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Photograph: InfiniteZero/Shutterstock

Three times that animals went wild in Singapore in 2021

It's a jungle out here

Cheryl Sekkappan
Written by
Cheryl Sekkappan
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If you've been following the news, then you'll know that things have been a little...wild around here. In the span of two weeks, we've had reports of animal encounters that have come too close for comfort. Is it the Covid in the air? Or some end-of-year madness? We look back at three incidents where animals went wild this November and December.

Lions make a break for it

In what sounds like the start of a bad joke, two lions in transit at Singapore Changi Airport broke free of their shipping container on December 12. Thankfully, the big cats never made it past the safety netting around the container, though one of the lions took the time to lounge on the roof of its cage.

Both lions were eventually shot with a tranquiliser gun and transferred to Mandai Wildlife Group's quarantine facility. We hear they've since recovered from sedation and will likely continue their journey to an overseas facility alongside five other lions.

Weird way to score a short vacation in Singapore, but we hope the lions enjoyed their stay.

Otters in a frenzy 

In case you forgot that otters are wild animals and not just cute national mascots – a British man was recently attacked by a group of them while on his usual morning stroll through Singapore Botanic Gardens. Mr. Graham George Spencer, a Singapore permanent resident, reportedly sustained more than 20 bites and wounds from the encounter.

There's suggestion that the attack on November 30 was provoked. Mr. Spencer recounts that the otters were moving quietly through the park at first but went into a frenzy when another man ran towards them. The runner managed to avoid the otters' attacks (lucky man), but the group switched targets to Mr. Spencer instead. 

Sounds like Mr. Spencer was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But a good thing to remember: wild animals are unpredictable and will defend themselves when they feel threatened. Admire the otters (and other wildlife) all you like – just keep a good distance for both your sake and theirs. 

Pet peacock goes wild 

You've seen the photos, and they are heartbreaking. On November 28, a three-year-old girl was cut on her face after she was attacked by a pet peacock in Serangoon. Her mother later posted pictures on Facebook that show the girl's wound and her bloodstained clothes. 

According to reports, the girl was on the way home from the playground with her dad and brother when she stopped outside a house to look at the peacock. Little did she know that it would charge out and attack her, leaving her with deep cuts on her face that had to be stitched up at the hospital. 

Clearly, peacocks are no mere pageant kings. While neighbours in Serangoon Gardens say that this particular one has never been aggressive – it's even let out to walk around the estate once in a while – the birds can be territorial and strike out at perceived intruders. The next time you're admiring one, keep a look out for intense staring – it may be planning a sneak attack. 

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