Wild boars vital to ecosystem

In an urbanised environment such as Singapore's, we often see only animals that are heavily dependent on us, such as cats and dogs.

But Singapore actually has an estimated 23,000 to 28,000 species of terrestrial organisms.

One of the biggest animals native to Singapore is the wild boar. Wild boars are omnivorous, and they feed on plants, seeds, tubers, rodents, eggs and insects.

Wild boars are found in forested areas with shade and water.

However, in Singapore, such areas are getting smaller and more fragmented, and are often bordered by urban areas ("Boy 'chased and injured by wild boar' in Punggol"; Wednesday).

Limited by space, wild boars have to risk crossing the roads to reach pockets of green spaces.

It is important for the public to know what to do and avoid doing when sharing a common space with these shy animals.

If you see them, stay calm and move away without turning your back to them.

If you are carrying anything, be prepared to toss it away.

Do not approach them, as this may scare our fellow shy "Singaporeans".

Wild boars are essential to our ecosystem.

They help spread and fertilise seeds and control the population of smaller animals.

Whether or not we like these creatures, they have every right to their own space.

Do not attack them, feed them or attempt to take them home.

Pitrra Shantti Sivalingam V.M. (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 03, 2016, with the headline 'Wild boars vital to ecosystem'. Print Edition | Subscribe