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SINGAPORE, Jan 21 — Four people were each fined S$2,500 (RM7,623.43) in court yesterday for feeding wild boars, bringing the total tally of people charged with the offence to at least 12 over the past two weeks.
The four who pleaded guilty to intentionally feeding wildlife without approval were: Doreen Wee Mei Ling, 43, Poon Li Sang, 31, Lee Yoke Ying, 70, and Lim Jia Min, 30.
The National Parks Board (NParks) had caught the offenders feeding wild boars with bread or dog food at Lorong Halus between Nov 26 and Dec 7 last year, the agency said last week. These incidents involved lone offenders and groups of up to three people.
Eight people were charged with the offence on Jan 13. At the time, NParks said that another 11 would be charged over the next fortnight.
In November last year, The Straits Times reported that a woman was exercising at Sungei Api Api Park in Pasir Ris — just a few kilometres from Lorong Halus — when she was attacked by a wild boar.
It was reported that the 50-year-old suffered leg and facial injuries as a result.
NParks said last week that feeding wildlife can cause the animals to be aggressive towards people as they venture into urban areas for human sources of food.
“Intentional feeding or irresponsible discarding of food alters the natural foraging behaviour of wildlife and habituates them to human presence and relying on humans for an easy source of food,” the agency said.
“If wildlife turn aggressive due to constant feeding, they may have to be put down to safeguard public safety.”
Under the Wildlife Act, first-time offenders could be fined up to S$5,000 and repeat offenders could be fined up to S$10,000.
Amendments were made last year to the Wild Animals and Birds Act to include stricter penalties for the feeding and releasing of animals in the wild.
It was renamed the Wildlife Act and came into effect in June last year.
NParks said last week that it has identified several feeding hot spots since then, based on the mapping of the wildlife distribution and feedback throughout Singapore.
It has taken enforcement action against 62 people for wildlife feeding, with more than 20 taken to court. — TODAY