Segar Rd monkey likely a lone animal, aggressive behaviour likely due to feeding: AVA

The recent spate of monkey attacks at Segar Road in Bukit Panjang are likely to be caused by a lone monkey, said the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA).

In a media statement released yesterday (Apr 20), AVA added that the monkey's aggressive behaviour is likely due to feeding, which has caused it to associate humans with food.

Yesterday morning, Stomper Kesavan reported seeing ACRES staff trying to catch a monkey at Block 469 Segar Road. Stomp was also at the scene. No monkeys were caught during this operation.

AVA has also provided more details on what steps are being taken so far in response to the string of monkey attacks in the area.

Ms Jessica Kwok, Group Director of AVA"s Animal Management Group, said in a statement:

  1. AVA’s priority in managing the wild animal population is to ensure public health and safety is not compromised. Aggressive monkeys pose a risk to public safety. Monkeys may also carry zoonotic diseases that are harmful to public health. In response to feedback, AVA will carry out surveillance operations in the area, and if necessary, control operations will be conducted to safeguard public health and safety.

  2. AVA has been working with various stakeholders to mitigate the monkey issues in Segar since October 2016. Control operations have been conducted and one monkey was removed in November 2016. We are aware of five reported cases of monkey attacks in the Segar area this week (of which, one case happened in early April but was only reported recently). We are working with ACRES and WRS to remove the monkey in the area. Various humane methods, such as deploying traps, or using darts to tranquilise the monkey, will be used. No monkeys have been caught in the recent ops exercise.

  3. It is not normal for monkeys to approach people, and enter homes. The attacks, which are likely to be caused by a lone monkey, is a display of atypical behaviour. The monkey’s behaviour is likely to have been altered due to feeding, which has caused it to associate humans with food. The presence of food from feeders, which are easily available, may have conditioned the monkey to regularly visit the estate in search of food.

  4. In addition, AVA has worked with the Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council to prune trees and harvest fruits from trees in the estate to reduce the attractiveness of the estate to the monkeys, as trees are natural sources of food and shelter.

  5. We advise the public to keep clear of our operations for their own safety. Crowds of people may hamper our operations by causing the monkey to be wary and go into hiding.

  6. Residents in Segar estate are also advised to keep their windows and doors closed as much as possible, especially during the early mornings and late afternoons, when the monkey is known to be more active. The public can also make their premises less attractive to monkeys by keeping food out of sight from the monkey and practicing good food refuse management, such as double knotting garbage bags and disposing garbage in bins with secured lids.

Check out the related stories below to find out more about previous animal attacks at Segar Road in the past week.