19 September 2012

Chek Jawa wild boar: Thousands of peaceful interactions

An elderly woman fell and broke her hip after a wild boar at Chek Jawa went for a bag of food she was carrying, reported the Straits Times today. But thousands of visitors have had close and safe interaction with wild boar at Chek Jawa for many months. Sadly, such happier events do not make the news and were not mentioned in the article.
Wild boar crossing! Getting close to nature
So here's highlights of some of the many peaceful encounters I've had with the wild boar at Chek Jawa over the years.

One of the more remarkable encounters was when I was guiding with the Naked Hermit Crabs for one of our largest visitor turnouts of about 70 people in Dec 2011.
Mama Wild Boar is spotted with her young ones. Everyone rushes over to have a closer look.
After we observe Mama for a while, Ley Kun explains that Mama is trying to cross the path to get to the other side.
The visitors kindly make an opening so the path is clear.
Mama and her babies come a little closer before peacefully crossing to the other side.
Mama wild boar and her babies were a regular feature of our trips to Chek Jawa since early 2011 when the piglets were at their cutest.
Wild boar piglets in Apr 2011
The wild boar make a great positive impression on the kids! The wild boar are often featured in drawings done after every Chek Jawa walk with the Naked Hermit Crabs.
Says Marsha from the USAafter a Naked Hermit Crab walk in Jul 2010
The wild boar are an integral part of the Chek Jawa experience, one of the many natural wonders that ordinary people can safely experience.
Precious memories shared after a Naked Hermit Crab walk in Jul 2010.
The Singapore Wild Boar Chronicles facebook page set up by Ong Say Lin is for everyone to share interesting encounters with a Singapore wild boar. Here, you can see many instances of peaceful experiences with this fascinating wild animal.
I'm fortunate to have personal experiences with Priscilla the Pig who used to accompany visitors out on the intertidal walks at Chek Jawa, before she died in 2004.
After deferment: public walks continues
There is no need for humans to feed the wild boar, or any of the wildlife that we may encounter on Pulau Ubin or anywhere else in Singapore. Feeding wildlife makes these wild animals associate humans with food. For example, associating plastic bags with food. When these animals approach humans, some people may get frightened and complain about them. Or injuries may result as humans panic. As a result, the authorities are often forced to catch the animals and kill them. Feeding kills! Don't feed wildlife. More about the impact of feeding
Sign at Chek Jawa highlighting that
we should not feed any kind of wildlife.
I do hope that the response to this incident will not harm the wild boar family at Chek Jawa. Sadly, in negative interaction between people and wildlife, it is often the wildlife who pay the price. We are in danger of loving Chek Jawa to death.

Share your photos and stories of positive interactions with wild boar on The Singapore Wild Boar Chronicles facebook page!

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