Pasir Ris Night Safari

On 21/2/20, I finally collected my Matt Green Birdy GT from MV after placing my booking 10 days ago. With that Birdy, I was stuck with 3 bikes – Brompton NYC Limited Ed and Onipax S2. So I offered my Onipax S2 to Alan Taxi at a slight discount since it’s quite new. He immediately took up the offer.

For then on, there was no turning back for AT. He became an avid cyclist especially since the start of Circuit Breaker (CB) Lockdown on 7/4/20. It’s already 11 days into this CB period which is expected to end on 4/5/20. Where else to go except cycling at the park? I’ve heard and seen many people gone short circuit and haywire due to the stringent restrictions imposed on them especially those out of jobs due to the pandemic virus.

☝️My reliable Onipax S2

☝️Alan Taxi’s Alex Moulton bike

Now that Alan Taxi got himself an used Alex Moulton, which is a high end bike, he is even more addicted to cycling. I buy back the Onipax from him since I sold off my Birdy GT end of Mar 20. I sold off at a good price at $2,000 losing only $127 after riding it for more than a month. AT declared to me recently that he lost more than 10 kg from 95kg to 85kg! That kept his cycling momentum as he had nothing else to do and no place to go.

Just like Alan Taxi I also got nothing to do and no place to go due to the CB lockdown. Together, we cycle at Pasir Ris Beach Park or on the PCN to Punggol and Changi Village twice a day – morning and evening. I’ve also lost few kilos and clocked more than 400 km per week (Tue to Sat).

For about 2 months of daily cycling at Pasir Ris Beach Park AT is able to give a running commentary on what’s happening and who’s who’s in the park. He, being a gregarious person also made many new friends and sometimes chatting to the regular park users. One of them is a 94 years old regular cyclist. Whereas I’ve been cycling for more than 3 years and yet hardly know any of them or strike any conversation with them except my neighbors and friends from Elias Mall.

We usually cycle at Pasir Ris Beach Park in the morning. Prior to CB, we would ride to Pasir Ris Dr 6 where there are many coffee shops especially the food court selling cheap delicious Malay food at the Polyclinic or to Changi Village to have our breakfast after our usual ride in the park before heading for home. Not anymore. Things have now changed and will never be the same again even after this CB period.

In the evening, we usually ride to Punggol Marina via the PCN to enjoy the nice beautiful scenery. The man made waterways and beautiful bridges there are so mesmerizing and eye catching. After all, tons of money have been invested turning these swathes of wastelands to such a beautiful living environment is no easy task. Not only tons of money spent but also years of planning and painstaking development to reach this far. I like the many waterways and connecting canals with their myriad of bridges spanning over them the most.

Few days ago, whilst relaxing at the iconic “Red Bridge” linking Lorong Halus Wetland to Punggol PCN across the wide canal opposite Coney Island, AT suddenly asked me to visit the “Night Safari!” I was thinking he must be crazy to cycle to the Night Safari (Mandai) from here at this time @7.00pm? When I just starred at him, he quickly replied that it’s just round the corner. Only 5 mins ride from the Red Bridge. I was naturally intrigued.

☝️The iconic Red Bridge

When we reached the so-called Night Safari on our bikes, it’s getting dark. It’s situated mid-way along Pasir Ris Coast Industrial Park 6 off Pasir Ris Farmway 3. The spot is just beside the main road with a small drain barricaded by metal railings. There were few wild boars roaming about in the vicinity waiting patiently. Waiting for food off course according to AT. Those wild boars know that around this time, food shall arrive soon. True enough, one by one they came with loafs of bread or packets of rice offered to those wild boars by throwing over to the spot of bushes and open wasteland. I saw someone from a van, a car and even a taxi stopping by with food prepared for those wild boars. Why are they doing that? What motivates them to feed those wild boars on a daily basis with money coming from their own pockets buying the food or bread?

