SINGAPORE - A family of five wild boars, including three piglets, were found trapped and in distress in a metal cage off Sime Road, just outside the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, on Sunday afternoon (Oct 7).
MP Louis Ng, who is also the founder and chief executive of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), said in a Facebook post on Sunday night that a member of the public had alerted Acres to the case.
The Acres team has rescued the animals and released them back into the wild, he said, adding that the trap has also been removed.
He said that investigations on who laid the trap are ongoing.
Acres deputy chief executive Anbarasi Boopal told The Straits Times on Monday that the trap appears to be targeted at wild boars, as it was "quite big in size" at about 1.2m by 1.8m. The cage also had food bait, such as corn.
Acres received a call on its wildlife rescue hotline at about 3.30pm and a team arrived at the location at about 4pm.
Officers from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority arrived about 15 minutes later, said Ms Anbarasi, 35.
While she is unsure when the animals were caught, she believes that it was likely on Sunday morning or early afternoon.
She added that this was the first time Acres had come across a trap placed at the site and that the wild boars appeared to be in great distress.
"I saw a piglet climbing on top of the mother pig, and the two adults were repeatedly pushing against the cage, trying to get out. They were clearly very stressed out," she said.
The cage was also found by the side of a road that had vehicular traffic, which could have further agitated the animals.
Ms Anbarasi said that the Acres team safely released the wild boars by covering the cage with a cloth, before going on top of the cage to lift the trap door.
The team took about 15 minutes, after ensuring that the animals were not injured and that there were no vehicles around.
Fortunately, the family of wild boars had been trapped together and none of them had been crushed when the trap door shut, Ms Anbarasi said.
"It could have gone wrong in so many ways, for example, if the piglets had been left outside on their own. And if a piglet was crushed and injured by the heavy trap door, it could eventually die from the stress."
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) told ST that it received one piece of feedback from the public about the case, and responded to the incident with Acres.
Investigations are ongoing. Offenders convicted of killing, taking or keeping any wild animal without an AVA license can be fined up to $1,000 per wild animal, and will have to forfeit the animal.
Members of the public who have information on the case can report it to AVA on 6805-2992 or through AVA's online feedback form, the authority added.