Macaque gets up to monkey business at Beauty World, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Macaque gets up to monkey business at Beauty World

Singaporeans are no strangers to monkeys and their antics, from daredevil stunts straight out of the Mission: Impossible action movies to hanging out on a huge crab replica at The Punggol Settlement.

The area around Beauty World MRT has also seen its fair share of simian shenanigans through the years. And although shopkeepers in the area say the issue has somewhat abated, the recent sighting of a lone male macaque has raised concerns.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, NParks’ acting group director of wildlife management How Choon Beng said that the authority had received 90 feedback cases about long-tailed macaques in the area around the Beauty World MRT area. The species can be found in the nearby Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

“We are aware of the lone male macaque, and are actively trying to trap it,” said Mr How. If the macaque is successfully trapped, it will be relocated away from urban areas, he added.

NParks’ feedback cases do not consist solely of complaints, but also sightings of the animals. It may also consist of multiple sightings of the same animal, and do not indicate any increase or decrease in incidents of conflict with wildlife.

Most recently, the male was caught on video fiddling with a POSB ATM at Beauty World Centre.

The original video was uploaded to the Singapore Incidents Facebook group on Jan 9. Facebook user Abby Hew, who uploaded the video, indicated that it was taken on Jan 8.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, POSB said that it was aware of the incident, which occurred at Beauty World Centre, but did not provide details on the time or date it happened.

The bank said that its ATMs are cleaned and sanitised daily. However, after it was made aware of the incident, it initiated another round of cleaning for the affected ATM.

Mr Bernard Ng, whose family owns a confectionary at Chun Tin Road, said a group of monkeys have stolen food from his shop.

They would snatch sealed packets of food displayed at the shopfront, before nimbly climbing up the facade of the shophouse to the second story, he said. There, they would unwrap and eat the food, throwing the wrappers down from where they sat.

NParks is taking measures to mitigate such issues and manage the population of these macaques and working with stakeholders to carry out sterilisation as a long-term population control measure.

The authority also cautioned against the feeding of macaques, as cooperation from members of the public is needed for the above efforts to be effective. Anyone caught doing so can be liable to a fine of up to $5,000 for a first offence, and for a second or subsequent offence, up to $10,000.