Park Visitors At Bukit Timah Hill & Punggol Beach

Bukit Timah Hill & Punggol Beach
Central & North-East, Singapore
January 2014

Merlion Wayfarer was out at nature spots over the weekend and was distressed to see the actions of some inconsiderate park visitors.

At the summit of Bukit Timah Hill on Saturday, a group of North Asians were there taking a break after reaching the summit. Finding the long-tailed macaques "cute", they started cutting up their green apples and throwing the slices at the monkeys.

Merlion Wayfarer noticed a monkey up on a nearby tree with a strange white object. In its arms was a lunchbox discarded by an inconsiderate park visitor. It was trying, first to open the lunchbox, then when it failed, it tried to bite it open.

According to online research, shreds of plastic have been found to be ingested by animals by mistake or along with food materials. Animals chew the plastic containers to get food inside and in the process, pieces of plastic gets ingested. Such plastic pieces accumulate inside the digestive system and make animals sick. Worse still, animals can even choke to death from blockages caused by plastic pieces.

By feeding monkeys, park visitors are conditioning the monkeys to prefer easy handouts from humans instead of foraging for natural food in the forest. They will approach humans, especially those carrying plastic bags, which they have learnt to associate with food, and snatch these away. Various incidents have been reported on citizen journalism site, STOMP:

On Sunday, she was at Punggol Beach and saw the following behaviour by some foreign workers:
A group of them were turning over all the rocks for fun to see if they can spot any sea creatures. When they found a crab or shrimp hidden inside, they will take another rock to chisel at the big rock until the hidden animal scuttles out or is killed by their actions.

Nearby, a Ardea Cinerea (Grey Heron) watches. 
It depends on the molluscs and crustaceans by the shore for food...

This article is currently in STOMP on 20 January 2014
(Source : SPH)

More photos are available on :