About Wild Boars
Wild boars (Sus scrofa) are native to Singapore. They have an omnivorous diet that consists of insect larvae, seeds, young plants and tubers. They are mostly active during dusk hours. Presence of wild boars can often be identified with uprooted grass and vegetation, as they use their strong flexible snout to dig for roots and worms. Young piglets have stripes and are often referred to as ‘watermelons’ and adults have long canine teeth (tusks) and are dark greyish brown in colour without the stripes. Like most prey animals on land, wild boars can run fast and they can swim well too!
Why am I seeing wild boars in my neighbourhood?
Wild boars may venture out to the fringe of forests to dine on fruits from old plantations for crops such as oil palms. As they forage, they sometimes end up on the grassy buffer zones between urban and forested areas, surprising members of the public. However, they are shy animals and will usually retreat into the safety of the forests if they feel nervous, and it is the anthropogenic sources (such as food waste from humans and direct feeding by people) that draw them further into urban areas. Some habituated boars may even approach people, hence it is important for us to always keep a safe distance when encountering them.
Do's and Don'ts
What should I do if I see a wild boar in my neighbourhood?
Do not feed wild boars or allow any access to human food sources (directly or indirectly), as these will only encourage them to visit regularly. Wild boars have enough food in the forests. According to the Wildlife Act, feeding of wildlife is an offence that carries a fine of up to S$10,000.
Proper food waste management must be practised by disposing trash properly to discourage wild boars from scavenging.
If you are walking by with food, store it properly inside your bag instead of carrying it openly in plastic bags. Wild boars have a well-developed sense of smell, and due to feeding by humans, have learned to associate plastic bags with food.
Avoid any actions that may startle or provoke them such as sudden movements, flash photography and loud noises. Like with all wild animals, a safe distance should be maintained to minimise human-animal interactions.
If you see a wild boar while walking your dog, please keep your dog on a tight leash and avoid going anywhere near the wild boar. If your usual walking route is adjacent to a wild boar habitat, consider having an alternative route for regular dog walks.
Consider putting up a strong and sturdy fence (e.g. galvanised steel) with a solid concrete base if wild boars are entering your premises. Such fencing should be sunk at least 0.3m into the ground so that wild boars cannot dig under. For existing fencing, ensure that any gaps are regularly fixed.
Do wild boars pose health risks to humans?
African Swine Fever (ASF) is a disease that only affects members of the pig family, such as wild boars. It is not zoonotic, which means it cannot be transmitted to humans, and is not a risk to public health.
NParks have in place a biosurveillance system to quickly detect animal diseases, including ASF.
Do not touch or pick up any sick or dead animals. If you do encounter sick or dead animals, please call the Animal Response Centre at 1800-476-1600 to report these sightings.
Click here to learn more about African Swine Fever.
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