Wild sambar deer put down due to severe injuries after 3-vehicle accident on BKE

Due to the large size of the deer, the Wildlife Reserves Singapore was alerted and a team was able to safely contain the injured animal at about 7.30am, on June 17, 2018. PHOTO: ACRES
The wild sambar deer struggled to get on its feet following the accident on Bukit Timah Expressway, on June 17, 2018. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK VIDEO

SINGAPORE - A wild sambar deer has been put down after it wandered onto the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) near Mandai Road and caused a three-vehicle accident early Sunday (June 17).

Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) said in a statement that the animal was euthanised on welfare grounds at 8am, after its injuries were found to be too severe.

The police said they were alerted to an accident involving a taxi, car and a motorcycle along BKE, towards the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE), after the Mandai Road exit at 4.40am.

A 46-year-old taxi driver suffered cuts on his head. He was conscious when taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.

The Straits Times understands that the accident occurred as the motorcyclist was trying to avoid the deer, which prompted the car and taxi drivers to apply their emergency brakes. Police investigations are ongoing.

Dashboard camera footage shared on social media show the rare animal struggling to get on its feet in the middle of the expressway, as vehicles inch past it on both sides.

A wildlife rescue team from the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) headed to the location, after receiving a call at about 5am, said its deputy chief executive Kalai Vanan.

"The deer was immobile suggesting severe injuries," Mr Kalai said.

The authorities have previously said that wildlife are more commonly sighted near forested areas, include Lentor Avenue, the Ayer Rajah Expressway (around Tuas) and BKE (near the Eco-Link). PHOTO: ACRES

A wildlife rescue team from WRS, comprising five zookeepers and a veterinarian, was alerted by Acres at about 6.45am.

WRS said that there were multiple abrasions and wounds on the deer's body, and fractures on its hind legs.

The 120kg adult male sambar deer was sedated and taken to the animal hospital in WRS for emergency medical attention.

On closer examination at the hospital, it was determined that the deer's injuries were too severe and it was euthanised at 8am on welfare grounds, WRS said.

Motor vehicle incidents are among the top threats to local wildlife, added WRS, as it urged motorists to slow down on roads along forested areas and heed wildlife crossing signs.

The Land Transport Authority warned motorists in a tweet at 5am to avoid the first to third lanes on the BKE towards the PIE, after the Mandai Road exit, due to an accident.

Sambar deer are usually deep forest-dwellers, although they may venture to the forest fringes due to disturbances or to forage for food.

The authorities have previously said that wildlife are more commonly sighted near forested areas, including Lentor Avenue, the Ayer Rajah Expressway (around Tuas) and BKE (near the Eco-Link).

Signs have been put up to alert motorists to wildlife crossing at these areas,with the authorities urging motorists to slow down when they come across animals on the roads.

In February this year, a sambar deer died after it was hit by a vehicle in Mandai Road.

Motorists passing by that evening saw the animal standing in a pool of blood in the middle of the road, with some metal debris nearby.

It eventually stumbled to a grass patch at the side of the road, where it died.

Earlier in January, a sambar deer was caught on video dashing across Mandai Road in a split-second appearance.

Besides the sambar deer death in February, there have been two other cases of a rare mammal ending up as roadkill in Mandai since development for the Mandai hub of five wildlife parks began in January last year.

Works are ongoing to clear secondary forests in the area near the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari to accommodate two more parks - the relocated Bird Park, and new Rainforest Park.

In March, The Straits Times reported that a critically endangered Sunda pangolin was found dead in Mandai Lake Road near the Night Safari early last year. In February this year, a leopard cat was found dead in Mandai Lake Road.

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