Forum: Embrace wildlife - including wild boars - as part of natural heritage

I felt sorry to read about Forum writer Angeline Wee's negative encounters with wild boars (Wild boars scaring residents in neighbourhood, Feb 11).

However, I believe that removing the wild boars is not the solution to any human-wildlife conflict. In fact, we need to embrace the wildlife in our midst for three reasons.

First, we need to consider that by building residential estates ever closer to the native habitats of wildlife, humans are actually the intruders.

Naturally, it is to be expected that there would be more encounters with wildlife when we live close to where they live.

We aggravate the situation when we deliberately or inadvertently grant wild boars access to human food, which makes them more likely to frequent residential areas.

The solution is thus not to remove the boars, but to educate the public and remove access to human food.

When the food source is removed, human-boar interactions will go down too.

Second, boars are omnivorous, mostly feeding on seeds, tubers and other plant parts. This diet means that wild boars play an important role in our local forest ecosystems as seed dispersers.

If wild boars are removed, this will affect the reproduction and regeneration of various plant species, which will have knock-on effects on the ecosystem.

Lastly, one of the tenets under the Singapore Green Plan 2030 is City in Nature. This does not just mean replanting native trees or encouraging selected wildlife only, but protecting the local ecosystems as a unified whole.

This means embracing all wildlife - including wild boars - as part of our natural heritage. Every species has its role in sustaining the environment.

It is important to follow the advisories by the National Parks Board (NParks) and other nature groups to manage wildlife encounters safely.

A more informed citizenry not only better supports the preservation of our natural heritage but also ensures a more harmonious human-wildlife relationship.

Sia Sin Wei