Turtle hatchlings event was good opportunity for education outreach

The news about the critically endangered hawksbill turtle's hatchlings is great for Singapore's image as a growing green country (Hatchlings laid by endangered turtle at East Coast released; Nov 12).

The National Parks Board (NParks) should be commended for its efforts.

It also shows us that Singapore's shores are able to provide a safe nesting space for globally threatened species.

However, publicity about the event should have been coupled with education outreach.

It would have been a good opportunity to educate members of the public on what they should do when they have animal encounters such as this.

In June this year, there was a lively online debate over whether humans should intervene in fights between animals.

It ignited after members of the public stepped in to protect one group of otters from being harassed by a rival family (To help or not to help: Human intervention in otter family feud sparks online debate, Straits Times online; June 12).

People at the scene made loud noises and frantically waved umbrellas to break up the fight.

While they meant well, it was not right to interfere, many felt. It could also have been dangerous for them.

NParks can educate the public about the do's and don'ts.

Awareness and education are essential in tackling animal conservation issues.

Muhammad Nizam

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 16, 2017, with the headline 'Turtle hatchlings event was good opportunity for education outreach'. Print Edition | Subscribe