AVA received some 160 complaints on monkey attacks and nuisance in Segar area in Bukit Panjang

A monkey at the residential area of Segar Road in Bukit Panjang.
A monkey at the residential area of Segar Road in Bukit Panjang.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO
One monkey has been known to enter residents' flats through the windows, stealing food and making a mess in their homes.
One monkey has been known to enter residents' flats through the windows, stealing food and making a mess in their homes.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

SINGAPORE - The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has received about 160 pieces of feedback on monkey attacks and nuisance in the Segar area in Bukit Panjang since last October, and has deemed the monkey situation a public safety risk.

The authority said on Monday (Apr 17) that it has been conducting monkey control operations in the area.

However, wildlife rescue group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) noted that such wild encounters "will become inevitable, as they will use the green corridors adjacent to housing estates".

A recent spate of attacks by an aggressive monkey has left residents in the estate wary of being its next target.

The primate has entered residents' flats through the windows, stealing food and making a mess in their homes. In the past few weeks, several residents have been bitten by it.

 

Last October, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP Liang Eng Hwa received feedback about two monkeys entering residents' homes.

 

The authorities were called in and caught one of the monkeys, Mr Liang added. The other smaller one continues to wander in the estate and has become "more aggressive in behaviour".

He has since asked the AVA to take stronger measures to catch the remaining monkey.

AVA said catching the monkeys can be challenging "as they are very nimble". "The many high-rise buildings in the area also make it easy for the monkeys to be out of reach by climbing up the blocks," it added.

The authority has worked with the Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council to prune trees and harvest fruits from trees in the estate to mitigate the situation. It is also working with Acres to safety remove and rehabilitate the monkey for relocation.

AVA advised the public against feeding the monkeys, as this "alters their natural behaviour and causes them to become reliant on humans for food".

It added that residents can make their premises less attractive to monkeys, by keeping food items out of sight and practising good refuse management, such as disposing of garbage in bins with secured lids.

Residents have since taken precautions, such as shutting all their windows. One even attached barbecue grilles to his windows with cable ties for his children's safety.

Acres said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Apr 18) that the behaviour of the monkey has been altered due to public feeding and harassment.

The group, which has met residents on several occasions, said it "strongly opposes removals and culling as a reactive solution for human-macaque conflict".

It reminded the public to maintain a distance when encountering wildlife here, and avoid feeding or approaching them.