Other ways to tackle monkey problem: Acres

Injured monkey Mia, was rescued, rehabilitated and released by ACRES at MacRitchie Reservoir in the morning of 8 October 2013. This first-ever Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release of an Injured Monkey in Singapore followed calls by members of the public to ACRES Wildlife Resuce Hotline. Mia is seen in a tree after her release in MacRitchie Reservoir.

Mr Han Cheng Fong suggested culling monkeys because they have invaded our living spaces and deprived us of the comforts of our home ("Real root of monkey problem"; last Thursday).

The culling of monkeys has been taking place in Singapore for years, but the reality is that it has not resolved the issue of the human-macaque conflicts.

This is also the case in Gibraltar, where the government has been culling monkeys for years but has realised this year that this is not a solution and is now focused on more long-term and humane measures.

Mr Han stated that "the culling of wild animals whose populations have grown to menacing proportions is an accepted practice in Australia, Europe, the United States and many other countries".

This is not the case in Singapore. Studies on the population density of monkeys in Singapore were carried out by the Nanyang Technological University recently; the results reveal that there is no overpopulation of monkeys. There is also sufficient food in the forest for the monkeys.

Mr Han should note that the monkeys in Singapore do have natural predators such as pythons and raptors.

The real root of the problem is the availability of food in human communities and the building of human habitats closer to monkey foraging paths.

Simple methods such as closing one's doors and windows or installing grilles could prevent monkeys from entering our property, and keeping food out of sight will help as well.

For restaurants built close to monkey foraging paths, glass panels could be installed to keep the monkeys out.

The Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) also agrees with Miss Wong Shiying's recommendations that legal enforcement to deter feeders is a better solution than culling ("Impose heavier fines on feeders"; last Thursday).

Acres would like to invite Mr Han to contact us on our hotline (9783-7782) so that we can provide him a detailed assessment and customised recommendations to resolve the human-macaque conflict he is facing.

See Han Sern

Campaign Executive

Animal Concerns Research and Education Society

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