Monkey bit elderly man on the leg

Madam Tan Lai Choo, 52, was on her way to take the bus to work yesterday morning when she noticed police cars and a commotion at Block 472, Segar Road.

She immediately thought of her father, Mr Tan Kim Leng, who regularly spends his mornings at the void deck beneath the block. Her fears were confirmed when she walked over to find her father had been attacked by a monkey.

The 77-year-old retiree had been sitting on a bench at around 7am when a monkey came from behind and bit his leg. Two passers-by called an ambulance and helped to stop the bleeding.

He now requires surgery, Madam Tan told The New Paper, and is warded at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.

"I just want people to know that monkeys can be dangerous," she said.

The attack did not surprise the area's residents, who have encountered monkey problems in the last few months.

A resident of Block 472, housewife Rohana Ismail, 55, told TNP: "The monkeys come inside (our homes) and steal fruits and have scratched a few children at the playground.

"It has gone from bad to worse and something should be done before they hurt more people."

Mr Murugaian Elango, who also lives in Block 472, said monkeys climbed into his flat on the fourth storey 10 days ago, biting his elderly mother. She went to the hospital to get an injection.

Mr Elango filed a report of the incident with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), as have other residents.

A resident of Block 471, who was bitten by a monkey that entered her flat on the seventh storey, has even taken to placing flyers in the lift to warn her neighbours to close their doors and windows to prevent the monkeys from sneaking in.

Earlier this month, citizen journalism site Stomp reported two other cases involving monkeys chasing a woman and breaking into flats in Segar Road.

These blocks are close to Zhenghua Nature Park, which was expanded in 2015 and is a green buffer for the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.


The AVA told TNP it had received about 160 feedback on money attacks and nuisance in the Segar area since last October.

After surveillance, it deemed the monkeys as a public safety risk and has been conducting "monkey control operations" in the area, catching one monkey in November.

"Catching the monkeys can be challenging as they are very nimble. The many high-rise buildings in the area also make it easy for the monkeys to be out of reach by climbing up the blocks," an AVA spokesman said, adding that it is working with the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society.

AVA has worked with the Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council to prune trees and harvest fruits from trees to mitigate the situation.

This article was first published on April 18, 2017.
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