|Animals on the loose
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By Gan Ling Kai
A HERD of wild boars roaming Upper Peirce Reservoir Park.
That's what a picture posted on citizen journalism website Stomp on Saturday supposedly shows.
The photo, which shows at least nine wild boars of various sizes, was sent in by netizen Chris.
Mr Louis Ng, executive director of Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), said wild boars have been sighted in Singapore before, in places such as Lim Chu Kang and Choa Chu Kang, especially in densely vegetated areas.
They can also be found on Pulau Ubin and Pulau Tekong, he added.
"Just a few months ago, I chanced upon nine wild boars in Pulau Tekong during my reservist training," he recalled.
In July, a wild boar got stuck in a barrier along Kranji Express way and was freed by staff from Acres.
But is it common for boars to be seen in a herd?
In February, The Straits Times reported that the creatures, up to 10 at a time, trotted out from the undergrowth of the Lower Peirce Reservoir area at dusk and crashed through trees and bushes onto Old Upper Thomson Road.
As of last night, the Stomp posting had drawn more than 5,000 views and about 30 comments.
Most of those who commented were curious about the sighting.
ChenUrYouXiang wrote: "kill it and bring home to make bakuteh!"
In response, MrKaypoh wrote: "No, no, bak kua is better."
Mr Lim Zhiyang, 29, an engineer, told The New Paper: "When I have the time, I would want to go check out the papa and mama wild boars. I think the little ones maybe quite cute too."
But Ms Joanna Foo, 29, an engineer, has concerns about safety.
"I might avoid going to the park for the time being because I wouldn't want to get charged at by the wild boars," she said.
But Mr Ng, 32, said the members of the public need not be worried about their safety.
Wild boars, which are omnivorous, typically would not attack human beings, he explained, though the male ones may grow tusks.
He added: "Just like wild monkeys, wild boars are not hostile towards humans unless they are provoked.
"If you ever come across a wild boar, the best thing to do is to back away slowly. If you run, it may get startled and become aggressive."
Will the population of wild boars ever grow to a size that will become a major disturbance to the public?
Unlikely, Mr Ng said.
"Unless the public feeds them, their population would otherwise be controlled through natural deaths," he added.
In an August report, wildlife experts told The New Paper that they were seeing more wild animals running around our little island and swimming close to our shores.
This article was first published in The New Paper.