Photos by Nick Baker
What are they?
The wild boar is a native animal of Singapore which can weigh up to 100kg and has a lifespan of over 20 years. They are omnivorous, but feed mainly on seeds, tubers and young plants. Each female wild boar can start reproducing at 18 months of age and can produce 4 to 6 piglets a year. Their quick reproduction rates, presence of ideal foraging habitats and the lack of natural predators all contribute to their population growth. These days they are increasingly spotted all over the island.
Human-wild boar encounters
The increase in the population of wild boars may result in a higher frequency of human-wild boar conflict as they wander into parks, public roads and residential areas. Although they appear shy, they are still wild animals and are unpredictable in behaviour which could pose a risk to public safety.
Like many other wild animals, wild boars will only attack if they are cornered or if they feel threatened. Female wild boars are very protective of their young and can easily be provoked. Wild boars are strong animals that can run relatively fast. The canines in adult males can inflict serious injuries in case of an attack. Due to their solid body build wild boars are considered to be particularly dangerous when involved in car accidents.
Damages caused by wild boars
With a lack of natural predators, the wild boar population has increased rapidly and may negatively affect our forests’ regeneration. High numbers of wild boars may also decrease local biodiversity.
Their natural behaviour to dig up the soil in order to find food, thus damaging tree saplings compromises reforestation and habitat enhancement efforts. These can have negative impacts on the long-term viability of small patches of forests such as our nature reserves if the wild boar population remains unchecked.
What to do when I encounter wild boars?
- Be calm and move slowly away from the animal. Do not approach or attempt to feed the animal.
- Keep a safe distance and do not corner or provoke the animal i.e. by using a flash while taking pictures of it.
- If you see adults with young piglets, leave them alone. These are potentially more dangerous because they may attempt to defend their young.
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