STOMPer Alka caught sight of this monkey digging into a dustbin at Thomson Road.
In an email to STOMP today (Mar 4), the STOMPer says:
"Today, I came across a rare sight in Singapore. I saw a monkey digging into a dustbin at Thompson Road bus stop opposite Mount Alvernia Hospital.
"Looks like he is out from the wild.
"I hope authorities will handle the monkey soon."
Monkeys chat and enjoy handpicked bananas at Toh Tuck (1st March, 2009)
Hungry monkey scours rubbish bin for food (5th January 2009)
Mount Alvernia Hospital is just across the road from MacRitchie Reservoir, so I'm not surprised that a long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) would be found in the area foraging for food.
Honestly, I don't see why there is a need for the authorities to 'handle the monkey'; it's not harassing anyone, and besides, the area is barely just outside the Central Catchment Area. This is not some escaped wild animal on the loose, rampaging through the city, it's just a monkey making a trip out of the nearby forest in search of food. Yes, it would be much better if it remained in the forest, but we cannot fault the monkey for being drawn to the rich pickings provided by our lifestyle.
The only significant problem I can foresee is that the monkey and other members of its troop might make it a habit to scavenge from dustbins, which would create a big mess. Also, the monkeys might end up making the association between people and food, and end up begging or harassing passers-by.
But the best way to prevent this from occurring is to restrict access to our garbage in the first place. I really think that more monkey-proof bins should be installed, not just in our parks, but also in the urban areas surrounding our parks and nature reserves. After all, the movement of wildlife is not constrained by park boundaries.