SINGAPORE: The elderly man who was bitten by a wild monkey on Monday (Apr 17) is in stable condition after sustaining “quite a serious wound”, Member of Parliament for the Holland-Bukit Panjang Group Representation Constituency Liang Eng Hwa said on Thursday.
“He was sent to the hospital and they carried out some surgical operations to mend the wounds,” Mr Liang said, adding that the man was remaining in the hospital for observation.
“But we’ll continue to monitor, the last I talked to the family he looked okay,” said Mr Liang.
Channel NewsAsia understands from the man’s family that he was discharged from the hospital on Thursday afternoon.
The man’s injury is believed to have been inflicted by a lone monkey who has been reportedly entering homes at the Segar area in Bukit Panjang and attacking residents for months.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) called the monkey situation in the neighbourhood a “public safety risk” on Monday, revealing that it had received about 160 reports of monkey attacks and nuisance in the area since October last year.
A town hall meeting was held on Wednesday night to discuss the situation, which was attended by around 150 residents.
During the meeting, Mr Liang updated residents on the steps taken to catch the monkey and told residents who have sustained injuries by the monkeys to approach him with the medical costs.
“We will look at each case sympathetically, we’ll try to apply the financial assistance schemes to assist them whatever (way) we can,” he said.
At the same time, Mr Liang urged residents to keep calm.
“We still have to get on with our lives – if you want to go to the park, want to go for a jog, want to bring our kids to the playground – we should continue doing that, but just take some precautions,” he said.
“We don’t want our residents’ lives to be affected by just one lone monkey disturbing us.”
MONKEY BEHAVIOUR CONDITIONED BY HUMANS FEEDING THEM: ACRES
Over the last three days, a joint team comprising personnel from Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES), Wildlife Reserves Singapore, and AVA have been trying to find and tranquillise the aggressive monkey.
When Channel NewsAsia visited the site on Thursday morning, about five to six members of the team were seen patrolling the area as curious residents stopped to watch the operations.
According to ACRES, the plan is to rehabilitate the monkey for relocation when it is caught.
ACRES deputy chief executive Anbarasi Boopal said “aggressive” behaviour by wild monkeys likely stemmed from humans feeding the monkeys.
“Most of the cases that ACRES sees, it always starts with someone feeding the monkeys,” she said. “It results in the monkeys seeing humans as sources of food. Whether the person wants to feed it or not the monkey will still approach looking for food and it results in such unfortunate incidences.”
“There have been incidents of harassment of the monkey as well here, so definitely it will result in changing, altering the behaviour of the monkey, thus resulting in such conflict situations,” she added.
When confronted by monkeys, Ms Boopal advised residents not to interact with or feed the animals.
“If the monkey does approach the units, we would definitely urge the residents at this point to close the windows and remove any openly displayed food by the windows,” she said.
She also advised residents to scare monkeys that enter their units away, for example by using pans to make loud noises.
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