ACRES Jumps Into The Sea To Save Dolphins And Treks Into Forests To Release Pangolins
You see an injured otter on the street — who you gon’ call? ACRES, of course.
You see a python trapped in a dustbin — who you gon’ call? ACRES, of course.
Okay, you probably get the idea.
Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (ACRES) has made headlines once again for successfully rehabilitating and releasing 6 wild turtles back to Malaysia.
You confirm hear before one this organisation, started by Nee Soon GRC MP and part-time heartthrob Louis Ng in 2001.
In the 17 years since, the organisation has proven that it can help massive crocodiles and tiny hedgehogs with equal finesse.
So in celebration of its latest triumph, here are our 10 favourite ACRES rescue stories.
1. Boltz, the giant Asian pond turtle
In October 2011, Boltz, the giant Asian pond turtle had an unfortunate accident when he was run over by a truck.
The turtle suffered severe internal injuries as well as a large, lightning-shaped crack on its shell that inspired its name.
We would have gone for something completely different…
The journey home has been a long time coming for Boltz, but ACRES wanted to be sure that he had fully recovered before releasing him.
On Monday (Apr 16), Boltz joined a party of five other turtles going to Malaysia’s wilderness, where they were believed to have been smuggled from.
2. The Bedok dolphin
A wild dolphin’s leisurely wade through Singapore’s waters took a turn for the worst when it got entangled in a fishing line near Bedok Jetty on 7 Apr.
ACRES kept a lookout for the injured dolphin for the two days that followed and on the third day, spotted it.
They then dove into an hourlong rescue operation to free the dolphin from the fishing line. By then, the mammal had also caught itself in fishing nets, with a weight of 8kg.
Following the operation, the dolphin appeared more comfortable and eventually swam into the deep blue sea.
3. You otter know
There’s no denying that the otters are Singapore’s cutest residents.
But that doesn’t make them immune to accidents or injury.
Last October, an otter with a deep gash on its back was found near Pasir Ris Park. Looking at that wound, we’re guessing it was as painful as it was deep.
ACRES was alerted to the injured animal, but the otter swam away before the rescuers could locate it.
However, ACRES got to the creature two weeks later, thanks to a multi-agency operation. Following extensive treatment and care, the otter was released into the wild.
4. Snake in a bin
Last June, a python was found tied up with rope in a trash bin.
The assault left the reptile with serious abrasions on its skin. ACRES treated the animal before tagging it and releasing it into a nature reserve.
5. Hedgehogs in need of help
In November, five hedgehogs were found abandoned in a plastic tub at a HDB refuse collection area.
The hedgehogs were eventually passed to the Singapore Zoo as ACRES does not have a permit to house hedgehogs, which are classified as exotic mammals.
While this isn’t a rescue per se, ACRES did work tirelessly to use the case to raise awareness for an important cause: Singapore’s illegal wildlife trade.
ACRES deputy chief executive Anbarasi Boopal said,
Online trade in illegal wildlife is rampant in Singapore, and people often buy without knowing that it is illegal, and then they do not know what to do with the animal when it falls sick.
6. A crocodile conundrum
In November 2016, an estuarine crocodile estimated to be between 2.5m and 3m long wandered into a Lim Chu Kang fish farm.
Unfortunately for the mighty reptile, its trek for food ended awkwardly when it got stuck near a pipe.
What a sight it must have been for staff of the fish farm!
ACRES safely restrained the animal and then released it back to the adjoining Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.
7. Batting for fruit
The Batcave might be more common than you think.
ACRES receives 4 to 5 reports a week of bats stranded in homes here.
Homes near fruit trees are more prone to such incidents, since some bats feed on fruits.
Bats aren’t dangerous, but the organisation suggests you call them for help instead of trying to chase them out on your own.
8. The Bukit Panjang monkey
Do you remember the monkey in Bukit Panjang that bit residents?
That infamous incident last May saw a primate stealing food and even biting some people in the comfort of their homes.
For two weeks, the monkey became the talk of the town.
ACRES joined yet another multi-agency effort to catch the female macaque.
No surprises then that the monkey was eventually caught and rehabilitated.
There’s no word on what she’s up to now, but it’s safe to say it’s not monkey business … at least for now.
9. The studious Sunda pangolin
The Sunda pangolin is an endangered species with few numbers left in Singapore’s wild.
But one Sunda pangolin evidently thought that going to school would be the best way to change its fate.
In November 2016, the mammal was found in a dorm at Nanyang Technological University.
Fortunately, ACRES swiftly swooped up the pangolin and released it in a forest 30m away.
ACRES officers made sure to release it in a spot filled with rotting, fallen tree trunks as there would be lots of termites, a favourite snack of the Sunda pangolin.
10. The circus dogs
Remember the fiasco of the dog circus late last year?
If you don’t, here’s what happened.
Someone thought it would be a wise idea to create a stage show with dogs performing acrobatic and clown acts, in time for the Year of the Dog.
That didn’t go down too well with dog-loving Singaporeans, who launched a protest against the event.
Their efforts paid off when the show was eventually cancelled.
While there was no elaborate plot to rescue the helpless circus dogs, ACRES used its position to decry the use of animals for profiteering entertainment purposes.
A hero the animals deserve
Massive shout out to ACRES’ rescue and rehabilitation team that works tirelessly around the clock to help Singapore’s wildlife.
We may run in terror at the sight of a snake but that doesn’t mean we can’t help their efforts.
You can offer to help our as a volunteer or make a donation to help ACRES sustain its rescue operations. Get in touch with them here.
But if you do see a wild snake, hit up ACRES’ Wildlife Rescue Hotline at 9783-7782.