Sunday, November 26, 2017

Did wild boar in Punggol die needlessly?

By Sivarajah Nathan


I refer to the report, “'Rampaging' wild boar in Punggol euthanised after gunshot wound to neck” (23 Nov).

More could have been done to save the wild boar before it was shot by a police officer. Was the animal sufficiently tasered?

As the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) said, the boar could have been stressed and became defensive after sustaining injuries from the road accident and then found itself cornered.

I am not sure that the police have the right training to handle wildlife and the right specialists should have been called in instead.

I LOVE this letter writer!

Thank you! This blog was getting really dead. Then you come along and revived it!

I thought Singaporeans no longer write thoughtless (or stupid) letters to the press. It turns out I just haven't been looking hard enough!

And two absolutely brilliant questions!

1) Was the animal sufficiently tasered?

Well, was it? Was the taser set on "stun (human)"? Any taser expert (like the writer of the above letter) knows that when dealing with a charging, stressed and agitated wild boar, that the proper setting for a phaser - I mean Taser - is "Kill" which might kill a human but with a wild boar and other sufficiently large beast would only stun. Obviously the police officer was NOT properly trained in the used of a Taser! Which brings us to the second question.

2) Did the police have the right training to handle wildlife? If we were to check the curriculum of the Police Academy, would we find sufficient training for handling wildlife? I suspect only a few hours might have been spared on the subject and the rest of the time spent more on frivolous subjects like police powers, lawful arrests, legal powers, police procedures, law, traffic management, and how to cover your ass if Mas Selamat escapes. Again.

Heck, the police probably isn't even properly equipped to deal with a wild boar! Where is the wild boar net? Where is the wild boar cage? Where is the wild boar trap? Obviously, the police at the scene intended ONLY to shoot the wild boar from the start! This is pre-meditation! This is murder! This is swinocide! 

Then he asked that the "right specialists should have been called. Right. 

A comment on FaceBook:
What exactly would be the "right specialist"? Does anyone know of any qualified "Rampaging Wild Boar Placator" in Singapore? In South-East Asia? How long does one have to study to become one? Or is one born to be a "Wild Boar Whisperer"?

I would suggest that the writer of this ridiculous letter imagine himself (or herself) at the scene. He may or may not be the police officer. Let's just say he is a civilian. There is a enraged or at the very least, agitated and stressed wild boar in his immediate vicinity. It may even be charging at him or moving towards him. All that is between the wild boar and him, is a police officer who has tried tase-ing the wild boar.

This merely enrages the wild boar even more. Apparently the electric charge in a taser that would take down a 80 kg (or more) man, does not take down the 200 kg (estimate) wild boar. Who knew?

Should the police officer call for a suitable specialist to come and take over? Who does he suggests, asks the operations room. How about ACRES? Sure, ACRES has a Wild Boar Placation Specialist on staff JUST FOR THIS VERY EMERGENCY. All these years. He has studied all his life for this very moment. He went to Arkansas to hang out with razorbacks for years in order to become the renowned Wild Boar Whisperer that he is. He will be right down. It will only take him 20 minutes to get to the site. Unless the MRT breaks down again. Or floods. Or is struck by lightning.

In the meantime, don't further aggravate the situation.

Like how?

Like trying to tase a 200kg boar with a taser that is intended only to take down a 100 kg man.

Oh. Right.

The Wild Boar Whisperer arrives within 15 minutes (the MRT did not have any breakdown than night). But the Wild Boar was gone. and Mr Sivarajah Nathan is lying on the ground in pain, surrounded by his small intestines spilling out off his abdominal cavity - the tusks of the wild boar has gored and disemboweled him.

His last words to the Wild Boar Whisperer: "The stupid policeman should have shot the dirty pig!"

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