SINGAPORE - Following a viral video of wild boars sighted at Tuas Bus Terminal, staff from SBS Transit have put up posters on Thursday morning (June 15) warning people against feeding the creatures.
Regulars at the bus terminal, such as bus captains, said that more of the wild boars have been spotted lately. In the video, which has been circulating on social media since Wednesday evening (June 14), more than 15 of the animals are seen loitering on the road as well as trotting around in front of a canteen. Some netizens who shared it on Facebook said the video was taken around 8.50pm.
The new posters, put up at around 11.50am on Thursday outside the canteen and around the interchange, read "No Feeding of Wild Animals". The Straits Times understands that this was done under the instructions of SBS.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said in a statement on Thursday that it is aware of the sighting and is "working with the relevant agencies to monitor the situation and explore further measures".
"From the video, it appears that the boars may have been conditioned to being fed by people," read the statement.
"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."
This view was echoed by Mr Kalai Vanan Balakrishnan, deputy chief executive of Acres, who said that while loss of habitats due to urbanisation could lead to animals being stranded and resulting in sightings like these, "we believe the reason for these sightings are most likely feeding".
He also advised members of the public to not make any sudden movement or loud noises if approached or followed by wild boars
While the boars are not a new occurrence for the people who frequent the area, in the past only one or two would be spotted, not a group, according to people interviewed by The Straits Times during a visit to the terminal on Thursday morning.
Most of them said that the wild boars would emerge from a small forested area beside the bus terminal, usually after 7pm in the evening till before 5am the next morning.
However, vendors at the canteen, which is run by the National Transport Workers' Union, said that they do not see the wild boars as the canteen operates from 7am to 3pm daily.
Mr Chia Chuan Chee, 46, a machine operator, saw one wild boar on Thursday morning. "I see them quite often but they will just be walking on the road without disturbing anyone. The most I've seen is around 10."
Mr Mikhail Adam, 58, a bus captain stationed at the bus terminal, said the animals "have been here for many years already".
"When they are hungry, they will come out to look for food. Sometimes when the garbage bin spills, they will look for food there but they don't disturb the people," said Mr Adam.