SINGAPORE — The unusually large herd of wild boars spotted outside an eatery in Tuas this week could have been “conditioned” by members of the public who gave them food, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said on Thursday (June 15).
On Wednesday, in a widely circulated online video, some 20 wild boars could be seen loitering outside the National Transport Workers’ Union canteen at Tuas bus terminal, as if they were expecting to be fed. The canteen’s patrons did not seem perturbed by the unusual sight.
At one point in the video, some of the wild boars were seen following a worker who was pushing a trolley towards his parked van.
In response to queries from TODAY, the AVA said that it is aware of the sighting of the wild animals. “From the video, it appears that the boars may have been conditioned to being fed by people. We strongly urge the public not to feed the boars as this alters their behaviour and may cause them to be reliant on humans for food, which may result in human-animal conflicts.”
AVA said that it is working with the relevant agencies to monitor the situation and explore further measures, if needed.
On Thursday afternoon, a team from the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) was spotted in the area when TODAY visited the place. At the canteen, signs were on display, warning commuters and employees against feeding the wild animals.
Mr Kalai Balakrishnan, 31, deputy chief executive of Acres, said that the wild boars are probably from nearby green spaces, including the western catchment areas, and the large group is “not one of concern” because wild boars do travel in herds.
However, he said: “The availability of easy food, food given by people, might contribute to them breeding even more ... We need to look into why the boars are approaching the depot. Wild animals are shy and the behaviour of the animals in the video points to the high probability that feeding is happening.”
Acres also recommends that people stop the feeding.
This is not the first time wild boars have been observed to be roaming around the area.
Student Alexander Ching, 16, said that he saw one “in the bushes, just before the entrance of the terminal” in January last year.
He suggested building a fence around the terminal to keep the animals away and to prevent the buses from hitting them at night.
A bus driver who gave his name as Mr Lim, 65, said that the wild boars regularly appear there. They are “smart animals”, Mr Lim added, and they steer clear of the buses, so the risk of running into them in an accident is not high.
Mr Mohammed Sadli, 26, a technician, said that the wild boars do not harm or disturb the people there.
Even then, the AVA has advised members of the public to keep a safe distance from the animals due to their unpredictable behaviour, and to avoid trying to catch or provoke them: “Do not interact with the wild boars, and ensure that young children and pets are kept away as they may be curious and approach the boars,” it said. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY MEGAN NG