No photos please: Macaques at NTU lunge at woman trying to get close

Woman (in yellow) approaching the macaques while an onlooker (seated) gives his two cents on the matter.
PHOTO: Screengrabs/TikTok/Shafiqackerman

Once bitten, twice shy. Somehow, this phrase doesn't apply to some Singaporeans when it comes to approaching wild animals.

Last Saturday (April 2), a video of a woman squatting down as she pointed her phone toward two macaques was posted on TikTok. Upon realising how close she was to them, the macaques lunged at her. 

The incident occurred at North Hill in Nanyang Technological University (NTU). 

https://www.tiktok.com/@shafiqackerman/video/7081859575279832322?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=6944924152827184641

The woman, in a yellow top and black shorts, screamed as the macaques raced towards her.

From the video, the monkeys did not pursue their attack as they could be seen scurrying away soon after.

Right on cue, the camera panned to a man who provided his two cents on what just occurred behind him.

"Number one rule, don't be afraid. Be afraid of Allah," he exclaimed, before cheekily checking his blindspot for any macaques.

The man behind the camera responded in Malay: "I'm scared, actually".

Netizens in the comments section lapped up the content, with many applauding the smoothness and comedic timing of the 21-second clip.

One TikTok user mentioned it gave off similar vibes to the hit sitcom series, The Office.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Reddit

At the other end of the spectrum, this netizen was more perplexed at the woman's decision to be so close to the macaques.

"What the f*** was the girl doing lol, zero survival instincts at all," it read.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Reddit

An almost identical incident occurred on Monday at Kallang River Park when a man got his phone out to take videos of a wild animal.

Instead of macaques, it was otters that piqued his interest. Unfortunately, an adult otter got aggressive and bit him on the calf.

NTU hall residents have had previous run-ins with macaques, with cases of the animals stealing food and devouring tablets and pens back in August last year.

NTU primatologist, Associate Professor Michael Gumert told NTU's HEY! magazine that looking at macaques in the eye could be perceived as an act of aggression. 

Should you end up encountering a macaque, Gumert advised: "The safest reaction is no reaction. Stay calm, do not make any sudden movements and simply let nature take its course."

ALSO READ: Teachers and pupils lock themselves in classrooms after monkey breaks into Yishun primary school

amierul@asiaone.com