Eventually, someone was fined for feeding monkeys. This had been an apparent problem since years ago, when people first took fancy of monkeys and started feeding them. In fact, if you look into the history of Singapore, you’d have realised that people started feeding monkeys since then. However, nothing was done to curb this because everyone thought that the monkeys were cute and that they may even help in doing other things such as plucking the coconuts (for kampongs near the beaches) and bringing back the bananas (if they don’t finish them first).

Unconsciously, the feeding of the monkeys have gone on for years and till today, people are still doing so. While quite a handful have come to realise that feeding the monkeys are doing them no good, some others still ignore the apparent dangers and continue doing so. Despite all warnings, they fed the monkeys rain or shine. Some people have commented that if they don’t feed the monkeys, they have nothing else to feed. Moreover, feeding the strays in their neighbourhoods was something that would have been frowned upon and may lead to other repercussions.

To avoid getting into obvious trouble of feeding the neighbourhood strays, some of them have resorted to feeding the monkeys instead of just not feeding anything, which they thought would have been safe since everyone else was doing. After all, if there are already 10 people feeding the monkeys, having one additional feeder doesn’t really matter, doesn’t it? Well apparently not so.

Feeding the monkeys have resulted in complains from people staying in the neighbourhood because it is seemingly an anti-social act. While this may be seem to be the case, the monkeys may eventually invade the neighbourhood nearby and interfere in the daily lives of those living there and disrupting the peace. If the feeding of the monkeys continue, they may even start to breed there where the smaller monkeys will create more terror and wrecking havoc everywhere.

So, it’s really important to stop feeding the monkeys and let them return to where they come from. There might be some resistance from the monkeys in the beginning, but we should not give in out of pity. They belong to the trees and nature and that’s where they should go back to.

A MAN has been fined $4,000 for feeding monkeys in a nature reserve, the steepest fine ever handed out for the offence.

Panneerselvam Arunasalam, a cook, admitted on Tuesday that he had fed the animals bread in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve on Aug 5 last year.

A park ranger spotted the 46-year-old doling out food in the Mandai sanctuary, which is near Old Upper Thomson Road. The area is ringed with signs warning people against giving the animals food.

Pressing for a stiff sentence on Tuesday, National Parks Board prosecutor M. Maniam told the court that feeding monkeys endangers both the animals and humans.

‘It alters the monkeys’ natural behaviour adversely, as it makes them reliant on humans for food instead of foraging for food on their own in the forest,’ he said.

These monkeys tend to behave more aggressively towards humans, especially children, he added.

It also leads to an increase in the monkey population and brings the animals closer to roads in search of food.

Although park officials and the media have highlighted the the dangers of feeding monkeys, many people seem undeterred.

The feeding of monkeys is becoming more prevalent, Mr Maniam said. There were 157 cases last year, compared to 142 the year before.

Eighteen people were convicted over the two-year period. The rest paid $250 fines.

Panneerselvam could have been fined up to $50,000 and jailed for up to six months.

ELENA CHONG

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 23rd January 2008



Reader's Comments

  1. SG Daily: 24 Jan 2008 « The Singapore Daily | January 24th, 2008 at 11:44 am

    […] Discourse – Simply Jean: Are you feeding the monkeys? – i have succumbed to peer pressure: So am I right to say that the moral of the story seems to […]

  2. Vandalin | January 24th, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    So many parallels in the human world.

    Who here is guilty of feeding human monkeys, raise your hands and say I!

  3. kotek | January 25th, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Impossible la! Too many people luv monkeys. I am feeding them everyday.

  4. SGDaily Roundup: Week 4 « The Singapore Daily | January 25th, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    […] News: Why is cyberspace more powerful? – The States Times: Soldier Of Fortune – Simply Jean: Are you feeding the monkeys? – Sophieโ€™s World: One less piece of red tape – i have succumbed to peer pressure: So am I right […]

  5. Kotek | January 25th, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Nasi Padang their favorite lah, usually I give then it is finished, so many ppl in Sg like to feed the monkeys,
    how to catch so many ppl? It’s not possible

  6. JG | January 25th, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Monkeys are cute, they are intelligent and they are very loyal. I would like to feed them as often as I can. I believe in Singapore there are many opportunities to feed the monkeys without getting into trouble with Nat Park ๐Ÿ™‚

    I do it all the time.

  7. Simply Jean | January 28th, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    @Vandalin: heh heh… I didn’t feed the monkeys ๐Ÿ˜›

    @kotek: really ah? you feed the monkeys? are you not afraid of the bogey man?

    @JG: Ya.. they are cute ๐Ÿ˜› you are also not afraid of the bogey man? ๐Ÿ˜›

  8. Otterman | January 31st, 2008 at 1:16 am

    NParks introduced very large signs in 2005 in the latest of a series of escalating efforts. So they finally resorted to the courts, hmmm…

    See: http://tinyurl.com/7epll

    Problem with feeding monkeys? Population grows beyond what the forest can naturally provide for, they foray into neighbourhoods, someone (usually kid or lady) gets injured, NParks and AVA respond by culling the population. This has happened in one or two places in South East Asia as well.

    But still, I could not help wondering about the cook; wonder what his story was.

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