Crowds allegedly gathered around critically-endangered spotted wood owlet at Pasir Ris Park

Observers should keep a safe distance for the owl and their own sake.

Fasiha Nazren | May 01, 2021, 04:39 PM

On April 28, a juvenile spotted wood owl at Pasir Ris Park was spotted struggling to get back up a tree.

It fell to the ground at the foot of a large tree, presumably while learning how to fly.

Eventually, with the encouragement of other owls and a little boost from the Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (Acres), the owl managed to return to its parents.

Unfortunately, an owlet found itself in a similar predicament this morning (May 1) at the same area in Pasir Ris Park.

This time, however, apparently with a bigger audience.

Crowding the owl

According to a Facebook post by Angela Ng on Nature Society (Singapore), the owlet was struggling on the lower trunk of a tree while its parents were observing from a higher point.

Photo from Angela NG's Facebook page.

Meanwhile, Ng added that a crowd moved "closer and closer" to take pictures of the scene.

She also appealed for nature lovers and hikers to stay as quiet observers from afar as it can risk both the owlet and themselves.

"As you get nearer to the young owl, you are stressing it and also putting yourself in danger if the parents swap down to attack you in their way of protecting the young."

Fenced off area

Moments later, however, Ng said that representatives from NParks arrived at the scene to fence off the area right after the owlet found a nesting place on a lower branch.

NParks also apparently told the spectators to move about 20 metres away from the scene.

Mothership has reached to NParks for comment.

Critically endangered

The spotted wood owl is listed as a critically endangered animal in Singapore.

This species was first seen in Singapore in December 1985 in the central catchment forest followed by a breeding record in August 1986.

The spotted wood owl has been found at several other sites and their population is estimated to be fewer than 30.

Top image from Angela Ng's and ACRES Facebook page.