SINGAPORE — Following a public outcry over its decision to euthanize a wild boar that sparked a commotion at a housing estate in Yishun, a National Parks Board (NParks) official said euthanasia was a response from “last resort”.
In an interview with TODAY on Friday March 25, Dr Adrian Loo, Group Director of Wildlife Management with NParks, said: “We didn’t want to transfer him because there is a risk he might come out (at human populations domains) again.
“The boar may have dispersed (to open up urban areas) because it was looking for a new place, or was chased away by another herd of boars, or was disoriented, or he had grown accustomed to human food.”
If the boar has been moved elsewhere, there may still be a risk of it returning to urban spaces such as roads, which can pose a hazard to motorists, vehicular traffic and itself.
“This euthanasia process is usually a last resort,” Dr Loo added.
When asked why the boar ventured into a housing estate, he replied that it could be attributed to poor waste management or illegal feeding.
On March 9, the boar was on the loose in a cafe in Yishun and knocked down a woman. The woman fell and lay on the ground for about 15 minutes before paramedics arrived, a witness said.
It happened around the 846 block Yishun Ring Road around 6:50 p.m.
The NParks team were first alerted to the incident at 7:11 p.m. that day and arrived on the scene 12 minutes later.
Dr Loo said: “Police were on the scene and saw the boar rushing out of the cafe and into Yishun Park. We tried to trap it the next day, but it was just very temperamental and was already hiding.”
“We set up our CCTV camera and monitored that area. The same boar came out and went to a garbage spot and then went back into the forest.”
The NParks team hoarded the boar in a confined area and continued to monitor it for almost two weeks.
The team fired a sedative dart at the boar, knocking him unconscious before he was euthanized.
The news of the euthanasia has greatly upset animal welfare groups and activists.
Ms Anbarasi Boopal, co-executive director of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), said the wild boar’s death was “disheartening” as it goes against the organization’s efforts to educate the public about the peaceful coexistence between humans and wildlife.