Segar Rd residents worry over monkey attacks

Stomper Dave spotted a monkey at a playground at Block 471 Segar Road yesterday evening (Mar 23).VIDEO: STOMP
A monkey attacked a Block 471 resident on Sunday, leaving her with a gash on her arm and a bruise on her thigh. PHOTO: STOMP A monkey, believed to be a long-tailed macaque, has been terrorising residents at Segar Road, biting them and stealing their
A monkey, believed to be a long-tailed macaque, has been terrorising residents at Segar Road, biting them and stealing their food.PHOTOS: LIANHE WANBAO
A monkey attacked a Block 471 resident on Sunday, leaving her with a gash on her arm and a bruise on her thigh. PHOTO: STOMP A monkey, believed to be a long-tailed macaque, has been terrorising residents at Segar Road, biting them and stealing their
A monkey, believed to be a long-tailed macaque, has been terrorising residents at Segar Road, biting them and stealing their food.PHOTOS: LIANHE WANBAO
A monkey attacked a Block 471 resident on Sunday, leaving her with a gash on her arm and a bruise on her thigh. PHOTO: STOMP A monkey, believed to be a long-tailed macaque, has been terrorising residents at Segar Road, biting them and stealing their
A monkey, believed to be a long-tailed macaque, has been terrorising residents at Segar Road, biting them and stealing their food.PHOTOS: LIANHE WANBAO
A monkey attacked a Block 471 resident on Sunday, leaving her with a gash on her arm and a bruise on her thigh. PHOTO: STOMP A monkey, believed to be a long-tailed macaque, has been terrorising residents at Segar Road, biting them and stealing their
A monkey attacked a Block 471 resident on Sunday, leaving her with a gash on her arm and a bruise on her thigh. PHOTO: STOMP

A recent spate of attacks by an aggressive monkey has left residents at Segar Road in Bukit Panjang wary of being its next target.

Believed to be a long-tailed macaque, the monkey has entered residents' flats through the windows, stealing food and making a mess in their homes.

This species - common here and mainly found in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve- are generally fearful of humans.

Service manager Tommy Li, 32, who lives on the sixth floor of Block 469, said his three-year-old son was bitten by a monkey last week. Mr Li, who also has a four-month-old son, noted that the problem started with the arrival of two monkeys last year.

"At first, they didn't really bite, but they became used to people and are now more aggressive," he said. "Three or four people have been bitten just this past week."

Mr Li has spotted people feeding a monkey with bread and bananas. He has attached barbecue grilles to his windows with cable ties for his children's safety.

Some residents are now afraid of stepping out of their flats.

A resident, who declined to be named, said the monkey has broken items like flower pots. His family has mostly stayed at home during the recent long weekend.

 

Ms Sabrina Jabbar, primate researcher at Jane Goodall Institute (Singapore), said a high availability of food will encourage lone macaques to linger at a place.

"They gradually lose their fear towards humans. Hence, they resort to such negative behaviours when denied food."

Ms Jabbar said residents should not take matters into their own hands. "Never throw food or resort to taunting the macaque with an object because it will only aggravate the situation."

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 a monkey, he added. The other smaller one continues to wander in the estate.

Mr Liang said he is concerned about the lone monkey "harassing and hurting our residents". He has asked the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority to take stronger measures to catch the monkey. The town council has also stepped up surveillance.

"Meanwhile, I would advise residents not to feed and provoke the monkey," he added. "We will remove this remaining monkey from the estate the soonest possible."


  • Additional reporting by Lin Yangchen
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2017, with the headline 'Segar Rd residents worry over monkey attacks'. Print Edition | Subscribe