow and listen to our podcast here
Top photo from Teo Chee Hean / FB and Jnzl / Flickr