SINGAPORE - The AVA said on Friday (Aug 31) that it had received about 150 cases of wild boar-related feedback islandwide from January to July in 2018.
In 2017, it had received a total of 310 cases of feedback, more than double of the 140 cases in 2016, and almost four times of the 80 cases in 2015.
In Punggol, however, 31 cases were reported in the first seven months of this year, which exceeded the 27 cases reported for the whole of last year.
The latest statistics come on the heels of an incident in Punggol on Tuesday (Aug 28) where a woman was injured by a wild boar near Punggol Secondary School. She had to be taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital to receive treatment for her injuries.
The boar later fled to an executive condominium in the area, where it was tranquillised and captured.
Mr Kalai Vanan, Acres' deputy chief executive, said that "feeding by people may have had a part to play in causing the animal to venture" into the area.
The AVA said on Friday: "The public must do their part by not feeding wild animals and ensuring proper food waste disposal."
It added that members of the public may not know the appropriate ways to interact with wild and stray animals, and how some of their actions (e.g. feeding) may "inadvertently condition stray and wild animals to become familiar and comfortable with human presence and reliance for food".
In June 2017, posters reading "No Feeding of Wild Animals" were put up by staff outside the canteen of Tuas Bus Terminal, after a video showing a pack of wild boars loitering in the area was shared online.
A bus captain at the time told The Straits Times that he had seen the boars looking for food in the garbage around the area.
On Thursday, Chinese paper Shin Min Daily News reported that a herd of over 20 wild boars had been spotted at Pasir Ris. The paper said that over a hundred pieces of bread were found near the herd and speculated that someone had left them there deliberately for the boars to eat.
Wildlife experts ST spoke to said that the rise in numbers may not only be due to feeding of wildlife but also the destruction of their natural habitats.
Mr Subaraj Rajathurai, director of Strix Wildlife consultancy, said that many pockets of nature had been removed for housing development in recent years, causing wildlife to lose their habitats and wander around looking for food.
He said: "We have encroached on their homes, where do you expect them to go?"
He added that the problem is likely to increase in the future due to Singapore's growing population and shortage of land.
Correction note: An earlier version of the story stated that in Punggol, 33 cases of wild boar-related feedback were reported in the first seven months of this year. It should be 31 cases. We are sorry for the error.