Alan Taxi told me that the guy driving a van has been feeding the wild pigs for about 3 years. Every weekend from Friday to Sunday @7.30 pm without fail rain or shine, he is there with his van to offer food to those wild boars. He buys scrap and leftover bread from the bakery. 1 bag costs $5.00. He usually brings along 5 to 10 bags just to feed those wild boars.

As I was pondering over the reasons for those kind hearted people offering food to those hungry wild boars, AT whispered to my ear that the taxi driver is a regular here. Now just look at the taxi registration number 8851 which came out 1st prize 2 days before CB kicked in and lottery is banned. Maybe that’s the reason why the taxi driver keeps buying food for those hungry wild boars even though taxi business is bad and could hardly survive in these difficult times! Those wild boars had blessed him for his magnanimity.

☝️Video taken by AT

Not too far away, another old lady was calling out in her high pitch voice. AT commented that she’s calling all the wild dogs to fall in. She had prepared lots of food for those wild dogs. Suddenly so many wild dogs came running towards her direction from all over the places for their dinner. AT told me that this frail looking old lady take Grab every evening without fail to feed those wild dogs. She would prepare the food with fresh water for the dogs. Once the dogs have finished eating, she cleans up the place. Those dogs seem to recognize her and really appreciate her kindness. Like that taxi driver, did she strike a fortune by feeding those stray dogs?

As the time approaches 7.30pm, more and more wild boars come running out of the bushes to enjoy the free meals offered by the many kind hearted people. Once the wild boars got hold of the bread or any food, they straightaway ducked back to the bushes. At one time, I counted more than 50 wild boars. It’s really amazing that there are so many wild boars hibernating inside the wetlands and bushes. AT says there are almost 100 wild boars there. There’s a muddy pond inside. The pond keeps them cool in the hot scorching sun and ward off mosquitos also. Who would have thought that on the fringe of Pasir Ris HDB estate one could find so many wild boars in the area giving rise to a Night Safari known only to the residents.

When it’s time to head home for dinner, AT told me there is another smaller Night Safari spot. This one is just outside the Tropical Fish Farm along Pasir Ris Dr 12 and Dr 3 at the bend just beside the main road. We had to pass there en route back home. True enough when we passed by that spot, we saw about 10 wild boars roaming around there presumably waiting for food.

I did not know about the 2 spots where wild boars roam freely. I only saw few times with few wild boars at the end of Pasir Ris Beach Park near to PA campsite when I cycle in the early morning hours or late in the evening. Now I know there is a big wild boar population hiding inside the bushes and wetlands within Lorong Halus vicinity. It seems that the population is getting bigger and bigger with continuous free flow of food where those wild boars will never go hungry.

From NParks website …

What to do when I encounter wild boars?

•Be calm and move slowly away from the animal. Do not approach or attempt to feed the animal.

•Keep a safe distance and do not corner or provoke the animal i.e. by using a flash while taking pictures of it.

•If you see adults with young piglets, leave them alone. These are potentially more dangerous because they may attempt to defend their young.

Obviously, the public are not following the advice given by NParks. Being city dwellers, they were thrilled to see so many wild boars and started taking photos with their cellphones. Some even try to go as near as possible to get a clearer shot! Meanwhile, feeding those cute wild boars continues uninterrupted. NParks doesn’t seem to bother at all.

Some of my Elias Mall friends were wondering if it is against the law to trap those wild boars? Taxi Loh jokingly said that we should try and get the smaller one, slaughtered and washed it by the beach. We could then baberque it at the nearby BBQ pit in the park. Wild boar meat used to be sold in some eateries but not anymore. One could only eat wild boar in neighboring countries. It is a well known fact that wild boar meat definitely tastes better than pork.

Since our zoo is closed and if you have not seen a real wild boar at close range, why not head down to Pasir Ris Night Safari to enjoy it free of charge. Just remember to put on your mask during this CB period.

☝️Alan Taxi posing with Onipax S2

☝️My GT Birdy 20” tyres with Schwalbe tyres 1.9”

☝️Our bikes at Pasir Ris beach park

About Gintai_昇泰

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of Singapore. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I write for pleasure. I also write mainly for my family and friends.
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