JOHOR BARU: Melaka government is seeking help from a Johor environmental NGO to find ways to address the issue of wild boars in Melaka.
Melaka agriculture, agro-based, entrepreneur development and cooperatives committee chairman Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee said the wild boars were a nuisance in all the three districts in the state, namely Melaka Tengah, Alor Gajah and Jasin.
“That is why we are now going to work with Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) and study how to address this matter, ” he said after a meeting with MNS vice-president Vincent Chow and his team here yesterday.
“MNS has wide knowledge of this animal’s behaviour and migration patterns, ” he said.
“There are complaints every day, mainly about wild boars, crows or monkeys, ” he said, adding that most of the wild boars enter villages, mosques and schools.
He said there were also cases of motorcyclists getting hurt after ramming into the animals which dash across the roads at night.
“Last year alone we had to deal with more than 500 wild boars but the problem is still rampant, ” he said.
Norhizam said the wild boar issue has been going on for more than 10 years, with no solutions found so far.
“I read a report in The Star about the how the Sumatran bearded pigs, which weigh as much as 100kg, are good swimmers and take advantage of the changes in sea tide to get across the Straits of Malacca, ” he added.
He said many, mainly Melaka politicians, laughed at him when he said that some species of wild boars were good swimmers.
Norhizam said the government was also concerned that these wild boars might carry viruses or diseases which could hurt the local pig farming industry in Paya Mengkuang in Melaka which has 27 breeders.
“I hope this study will help us to resolve the people’s problem here, ” he said, adding that he was waiting for MNS’s proposal on the funds needed for the study.
Meanwhile, Chow said the first step was to identify the species that they were dealing with through DNA matching.
He said there were mainly two types of wild boar in Malaysia, the commonly found Eurasian species and the bearded one, which is locally known as babi bodoh or babi berjanggut.
“These bearded pigs are known to be migratory animals which can travel vast distances, sometime as far as from Pahang and Johor. They sometimes use coastal routes.
“They also make their way to Pontian, then to Pulau Pisang and Pulau Karimun in Indonesia before reaching mainland Sumatera, ” he said, adding that some would use Melaka as a transit point before crossing the straits to Pulau Rupat in Indonesia.
“They are like migratory birds which travel from Siberia to New Zealand during the winter, ” he said, adding that the bearded pigs moved around foraging for food.
He said the MNS team would also place camera traps in Pulau Besar in Melaka to study the animal’s behaviour and make the necessary recommendations to the state government on tackling the problem.
He said MNS would work with Melaka Wildlife Department as well on this problem.
Chow, who had previously carried out a study on birds for the Johor government, hoped other states would also engage with MNS to collaborate and find solutions to the problems.
He said that they were now doing a year-long study of the Panti forest reserve in Kota Tinggi to identify all the bio-diversity living in the 1,800ha forest reserve.
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