Monkeys 'creating disturbance' in Bukit Timah: Enrichment centre worried about kids' safety

Submitted by Stomper Apple Pie

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Beauty World or Monkey World?

An enrichment centre for pre-schoolers is worried for the safety of the children after monkeys started "creating a disturbance" in the Bukit Timah area.

The enrichment centre, Apple Pie Language, is at Chun Tin Road near the Beauty World MRT station on the Downtown line.

Apple Pie Language told Stomp: "​​​Recently, there have been monkeys creating a disturbance in the area. This has been going on for three weeks.

"We have children visiting the centre on Fridays and Saturdays and we are worried about the safety of the children.

"Things have escalated really badly as the monkeys started munching on our telephone and Internet wires. Moreover, they pooped and peed all over."

Apple Pie Language shared videos of two monkeys hanging around a sheltered walkway outside Beauty World MRT station and another gnawing on a cable near a cable box on a pillar, along with photos of a monkey on the balcony of the enrichment centre.

The monkeys are likely long-tailed Macaques from the nearby Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

 In response to a Stomp query, Dr Adrian Loo, Group Director, Wildlife Management, National Parks Board (NParks) said: "NParks adopts a community- and science-based approach to managing wildlife in Singapore.

"Since 2022, NParks has received about 50 feedback cases on Long-tailed Macaques around Beauty World MRT.

"We have been conducting mitigation measures around that area, such as monkey guarding, trapping operations and engaging residents on steps that they can take to minimise macaque intrusion."

"Long-tailed Macaques are forest fringe creatures which move between forest patches in search of food and territory. In areas where there are macaque encounters, targeted mitigation measures such as reducing the availability of food are implemented.

"This includes enforcing against the feeding of wildlife, ensuring proper waste disposal, harvesting fruit trees, installing monkey-proof fittings, conducting monkey guarding, and translocating individuals monkeys where appropriate.

"Long-term population control measures such as sterilisation are being carefully studied and will be implemented where appropriate.

"NParks also carries out population surveys and research studies to understand the distribution of wildlife throughout Singapore’s nature areas. This helps NParks identify areas that may require mitigation measures, such as habitat modification; and implement outreach and engagement programmes for residents living near green spaces, on how to minimise home intrusions.

"If macaques approach you in the open, remain calm and quiet and do not make any sudden movements or maintain eye contact with them. Instead, look away and back off slowly. Keep away from the area until they have left. Macaques also associate plastic bags with presence of food and will try to snatch it them upon sight. We advise members of public to keep plastic bags out of macaques’ sight when spotted.

"Members of the public may also call the 24-hour Animal Response Centre at 1800-476-1600."