In this concrete jungle, wild animals deserve hospitality and care, too.
Every now and then, wild animals (such as snakes, monitor lizards, civets, and pangolins) find their way into our urban dwellings. Or, you may find exotic animals that used to be pets abandoned by their previous owners. (P.S. Not cool!) Don’t stress, there are animal rescue organisations in Singapore that give aid to these animals.
Here’s what you should do when you see injured or abandoned wild animals in Singapore.
What do I do when I spot native wild animals?
They say, “As a city island, these animals have learnt to adapt to the urban environment. As a result, we tend to see them often. Removing wild animals from their natural habitat is a criminal offence for the majority of species in Singapore.”
But what do you do if you are concerned about a wild animal that is obviously in distress or severely injured? You can call the ACRES Wildlife Rescue Hotline on 97837782 and provide the following information:
- Describe the animal (type of animal, size, colour, markings/distinct features, etc)
- Describe any injuries
- Let them know if any other animals are nearby
- Send a photo of the animal to 9783 7782 via text message or WhatsApp
How do I know if the wild animal is injured and needs rescuing?
- When the animal’s parent(s) are known to be dead (young, unweaned animals)
- When the animal is in obvious danger
- When the animal is thin, cold, weak or appears sick
- When there is flies buzzing around or crawling on the animal
- When the animal has been in the mouth of a cat
- When a bird’s nest containing chicks has fallen out of a tree and cannot be put back (However, if you find a nest on the ground, put it back into the nearest tree, without touching the chicks if possible)
I’ve called ACRES for help. How do I handle the animal in the meantime?
- Try not to pick the animal up with your hands, even if you are wearing gloves.
- If an animal is severely injured or immobile, simply place a container over it (with some holes for ventilation), slide the lid or a thin board underneath the container, then gently turn the container so the animal ends up inside the container. Seal the container.
If you are bringing the animal to ACRES (at 91 Jalan Lekar) or a vet:
- Do not turn the radio on in your vehicle when transporting the animal
- Do not put the animal in the back of a pick-up truck
- Never put an unconscious animal on the seat of your car or leave it unconfined in your vehicle, just in case it wakes up again
- Use air conditioner sparingly, if at all, because animals in shock cannot regulate their body temperature. If the air-conditioning is too cold, the animal can go into irreversible shock
- Try to keep conversation to a minimum, and speak in a low voice
Do NOT try to rescue when…
- you would endanger yourself or others
- the animal appears healthy
- one or both parents are alive
- the injury has healed and the animal appears to be in good health
- you have to chase the animal, because this will inflict stress on it. Try again later and call ACRES for help
There is a wild animal in my home/garden. Help!
You can call the ACRES Wildlife Rescue Hotline at 9783 7782. You will need to provide information about the animal (description, size, etc) and send them a photo of it. There will be someone to take your call 24/7.
They do not charge a fee to remove wild animals from your home, although donations are always much appreciated.
For exotic animals: Why must we report non-native wild animals in Singapore?
Exotic wild animals that are illegally sold and kept as pets often cannot survive in Singapore’s environment, if they are released in parks and nature reserves. These animals may slowly starve to death or succumb to disease.
There is also a possibility they will compete with the native wild animals for resources and tip the balance of our natural ecosystem.
So if you find a non-native wild animal in Singapore, call the ACRES Wildlife Rescue Hotline 9783 7782 and they will dispatch their rescue team to save the animal.
After rescue, what will happen to these animals?
Native wild animals in Singapore are released back into their habitats at a suitable site after passing health checks.
Native reptiles or amphibians that need treatment and time to recover before release will be housed at the ACRES Wildlife Rescue Centre (AWRC).
If a rescued native mammal or bird cannot be returned to the wild immediately, after vetinary treatments they will be handed over to the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority Singapore (AVA).
Reptiles and amphibians rescued from the illegal wildlife trade will have a safe home at the AWRC. They may be repatriated to rescue centres in their country of origin.
Besides housing injured native wild animals, the AWRC is licensed to host abandoned or surrendered exotic reptiles and amphibians that were once illegal pets in Singapore. Check out some of their rescued animals here.
Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES)
Address: 91 Jalan Lekar, 698917
Hotline: 9783 7782
General enquiries: 6892 9821
Opening hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Daily)
Originally by Muneerah Bee / Last updated by Isabel Wibowo