Monkeys raiding Bukit Timah homes for food, one resident tries using stuffed tiger as 'scarecrow'

Submitted by Stomper Natalie

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What can the people do?

Monkeys are terrorising a Bukit Timah neighbourhood and making residents feel like prisoners in their own homes, said a woman living there.

Stomper Natalie, who lives at Yuk Tong Avenue, shared a video of two monkeys outside her window on April 4.

"Please help," said the Stomper. "Our neighborhood is getting more monkeys trying to raid our houses.

"I just moved into this neighborhood a year ago, but I got to know from the group chat that it's getting worse now. Every day, residents would post pictures in the chat if they spotted the group of monkeys around their houses."

She said the monkeys have entered her home through the balcony when the blinds were up.

"Quite a number of the residents had their houses raided by the monkeys before," she added and shared a photo of a monkey on someone's dining table.

The Stomper said the animals took mainly food such as eggs, sweet potato and papaya.

"Someone hanged a stuffed toy tiger thinking it can actually act as a scarecrow, but in vain," recounted the Stomper.

"It's really scary though. Residents feel that they are prisoners in their own homes. We have to lock ourselves in securely. Every day, all my windows are locked. I have to step out for fresh air."

She said the residents have written to their MP and the National Parks Board (NParks) for help.

"We were told to use a broom, laser light or a loud hailer if we encounter monkeys in our house."

Earlier this month, Stomp reported that an enrichment centre for pre-schoolers in the same area was worried for the safety of the children after monkeys started "creating a disturbance" there.

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 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."