19 caught feeding boars where woman was attacked

FEEDING wild boars came at a high price for 19 people who face penalties under stricter laws.

Eight of these individuals, aged between 20 and 51, were charged in court yesterday for feeding the native mammals at Lorong Halus.

First-time offenders can be fined up to S$5,000 (RM15,270) and repeat offenders face fines of not more than S$10,000 (RM30,500) under the Wildlife Act.

The rest will be charged over the next two weeks, said the National Parks Board (NParks).

This is the first time it has brought so many people to court, after stiffer regulations to deter the public from feeding wildlife came into force on June 1 last year.

The 19 people were caught giving bread or dog food to the wild boars during inspection rounds by NParks staff between Nov 26 and Dec 7.

This occurred a few kilometres from Sungei Api Api Park where a woman was injured by a wild boar while walking home on Nov 17.

The incident left her with lacerations on her left leg and face.

Feeding and irresponsible discarding of food likely habituated the wild boars, which can weigh up to 100kg, to associate humans with food, said NParks.

This increases the likelihood of them seeking humans and may lead them into urban areas, it added.

When The Straits Times visited Lorong Halus Park on Tuesday, around seven wild boars were seen approaching passing motorists.

While NParks has managed wild boar populations by removing oil palms, they may still pose a safety hazard to the public.

If wild animals turn aggressive due to constant feeding, they may have to be culled for public safety, said NParks. — The Straits Times/ANN

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