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Acres, WRS and AVA swing into action but macaques still monkeying around

The Straits Times | Lin Yangchen | Friday, Apr 21, 2017

A monkey, spotted at the Segar area in Bukit Panjang.

Photo: The New Paper

A team armed with tranquiliser guns and blowpipes was out yesterday morning to hunt and sedate long-tailed macaques which have harassed and injured Housing Board flat residents in Bukit Panjang.

Over the last four days, five to six personnel from animal welfare group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), and the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) were deployed as early as 6am to look for the primates at Segar Road.

Yesterday, the team concentrated its efforts in the vicinity of a large playground flanked by Blocks 465 to 471.

Acres deputy chief executive Anbarasi Boopal, who was on site, said a monkey appeared but kept moving away because of onlookers who had gathered, making it difficult to get a shot.

As of 12.30pm yesterday, no monkeys had been captured.

A 71-year-old resident of Block 465, who wanted to be known only as Mr Ong, said he saw the officers trying to catch a monkey on Tuesday evening, without success.

"It just climbed higher and higher and disappeared," said Mr Ong.

Housewife Eileen Chew, 67, said a monkey had entered her 14th-storey flat in Block 478. She is worried that more people may get hurt, especially children, if the monkey continues to run around unchecked.

"If they don't catch it, kids will be in trouble," she said.

Read also: 5 reported monkey attacks this week in Segar area, says AVA

Since last October, AVA has received about 160 pieces of feedback on monkey attacks and nuisance in the estate.

It is aware of five reported monkey attacks in the Segar area this week. So far, it has caught one monkey there, in November last year.

This article by The Straits Times was published in The New Paper, a free newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

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