When he went to pick his wife up from work last Thursday night, she told him about a bird hanging upside down from a tree.
Mr Franklin Tan, 44, went to investigate and was disturbed to see a mynah hanging by its feet from a piece of string tied around the tree.
When he approached a group of foreign workers nearby, they sprang into action to free the bird, which was trapped on a tree branch about two storeys above the ground.
Mr Tan had just arrived at Block 408, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, at around 8.45pm when his wife, Madam Celina Lim, a tutor in her 40s, told him about the bird in a nearby carpark.
She had also contacted the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) when she first spotted the bird at about 7pm. Mr Tan, an administrator at a hospital, said: "My heart went out to the bird because we are animal lovers and had pets of our own." He asked four men who were at the carpark for help.
"They didn't have to help and they could have just pretended to not understand me, but they didn't hesitate at all. They immediately started talking about how to reach the bird," he said.
The men tied two bamboo poles that they retrieved from their nearby dorm and tied an L-shaped hook at the end.
A worker stood on top of a lorry that was parked under the tree, twisted some of the string around the hook and yanked the bamboo to break the string.
RELIEF AND ANGER
When they got the bird down and untied the string from it at around 9.30pm, Mr Tan felt relief, but also anger.
"Initially, I thought the bird had got tangled in the string as it was very long and looped around the branches, but we realised it had been a deliberate attempt to tie the bird. The string was wrapped many times around its feet and had knots."
He said he was bewildered that anyone would do such a thing, adding: "I wanted to find the culprit. The bird should be free and it's meant to fly around."
Ms Anbarasi Boopal, 32, the deputy chief executive of Acres, said they arrived at about 9.50pm.
The bird was not injured and was released the next morning at Ang Mo Kio.
Under the revised Animals and Birds Act, anyone who is cruel to an animal can be jailed for up to 18 months, fined up to $15,000, or both.
This article was first published on July 31, 2015.
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