A leisurely bike ride in the night along Punggol's Promenade Nature Walk ended in stitches and surgery for one 70-year-old man, Chew, after an encounter with a wild boar.
According to Chinese media Shin Min Daily News (Shin Min), the incident took place on Nov. 29 at around 8pm.
His son, William Chew, has since provided more details on the incident in a Facebook post on Dec. 2.
Wild boar emerged from foliage
The elder Chew was riding his bicycle along Punggol Promenade Nature Walk at the time of the encounter.
As he was cycling, an adult wild boar of about 50kg in weight suddenly emerged from the foliage to Chew's right, according to Shin Min.
The younger Chew wrote that the wild boar charged towards his dad from the opposite direction "from 45 degrees" as he was "coasting down the bridge" and knocked him off his bike.
The elder Chew told Shin Min that he wanted to cycle away hastily, but the wild boar unexpectedly charged towards and collided with him.
"I was sent flying through the air, and my bicycle skidded across the pavement", the elder Chew said.
Stitches and surgery
"The huge impact caused him to land face down on the tarmac with a cracked helmet", the younger Chew wrote.
The elder Chew was helped by a couple who witnessed the incident.
"They walked him and bike to the nearest HDB block at 669B Edgefield plains before contacting me to pick up and sending to SKH A&E", Chew's son shared.
At the hospital, the elder Chew received five stitches near his right eye, Shin Min reported.
His hands, shoulders and collar bones were "all intact", but X-Ray and CT scans revealed that there were "multiple fractures to his cheekbones", Chew's son wrote.
He was then informed by the specialist that surgery was required as the cheekbones "was critical in supporting his eyes and maintaining his face structure".
A follow-up is due in two weeks' time, according to the younger Chew.
Helmet prevented the worst
The elder Chew told Shin Min that it was fortunate that he was wearing his helmet at the time, or else the injuries to his head might have been worse or even fatal.
His son echoed his sentiment, noting the importance of wearing a helmet even when cycling along a park connector, "which probably saved his life".
According to him, his father was a seasoned cyclist and took advantage of the good weather that evening to go for a solo ride.
The younger Chew wanted to share about what happened to raise awareness among park users about wild boar presence in the area, he wrote in the post.
NParks fenced off area
According to the younger Chew's post, the incident has been reported and NParks has reached out to the family.
"NParks informed they have fenced up the affected area", he wrote.
Responding to Mothership's queries, Adrian Loo, Group Director for Wildlife Management, confirmed that they have fenced up the area "for the safety of park users".
Loo added that NParks was alerted to the incident involving a cyclist and a wild boar near Punggol Promenade Nature Walk at around 9pm on Nov. 29.
According to an NParks advisory, wild boars only attack if they are cornered or feel threatened.
Females are especially protective of their young, and can be easily provoked.
Here's what to do when you encounter a wild boar:
- Be calm and move slowly away from the animal. Do not approach or attempt to feed the animal.
- Keep a safe distance and do not corner or provoke the animal i.e. by using a flash while taking pictures of it.
- If you see adults with young piglets, leave them alone. These are potentially more dangerous because they may attempt to defend their young.
The public should also avoid feeding wild boars, Loo aded.
"Members of the public can call the Animal Response Centre at 1800-476-1600 to report any wild boar encounters", Loo said.
Top image via William Chew/Facebook