S'pore wildlife group calls for stricter regulation on sale & use of blow darts after young civet's death

Not the first time an animal was injured by a blow dart.

Zhangxin Zheng | May 22, 2021, 11:38 PM

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A young common palm civet died a painful death in Kembangan recently.

The carcass, found by a resident in the area, had a blow dart deeply embedded in its chest.

The carcass is now with the National Parks Board (NParks) for a post-mortem examination.

The Urban Wildlife Working Group (UWG) said in a statement that the young civet had likely suffered extensive bleeding from the wound before its death.

UWG denounced the act of animal cruelty.

It added:

"The animal was found with a blow dart deeply embedded in its chest. This would have likely caused the animal a painful death, with extensive bleeding from the wound."

The UWG consists of representatives from Wildlife Reserves Singapore (chair), NParks, ACRES and National University of Singapore and other organisations and independent parties. The group is formed to conserve and manage native wildlife in a collaborative efforts.

Not the first time

This incident has once again highlighted the need to regulate the sale, possession and use of blow pipes and darts.

More than a dozen pigeons were shot by darts between February 2020 and March 2021, UWG said, and police reports were filed.

NParks is currently investigating the cases of the darted pigeons and that of the civet.

UWG: Prohibit unlicensed sale, possession and use of blow pipes and darts

The group is now calling for stricter enforcement.

"UWG calls for stern action and law enforcement to prohibit the unlicensed sale, possession and use of blow pipes and darts," the statement wrote.

In countries like the United Kingdom and Australia, a license is required to possess and use blow darts.

Having this requirement is not only in the interest of animals' welfare but also the safety of people.

"Untrained use of such instruments can pose serious risk and danger to the user and other people, especially children," UWG said.

Blow pipes and darts consists of a hollow tube through which a needle-tipped dart is projected. This can be carried out from a distance which makes it difficult to locate the perpetrator.

When the public face any conflicts with wild animals, UWG urge members of the public who face any conflict situations with wildlife to call the following hotlines for help:

  1. NParks' Animal Response Centre: 1800 476 1600
  2. Acres' wildlife rescue hotline: 9783 7782

You don't have to harm the wild animals.

Top image via Acres' Facebook