WILD BOAR ATTACKS
The number of traffic accidents involving wild boars in Singapore has increased exponentially in the last few years. The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) reported that in 2016, it received 140 pieces of feedback about wild boars from members of public, up from 80 in the previous year and 30 in 2014.
Drivers often have difficulties detecting wild boars on the road due to the relatively low height of these wild animals. As wild boars often travel in herds, accidents involving these heavy-weight animals often result in serious vehicle damage and/or injuries. On 15 November 2016, a 25-year-old motorist was admitted to the ICU after a collision with a wild boar on the BKE. 2 accidents involving wild boars also occurred on 2 consecutive days last month, killing both wild boars and sending 5 people to the hospital.
Despite the growing concern of the safety hazards caused by these animals, action by the relevant governmental authorities have not been forthcoming. Despite the implementation of culling exercises by the National Parks Board in 2012, traffic accidents involving wild boars still remain considerable, especially in forested areas where wild boar populations remain prominent. Local environment activist groups also question the morality and effectiveness of such culling exercises, especially the impact that the culling may do to our ecosystem.
Is there a more humane and effective way to prevent wild boar traffic accidents in Singapore then? The recent construction of a eco-link bridge along the BKE may have hit the nail on the head. This 62m-long wildlife link, completed in 2013, is a purpose-built bridge allowing animals to travel between the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Central Catchment Nature Reserve without disrupting road traffic along the BKE. Animal activists and motorists alike have welcomed this move, which cost the NParks millions to implement. Nonetheless, it seems like more can be done to better regulate wildlife traffic along these accident-prone areas. One suggestion to the government is to adopt fencing methods so as to more effectively restrain wild animals from crossing highways with large volumes of motor traffic. Afterall, animals do not have the intelligence of humans and may not always be able to discern which crossing to take. Fences can not only serve as a barrier to our roads, but may also guide animals to a safe pathway for animal crossings. This promotes safety not only for animals but also for all motorists on the road.
News reports of wild-boar related accidents in Singapore:
15 November 2016: A 25-year-old motorist was sent to ICU after a collision with a wild boar on the BKE which killed the wild animal
2 July 2017: Woman required 60 stitches after her calf was pierced by a wild boar at the fringe of Windsor Nature Park. NParks is currently investigating the wild boar attack
14 June 2017: A large herd of about 20 wild boars was seen “road hogging” near the Tuas bus terminal. AVA said that it received 140 pieces of feedback about wild boars last year
28 September 2017: The sudden appearance of a wild boar along AYE after Tuas caused a traffic accident that sent two on a motorcycle to the hospital and killed the animal
29 September 2017: 3 people were taken to hospital after they were involved in an accident caused by a wild boar along Lentor Avenue. The accident killed the wild boar
19 October 2017: Man was injured by wild boar attack outside Hillview Condominium.
Written on 20 October 2017