“A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives.”
— Albert Schweitzer
As Singapore’s wild animals have increasingly less and less space to live in with increased urbanisation, many find themselves having to live near to human habitations. Wild animals frequently find themselves stuck in people’s homes, or trapped on busy roads, often getting injured along the way. And this can happen any time, night or day.
That’s why ACRES runs our wildlife rescue services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so we are always on hand to help wild animals in distress. Our Wildlife Rescue Hotline 97837782 is always busy, and the number of calls we receive each week is steadily rising.
Rescued native animals are released straight back into the wild whenever possible, but sometimes the reptiles and amphibians need a period of treatment at the AWRC and are released back into the wild at a later date, once they are fit and healthy. ACRES collaborates with the National Parks Board (NParks) to find suitable release sites for all animals.
Since the AWRC opened in August 2009, we have been inundated with calls to the Wildlife Rescue Hotline regarding native wild animals in need of help. Since the opening of AWRC, we have rescued and released back to the wild hundreds of native wild animals, providing veterinary treatment where necessary.
Species of animal rescued include the pangolin, common palm civet, Malayan colugo, plantain squirrel, reticulated python, monitor lizard, hawksbill turtle, as well as several species of birds and bats.
Here are just some of the native wildlife rescues that your support has made possible.
Rescuing animals from the oil spill, June 2010
ACRES was quickly on the scene following an oil spill just offshore of Singapore, rescuing oil-covered animals at Changi Beach and East Coast Beach, cleaning them up and releasing them back into the sea at unaffected areas of coastline.
For more see ACRES in the News.
Kusu Island hawksbill turtles rescue
The small lagoon on Kusu Island is barely big enough for the two large green turtles who live there, and the space became even more crowded when over 100 wild hawksbill turtle hatchlings emerged from their shells and moved on in!
The overcrowded conditions at the lagoon meant that the hatchlings were attacking and injuring each other. But there was no way that these little ones could climb over the wall surrounding the lagoon and make their way into the sea. Some of the hatchlings were covered in paint too, and urgently needed to be cleaned up.
ACRES, in collaboration with Sentosa, were able to successfully relocate all 137 hatchlings from the lagoon back into the sea during a three-day rescue operation, removing the paint from their bodies when needed.
Hawksbill turtles are critically endangered, and every single one of these rescued turtles will potentially play a vital role in increasing their numbers in the wild.
East Coast Park hawksbill turtles rescue
One of the great wonders of nature is how turtle hatchlings are ‘programmed’ to make their way into the sea when they emerge from their eggs, guided by the light of the moon. Sadly, in today’s world, modern human inventions can get in the way of this ancient ritual- like a country club situated right next to the beach with bright floodlights shining at night- which, for a tiny turtle hatchling, could easily be mistaken for a moon.
And so it was that on one morning in September 2009, scores of hawksbill turtle hatchlings were spotted scattered around the outskirts of a country club at East Coast Park. Instead of heading towards the sea, they seemed to have taken a wrong turn and had headed towards the country club, with some having come very far inland. These hatchlings only have a very limited amount of stored resources, and once hatched must get to the sea quickly in order to find food and survive.
After hearing that these baby turtles were in trouble, we were immediately on the way to the scene. Sadly for some, help arrived too late and they had already perished under the hot sun. However, many were still going strong- just in the wrong direction. So, together with staff from NParks and Cicada Tree Eco-place , we gently gathered up them and released them on the beach. The hatchlings knew exactly what to do and scurried away into the sea, venturing into their watery habitat for the first time.
However, two hatchlings were very weak from exhaustion, one close to death, and needed emergency veterinary care if they were going to have any chance of survival. ACRES took these turtles into our temporary care at the AWRC, providing specialist care through the night and rehydrating them every two hours. Thankfully, both were much stronger by the next morning and moving around well. They were taken back to where they were found and successfully released into the sea.
Darlie the reticulated python
Darlie did the thing that most of us would when caught in the heavy rains- he took shelter indoors. Unfortunately for Darlie, he could not seem to find his way out of the generator box that he had taken refuge in. Luckily, some concerned people found Darlie and called ACRES to come and help him get out. Unfortunately Darlie was a bit dehydrated and underweight so we didn’t release him back into the wild straight away. Instead, he stayed with us at the AWRC for a few weeks, until he was fit and healthy again. A few weeks later, this beautiful snake was successfully released back into the wild where he belongs. Like all of the pythons whom we release, Darlie was microchipped, so that if he is ever found in trouble again we can find a more suitable release site.
Sylvia the common palm civet
Common palm civets will usually find all the food they need in their forest environment. However, civets will occasionally wander into people’s homes, and may soon find themselves in a spot of bother! Sylvia the civet decided that the meat left in a rat trap inside a house would make a tasty snack and, when helping herself to the tasty morsel, got herself trapped inside. When the homeowners discovered poor Sylvia she was dehydrated and in shock, and soon ACRES was on the scene to help her. Sylvia was given a health check, rehydrated and transferred to a larger moving cage to rest quietly until the evening, when she was released at the fringe of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
Pip the Sunda pangolin
Pip, a young pangolin, miraculously survived crossing a busy main road, only to find herself lost and confused in a basement car park. Pip was very stressed when we got to her and also dehydrated. After being rehydrated and then acing a health check from the vet, Pip was microchipped and released back to the wild, scampering away after her lucky escape!
Ola the collared scops owl
Little Ola the fledgling owl was separated from her mother and somehow became stuck inside a thorny bush. When we arrived to help her she was weak, lost and screeching loudly. But thankfully Ola recovered quickly after being untangled from the bush, rehydrated and allowed to rest. Her rescue was complete when her mother was located and the two were reunited.