Monkey in Punggol estate caught and will be relocated, says AVA

A monkey was seen in the evenings at Punggol's Waterway Sunbeam estate. Resident Joseph Tan took photos of it eating eggs it had snatched from a woman who was carrying groceries, amusing itself at a playground and helping itself to a child's bottle a
A monkey was seen in the evenings at Punggol's Waterway Sunbeam estate. Resident Joseph Tan took photos of it eating eggs it had snatched from a woman who was carrying groceries, amusing itself at a playground and helping itself to a child's bottle at the playground.PHOTOS: COURTESY OF JOSEPH TAN

A monkey that caused a stir in a Punggol Housing Board estate over the weekend has been captured, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said yesterday.

The monkey was seen in the evenings at Punggol's Waterway Sunbeam estate, resident Joseph Tan told The Straits Times.

He took pictures and videos of it eating oranges as well as eggs it had snatched from a passer-by, and hanging out at a playground.

It scratched the leg of a boy who is four or five years old, he said. It also climbed up outside the units of some flats.

The 36-year-old, who thinks the monkey came from nearby Coney Island, called both AVA and the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres).

A spokesman for AVA told The Straits Times yesterday that the agency has received "15 pieces of feedback from the public on monkey-related issues at Punggol Waterway" since Sept 1, and has been working with the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council to monitor and conduct surveillance of the area.

Some cited safety concerns because the monkey snatched things from children and scratched a boy. "The monkey has been caught to safeguard public safety and we are exploring relocation options," said AVA.

It said monkeys may carry zoonotic diseases that are harmful to public health, and aggressive monkeys are a risk to public safety.

However, AVA stressed that its priority in managing Singapore's wild animal population is "to ensure public health and safety are not compromised".

It also advised the public not to feed monkeys as this alters their natural behaviour and causes them to become reliant on humans for food.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 06, 2017, with the headline 'Monkey in Punggol estate caught and will be relocated, says AVA'. Print Edition | Subscribe