Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hey, Hey, We're The Monkees: Wild Things Visit Us

Wildlife in Singapore

There has been many wild-life sightings in Singapore lately. Monitor lizards are common and a grass snake slithered into our kitchen some time ago.  Also crocodiles have been seen at reservoirs and lately boars (image 3) roam freely on certain roads. * "Here we come, walking down the street, We get the funniest looks from everyone we meet."

1. Monkey at our neighbour's balcony. Is it the long-tailed macaque?
Mr Hornbill

We live in an area where we have wild things visiting our apartments and knocking on our doors. My posting about a hornbill a few months ago was a pleasant one because it came when our glass doors leading out to the balcony were shut, so we managed to enjoy the company of the huge bird within touching distance because we were separated by the glass partition (image 2). But my next door neighbours were not so lucky. "You know that we want to, Do what we like to do, The only time we get restless, Is around something new."

2. A hornbill at my balcony.
Mr Monkey

A few weeks ago these neighbours, who lived across the corridor, had the naughtiest wild thing visit the kitchen.  The apartment was on the same floor but it was facing the dense shrubs, bushes and trees within the little urban jungle.  One afternoon without warning or waiting an adult monkey, with a very long tail, came into their kitchen after accessing the drain-pipes outside the apartment. 

According to our neighbour it grabbed the bunch of bananas on the cabinet, messed the floor with banana-skins and settled on the balcony with a packet of its favourite peanuts in hand (image 1).  Peanut skin and slices of bread were later found scattered all over the car-park, thrown down from another apartment from the 13th floor by the same monkey. "Hey, hey, we're the monkees, And people say we monkey around, But we're too busy singing, To put anybody down."

3. Boars At Peirce Singapore.
So to keep these creatures at bay, the drain-pipes had barbed wires coiled around them. Then a trap was set and an orange placed in the cage. Looking at it I realised that it would be near impossible for our nimble relatives to be caught as these were intelligent ones that were born and bred in Singapore :-). We found out later that the monkeys went up the apartments again despite the barbed wires.

Mr n Mrs Human

Meanwhile residents that included elder folks, maids with children and babies got about their daily business.  After some days the monkeys were still around.  "Anytime or anywhere, just look over your shoulder, Because we'll be standing there. Hey, hey, we're the monkees, And people say we monkey around, But we're too busy singing, To put anybody down."

We have been told not to mind them i.e. they will leave us alone if we  do likewise. I am not too sure about that. My two young nieces aged 6 and 8 had their food packets snatched from them when they were walking at MacRitchie Reservoir with their grandmother. The children were traumatised by the ordeal as the monkeys scooted away. Local newspapers have reported similar incidents.

It's been some time now since the monkey(s) were caught but there's been no news about our nimble friends. Hopefully the organisation in charge will round them up quickly.  We are keeping our windows and doors tightly shut, always alert for the appearance of other wild things. 

#"Wild thing... you make my heart sing... You make everything, Groovy, I said wild thing..., Wild thing, I think I love you, But I wanna know for sure, Come on, hold me tight, I love you, Wild make my heart sing..., You make everything, Groovy, I said wild thing..., Wild thing, I think you move me, But I wanna know for sure, So come on, hold me tight,You move me.

I am not sure about holding them tight.  No ^empowering, psychologically astute parable about a child and his anger here but the reality of having monkeys and other wild things around can be very stressful.

Can wild things be found in your area? Tell us.

 (Singapore has roughly: 60 species of mammals, 365 species of  birds, 107 types of reptiles, 28 species of amphibians and 1193 types of plants Wildlife in Singapore: Wikipedia).


*All line quotes from: Hey, Hey We're The Monkees, lyrics from  TV Series, The Monkees (1966) Album by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart.

#Wild Thing, (1965) by Chip Taylor is made famous by The Troggs in 1966.

^Where The Wild Things Are: The Psychology Behind Maurice Sendak's Classic by Mikaela Conley (ABC News).

Image One: from neighbour.

Image Two: from Andy Lim Collection.

Other images: Google.

Crocodile and monitor lizard pictures were taken in Singapore.

                                We're The Monkees from: zazzaz99

Images: Personal ones and from Google too.


Subramaniam Ramanan said...

"Once or twice they come inside my shop and sometimes they sit inside. We have to chase (them away). Other times, they snatch when people buy our takeaways. Sometimes they disturb the dustbins, take out all the rubbish and throw it out. We closed the dustbins and tie it with a string. That is how we make sure we don't leave food for them."

Jacqueline Marshall said...

"Well, I wish something could be done about them because they seem to have multiplied since we have lived here. My first experience was when they came inside my kitchen and took some candy, and quickly shot out and proceeded to open and eat the candy. They have been next door, taken eggs, taken the inhaler, and they have been seen with Tiger beer cans."

Similar Website as above.

Louis Ng said...

"The root of the problem is that now there is a food source for monkeys that is away from the forest. They realise now they can raid our bins to get food from there, it is easy food. Second thing is, people have been feeding them, so we've altered the monkey's behaviour quite significantly."

Similar Website as above.

Andy Lim* said...

Above postings from CNA Singapore.

THE TROGGS said...

The Troggs were early rockers with chart topping songs such as the "Caveman Rock". They also wrote pop and ballads and were part of the British Invasion of rock music in the 1960s.

jjlinert said...

RIP to a talented soul who brought happiness and humor to people who need it badly!

"We're too busy singing to put anybody down... we got something to say..."

Simple words but should be a motto for many.


"Sendak's giant monster characters are iconic. While they are described as scary in the book, their faces and lumbering frames make them appear almost jovial. You can almost feel the room shake when you watch them cavort in the forest. Max and his new friends dance and cavort through six pages of some of the most whimsical, enchanting, and unique artwork in children's literature."

A RESIDENT said...

"Monkeys are terrible. They really mess up the kitchen."

RESIDENT 2 said...

"We have children here."

RESIDENT 3 said...

"Traps don't work. Monkeys are too smart to be lured by the orange."


"It has been a terrible and traumatic week for many residents in our estate, especially those residents who have had close encounters with the monkeys entering their units and grabbing whatever food they could find in the kitchens."


Singapore has a surprisingly diverse wildlife despite its rapid urbanisation. Most of the fauna that has remained exists in various nature reserves such as the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.[1]


A few months ago, a bat flew into my hse. It was flying and knocking onto walls. I was wondering how and where it came from, luckily my husband managed to let it flew out of the window. Gosh...luckily kids already slept if not I can't imagine how the whole scene will be.

Andy Lim* said...

Thanks Doris for comment. I guess it's the children we are afraid for because they just hurt so easily and might be badly traumatised.

JAMES KWOK said...

Reg Presley (12/6/1941 – 4/2/2013) was the lead singer with The Troggs, whose best known hit was "Wild Thing". He also wrote the song "Love Is All Around" which was featured in the movie "Four Weddings and a Funeral".

Andy Lim* said...

Thanks James for your information. Didn't know he's the same chap.