Goshawk chicks fall from tree, one later euthanised, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Goshawk chicks fall from tree, one later euthanised

The National Parks Board (NParks) is investigating a case where one of two crested goshawk chicks that fell from a tree along Stevens Road was allegedly illegally taken away by an individual, although the bird was later recovered.

One of the chicks was subsequently euthanised after it was found to be in very poor condition.

In response to The Straits Times’ query, NParks group director of wildlife management and outreach How Choon Beng said on June 13 that the agency was alerted to the incident, which occurred outside the Metropolitan YMCA, on June 10.

Mr How said that one chick was taken care of by a passer-by until its officers arrived, while the other chick was allegedly removed by an individual but retrieved on the same evening.

Both chicks were taken to NParks’ Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation (CWR) to determine if they could be released back to their nest, he added.

“During the health examination conducted by the veterinarians at CWR, one of the chicks was in very poor body condition,” Mr How said, adding that NParks discovered the chick with an abscess behind the tongue, which affected its ability to eat.

“Consequently, it was euthanised on welfare grounds. At present, the other chick is doing well.”

NParks declined to say whether the chick that was euthanised was the one which had been taken.

Eyewitness Wyatt Ang, 44, told ST that he was on a phone call when he saw one of the chicks lying in the middle of the road at around 5pm on June 10.

He quickly walked over to pick it up and move it to a safer area.

Mr Ang then called the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) for help and tried to look for the chick’s parents but was unable to spot them.

“However, I got through to Acres quickly and was instructed to put the chick in a box to prevent other animals from getting to it,” Mr Ang said.

While walking around to take a video of the surroundings for Acres, the marketing manager found that a second chick had fallen from the nest, and was in the possession of another individual.

“I met a man who was sharing with other passers-by about his interest in the chicks and proceeded to show us the other chick that was already in his car,” he said.

Mr Ang said he tried to get the man to surrender the chick to Acres, but the man refused and left the area shortly after.

NParks officers arrived within about an hour of being alerted, and Mr Ang passed the chick that he had kept safe in the box to them.

A spokesman for Metropolitan YMCA told ST that the incident involved an employee of a contracting company that it had hired for its ongoing renovations.

NParks’ Mr How said in his statement on June 13 that it is offence to take or keep any wildlife in any place unless the person has the director‑general’s written approval to do so.

If convicted, first-timers can be fined up to $10,000 or jailed for up to six months, or both.

Anyone who requires assistance for wildlife-related issues can call the 24-hour Animal Response Centre on 1800-476-1600.

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