Forum: Leaving wild boar alone is not the solution to minimising conflicts

The increased frequency of wild boar attacking humans in Singapore is concerning (More incidents in the last two months than whole of 2020, Feb 23).

Wild boar are considered dangerous animals with the potential for spreading zoonotic diseases.

The danger that such wild animals poses to the public cannot be mitigated fully by public education alone as promoted by animal activists.

What distance is considered too near to wildlife; are they able to suggest a figure so that the public can be properly educated? Is it possible for the public to avoid wild boar if they have no idea where they will appear?

Children who are too young will not realise the full dangers of approaching wild animals. Neither can the elderly successfully avoid a charging wild boar.

Letting wild, dangerous animals roam about urban environments with high human traffic without any form of deterrent will only embolden their behaviour and make them more dangerous.

This is especially so when the new wildlife legislation makes it potentially an offence to harass or harm wildlife that intrude into private or public spaces.

We may appear to be compassionate towards wildlife by giving them free rein. But wild, dangerous animals being habituated to a passive human population will lose their natural fear instincts of humans, and this could lead to more wildlife-human encounters.

If these animals end up attacking people, the attacks may lead to calls for them to be culled, and we will ultimately do them more harm than good.

Sometimes, it is best to re-establish the human fear response in such animals by, for example, scaring them back into forested areas, so that conflicts can be further minimised.

Ong Junkai

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