You Can’t Take Chickens from The Road to Cook It; NParks Now Investigating Man Who Caught Wild Chicken at Pasir Ris


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It is not uncommon to see wild chickens, roosters and even chicks freely roaming around Singapore, particularly in green spaces such as parks.

As such, it is probably equally as uncommon to hear someone (probably your father or someone with an equally dismal sense of humour) jokingly comment, “Eh, you want to catch and make chicken rice? Free one leh.”

Alas, someone did indeed take the joke and ran too far with it. 

Man Allegedly Catches and Kills Chicken in Park

On the evening of 17 February 2024, a man by the name of Joel Lee took to Facebook to relay the unnerving scene he had witnessed while walking in Pasir Ris Park with his daughter. 

The photos accompanying his post reveal a man in a blue shirt holding what appears to be a lifeless chicken in his right hand. The next few photos show the same man bending over the chicken’s body, looking as though he is defeathering the fowl.

Image: Facebook (Joel Lee)

How the man had caught or killed the chicken is not known. 

Lee writes in his post, “So the question is, is it legal?? Will the authorities do something?!”

When asked by the Straits Times, Lee revealed that the culprit was walking near an underpass at Sungei Api Api. 

The man also appeared to know that he was being watched, Lee added. 

As per their nature, netizens quickly began speculating on the possible reasons behind the man’s cruel actions.

Some pointed out that the man may be a foreign worker who was unaware of Singapore’s strict wildlife protection laws and saw the opportunity to catch a free meal for himself.

After all, with the increase in prices of chicken last year due to inflation, why look at the gift horse in the mouth?

NParks Steps In; Investigations are Ongoing

Lee then reported the incident to Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (ACRES) and the National Parks Board (NParks), the latter of which launched an investigation promptly.

NParks group director of parks Chia Seng Jiang, in response to media queries, said that it is an offence under the Parks and Trees Regulations to capture or displace any animal within a public park here without the approval of the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation.

“Carrying out any activity within any public park which one knows or ought reasonably to know may cause injury to, or the death of, any animal or any other organism within any public park is also not permitted. Offenders may be fined up to $5,000.” Mr Chia added.

Mr Chia also urged members of the public not to touch birds such as free-ranging chickens, as they may be carrying several diseases.


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NParks regularly conducts surveillance of birds to monitor and detect diseases, but it will only pose a significant risk to human health if one should “come into contact with them for an extended period of time”, according to Mr Chia.

If exposed to wild animals, including birds, or their waste matter, members of the public should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water

“To ensure food safety, consumers are advised to purchase and consume food products, including poultry, from approved sources only,” concluded Mr Chia.

ACRES co-CEO Anbarasi Boopal also noted that the killing of chickens for food should be done on licensed premises with regulations in place for slaughtering.

“We observed some comments on this case that suggested that the individual may not be aware of local legislation that protects wildlife and animals,” she added.


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Ms Anbu highlighted that they receive 1-2 reports annually on catching wild fowl, emphasising the need to raise public awareness to discourage feeding or catching them in parks.

Concerns were also raised about abandoned pet chickens and the online trade in poultry, in which Ms Anbu hopes measures would be swiftly implemented to cease such actions. 

ACRES had also shared plans to engage and educate workers who come into close contact with Singapore’s wildlife, helping them to be more aware of local legislations and wildlife etiquette.

As of the evening of 20 February 2024, investigations remain ongoing.