On the 16th of July 2013, I encountered AVA-contracted trappers attempting to trap illegally on Nparks land, and unethically in the surrounds of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve:
AVA-contracted trappers, Jack Pang and team, attempted to trap illegally on Nparks land (top left picture), and at forested area beside the old railway track (sadly, legal state land) with a heavily baited remote-triggered trap (top right picture). Signs pasted on the large trap untruthfully read “Please keep clear. Conservation works in progress”.
I confronted the trapper and alerted Nparks staff of the illegally placed trap. He must have known he was doing something wrong as he immediately removed the trap before Nparks staff arrived on scene.
I could not do anything about the second trap but thankfully, a resident confronted the trapper and demanded to speak to AVA (bottom right picture). An AVA officer arrived on scene, and we held a heated meeting under the rain.
We managed to get the trap removed on the grounds that it was placed so close to the reserve, where monkeys were not coming into conflict with residents, and where trapping will likely drive macaques out towards condos which will lead to more complaints. The trapper was also instructed never to place misleading notices on his traps.
Kudos to the resident for speaking up, and to the AVA officer for making a sensible decision!
Moral of the story:
If you see something that doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t! Report it!
- Nparks helpline (1800-471 7300)
- AVA’s Animal Response Centre for animal welfare and nuisance (1800 476 1600)
- ACRES wildlife crime/rescue hotline (+65 9783 7782) I’ve found this the quickest, as you won’t need to go through an operator. Their responders will also alert me.
Do keep a lookout, and always question trapping activity in and around our parks!
More about how culling is a poor poor way of managing human-macaque conflict in coming posts.