Yishun Park closed off as NParks officers look for wild boar who ran into pedestrian at Khatib Central

Do not feed wild animals.

Zhangxin Zheng | March 10, 2022, 12:28 PM

The authorities are now searching for the wild boar who knocked down a woman at an open-air plaza in Yishun.

The wild boar, likely a male adult, was described by witnesses to have long tusks.

The incident has caused some public concern as the plaza near Blk 844 Yishun Street 81 is usually crowded, and wild animals would usually shy away from crowded places.

NParks and town council staff searching for the wild boar

Nee Soon GRC MP Carrie Tan said this is "shocking" and updated that the town council immediately rallied more staff to locate the wild boar.

NParks officers have also closed off Yishun Park to find the wild boar while the town council and conservancy cleaning staff members helped keep a lookout for the boar.

"I wish the injured a speedy recovery and will be visiting the Khatib shop owners once I test negative and am released from isolation and finish my Parliamentary duties," Tan added in her Facebook post on March 10.

Feeding wild boars can lead to human-wildlife conflicts

The wandering wild boar in Yishun's behaviour may have been altered over time by human feeding, as it appears to be unafraid of crowded areas.

Prolonged feeding can lead to wild boars associating people as a source of food and becoming unafraid of approaching them.

Previously, local biologist and National University of Singapore lecturer N Sivasothi had explained that processed food and "agricultural food" that people consume are rich in calories, and wildlife would choose to eat this if they can, as compared to natural foods from the wild.

There is no lack of food for wild animals in Singapore, especially for wild boars who are not picky eaters.

Feeding food that people consume may also fuel the population growth of wild animals. This can become a problem for wild boars who have a relatively high reproduction rate.

According to NParks, each female wild boar can start reproducing at 18 months of age and produce four to six piglets a year.

The other reason that may contribute to the presence of wild animals in residential estates is the loss of their natural habitat due to deforestation.

What to do when you encounter a wild boar?

If you encounter a wild boar, here are some tips from NParks:

1. Be calm and move slowly away from the animal. Do not approach or attempt to feed the animal.

2. Keep a safe distance, and do not corner or provoke the animal as it may get aggressive when it feels threatened.

3. If you see adults with young piglets, leave them alone as the adults may be more likely to attack to defend their young.

Top image via Carrie Tan's Facebook and Shin Min Daily News