Animal lover suffers multiple wounds after wild boar attacks her 4 times along Bukit Panjang Road

Gabrielle Chan
The Straits Times
May 4, 2023

When she was attacked by a wild boar on her way home, her first thought was not one of fear but of concern for the animal, as she knew it would be put down for the attack.

Ms Durga Devi, 34, had alighted at a bus stop in Bukit Panjang Road close to midnight on Labour Day when she was attacked by the animal four times, as it flung her from side to side before throwing her on the road.

Speaking to The Straits Times, her younger sister Sri Devi, 29, said her sister managed to get help from a jogger who was passing by.

Ms Sri Devi said that despite suffering from multiple wounds and cuts on her right calf, buttock and arm, her older sister, an animal lover, felt sad at the thought that the boar would be euthanised.

Ms Durga Devi, a retail manager with Changi Airport Group, said: “At least it was me and not anyone else. I can’t imagine if this attack had happened to a kid or someone else vulnerable.”

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said that it received a call for assistance near Block 270 Bangkit Road at 11.50pm on Monday, and took a person to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

The National Parks Board (NParks) said it was alerted to the incident on early Tuesday and has since been in touch with the woman’s family.

NParks officers found the wild boar lying by the roadside. Its wildlife veterinarian said the boar’s hind legs were broken, and it was subsequently “euthanised humanely”.

Ms Sri Devi said her older sister has undergone four operations, and has a ruptured vein in her right arm as well as deep cuts on her calf.

“The doctor said that this was one of the worst cases of boar attacks he has seen,” she added.

Noting that her sister rescues animals in her free time, Ms Sri Devi said: “She loves animals, and even though she has been traumatised by the attack, she told me she did not want the wild boar to be euthanised.

“She does not know what has happened to the wild boar yet; I do not know what to tell her.”

The attack left Ms Durga Devi with multiple wounds and cuts on her right calf, buttock and arm. PHOTO: SRI DEVI

This wild boar attack is the second incident this year, and the 28th case in four years.

NParks said it handled nine cases of wild boar incidents each in 2020 and 2021, eight in 2022 and two this year, as of Wednesday.

Dr Adrian Loo, group director of wildlife management at NParks, said the board adopts a community and science-based approach to managing wild boar encounters. This includes modifying the wild boars’ habitats, conducting studies, managing their movement, relocation and culling.

He said NParks works with public agencies and developers to erect boarding to prevent wildlife from straying into nearby residential areas, and has population control measures in place to protect public safety.

Dr Loo added that the board also works closely with stakeholders on public education and outreach to promote safe and responsible encounters with wildlife.

MP for Bukit Panjang Liang Eng Hwa told ST that he visited Ms Durga Devi’s family on Wednesday night and will render assistance to the family. “I was very shocked and saddened when I heard about the attack, and I wish her a speedy recovery,” he said.

He added that following the incident, he hopes NParks can review the measures regarding wild boar attacks, tightening them if necessary and continue prioritising residents’ safety.

When confronted by a boar, members of the public should remain as calm as possible and move away slowly while keeping a safe distance. They should not corner or provoke the animal, said Dr Loo.

The public should also refrain from feeding the boars, and can call the Animal Response Centre on 1800-476-1600 to report wild boar encounters.

The Straits Times

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