Hornbill stuck in crow trap with mate nearby, released by NParks staff


Zi Shan Kow | September 28, 2023, 02:51 PM

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Two National Parks Board (NParks) contractors had to step in to help out a hornbill after it found its way into a crow trap on Aug. 31.

The incident was captured by TikTok user @edwinng.

The crow trap housed just two avians -- a crow and a hornbill.

A third bird, possibly the partner of the trapped hornbill, was seen perching on top of the trap looking around.

Video by Edwin Ng.

In another video shared by the same user, one staff member stepped into the trap to secure the bird.

He used a net and his left hand to hold onto the hornbill.

When he tried reaching his right hand behind the net to secure it, the bird nipped defiantly at his fingers.

Luckily, he was wearing gloves and eventually got his hand around the hornbill.

Behind them, the crow flew about in the trap.

Video by Edwin Ng.

The man stepped out of the trap to inspect the bird and unfolded its wing while the other staff member took photos.

A group of bystanders, including some children, also filmed the incident and looked on with curiosity.

The bird was seen nipping at the man’s hands again before being placed into a cage.

Video by Edwin Ng.

Hornbill was released

In response to Mothership's queries, NParks said it was alerted to an Oriental pied hornbill that had entered a crow trap on Aug. 31.

"The hornbill was retrieved from the trap and observed to be alert and active with no injuries", said Ryan Lee, group director of wildlife management.

It was later released at a nearby green space, he added.

Mixed reactions

While some commenters voiced their dislike of crows, a few voiced concern for the hornbill and its partner, a species that is generally monogamous.:

However, some also pointed out that the video highlighted how crows and hornbills are treated differently.

Crow traps in Singapore

NParks previously told Mothership it adopts "the more humane method of trapping and subsequent euthanasia to manage the crow population."

It said that NParks ensures that the "population control is carried out in a humane and safe manner and does not result in animal cruelty".

House crows are not native to Singapore.

They are an invasive species in Singapore that pose a threat to our native biodiversity, NParks added.

"Management of invasive bird species requires a holistic and science-based approach, incorporating the removal of food sources, habitat modification, population control strategies, such as nest removal and crow trapping, and studies to understand the population ecology of the birds such as their roosting patterns and movements."

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Top images via @edwinng64/TikTok.