A monkey native to Brazil was found on Friday abandoned on a grass patch at Block 47, Marine Crescent and in a shocking state.
Now, questions are being raised about how it got into Singapore and who would be so cruel as to leave it in such a tragic condition. It had to be put down to relieve it of its suffering.
Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), which rescued the animal, is offering a $10,000 reward for information about its owner.
Acres has identified the monkey as a female black tufted marmoset. A post on Acres' Facebook page said the species is usually found high in trees, under the canopy, and is rarely seen at ground level.
Pictures from the post showed the animal in pain. Vets from the Singapore Zoo found that it was suffering from severe metabolic bone disease.
He said that the zoo vets told him that the black tufted marmoset's condition was due to a lack of calcium from an improper diet, leading to bone distortion.
It had also not been exposed to enough sunlight, which made it unable to produce vitamin D, which enhances calcium absorption in the body.
It weighed 119g and was severely dehydrated with bone deformities on all four limbs. Acres chief executive Louis Ng told The New Paper that in the zoo, when an adult monkey weighs less than 235g, it is placed in critical care.
The monkey was most likely abandoned as it was unable to move on its own. It was estimated to be an adult of three to four years old.
Said Mr Ng: "Acres is appalled by the condition the animal was in and this is clearly a case of animal cruelty." He added that they were also concerned how a South American species was smuggled here.
On the $10,000 reward, Mr Ng said: "A life has been lost and we hope that justice will be served." A spokesman for the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said it is investigating.
"AVA would like to remind the public not to import or keep wild animals as pets, as demand for such animals would fuel illegal wildlife trade.
"Wild animals are not suitable pets as some may transmit zoonotic diseases to humans and can be a public safety risk if mishandled or if they escape into our dense urban environment.
"Wild animals that are non-native to Singapore may also be a threat to our bio-diversity if released into the environment."
If you have any information, call the Acres Wildlife Rescue Hotline at 9783-7782.
This article was published on Sept 11 in The New Paper.
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