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  Straits Times Forum 31 Jan 06
Public urged not to feed wild monkeys
Reply from NParks

I THANK Ms Jenny Ng for her letter, 'Stop feeding wild monkeys' (The Sunday Times, Jan 22).

We would like to remind the public that feeding monkeys is an offence.

Monkeys have sufficient food in the nature reserves. However, they will accept food offered to them readily. Feeding them creates bad dietary habits and aggressive manners. Should this continue, culling them may become necessary, though it is the least desired solution.

We urge members of the public to act responsibly. Respect the natural dietary needs of the monkeys and do not feed them. This will ensure that the nature reserves remain a natural refuge for the animals that reside there and a safe place for the people who visit.

The National Parks Board (NParks) has put up signs and produced pamphlets explaining why people should not feed the monkeys. Rangers and volunteers also patrol the nature reserves to ensure that people obey the rules and regulations.

In addition, NParks had taken punitive measures against recalcitrant members of the public who continued to feed the monkeys despite warnings from our rangers.

Should she have further feedback, Ms Ng is welcome to contact our QSM (quality service manager) Helpline on 1800-471-7300.

Sharon Chan (Ms)
Assistant Director
Central Nature Reserve

Straits Times Forum Online 17 Feb 06
Despite all the warnings, people continue to feed the monkeys
Letter from Larry Quah Chai Koon

LAST Friday morning, I was appalled by what I saw on the service road leading to Upper Pierce Reservoir.

Seated behind the wheel of her car was a woman with her daughter perched on her lap watching a troop of monkeys feeding. She had come there a little earlier and handed out bread and other food for the monkeys to eat so she and her daughter could watch them from her car.

By parking on one side of the road with the monkeys feeding on the other, the road was effectively blocked and other motorists had to skirt the monkeys so as not to run them over.

This was no doubt a small inconvenience to other road users.

What is more important here is that the woman's seeming act of kindness causes problems for the monkeys that have been highlighted many times before. It appears that signs discouraging such acts, press reports plus the weight of the law do not seem to bother these people.

Many who visit the area to exercise can attest that the monkeys there are aggressive and I have seen them snatching items from children. I have no doubt the children were traumatised.

Together, we should respect that monkeys also deserve to be a part of the ecology of Singapore and our wrong acts of kindness, such as that witnessed this morning, will only serve to have the opposite effect.

More about the harm of feeding monkeys and what you CAN do about it
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