ACRES criticises SMRT staff’s handling of monitor lizard found at train depot


Animal Concerns Research & Education Society’s (ACRES) has criticised SMRT staff’s handling of a monitor lizard after a video of staff members extricating the lizard from a train depot started circulating online.

In the video, SMRT staff can be seen prodding the reptile from the undercarriage of a train compartment. Two staff members held down the animal’s head with a metal rod and the handle of a dustpan, following which a third person wrangled the reptile and dragged it away by its tail:

Monitor lizard found in SMRT train depot

WATCH: The moment when a monitor lizard is forced out of an undercarriage of a train at an SMRT depot and dragged away by its tail.

Posted by Channel NewsAsia on Tuesday, 28 November 2017


ACRES deputy chief executive Kalai Balakrishnan asserted to reporters that the handling of the reptile should have been left to experienced wildlife rescue personnel.

He added that besides the chances that the lizard could have been harmed or provoked to the point of injuring someone, the “presence of many people, use of sticks to probe the lizard, dragging of the tail can cause the animal to get very stressed.”

Balakrishnan did, however, acknowledge SMRT staff’s efforts to let the animal go outside and possibly return to it’s natural habitat of drains and canals.

Members of the public who come across such wildlife are advised to call the ACRES wildlife rescue hotline at 9783 7782 and refrain from provoking, harming, or cornering wild animals.


  1. Monitor lizards are harmless. It symbolize luck To some. Just like pigeons. Pigeons are harmless. they symbolize peace and hope. Yet they are badly treated in Singapore. I wonder why Singapore is a country that cannot tolerate even these harmless and helpless creature / animal. Human should co share with other (especially if they are harmless) living beings in peace.

  2. this is NORMAL for SMRT under Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving CONTROL by Ministry of Transport, Singapore because they got no experience in handling wildlife animals….except mai siam mai hum

  3. Acres. Can give guide how to handle while animal ? Not only monitor lizard but others maybe wild boar or others or maybe a tiger. Should we prepare pillow or mattress. Talk cock

  4. By the time the ACRES is being called in, the lizard would have hidden itself again. Where got the time to keep eyes on the lizard and drop everything they are working in due to the presence of the lizard. sigh..

  5. I think there is something wrong here, we should applaud the maintenance guys able to take out the lizard. What happens if the lizard is still in the train when it starts operating. Hell will break loose, injuries, stoppages, etc. Now, who to blame, smrt? maintenance men? management? Who knows the lizard is poison or not, like the kimonos lizards are poison. What is acres? What criticism, you should advises and reach, not to criticize as though the people involved is wrong. You are wrong to criticize.

  6. Acres likes to talk shit these days like as if everyone should know the proper way of handling animals. Maybe can get Acres in to fix the train and let the technician criticise them for the lack of knowledge in train repair.

  7. Let’s put facts into perspective. .the difference between humans and animals. Humans can live among humans. .humans cannot live among animals. For those who choose to live among animals you can move into the jungle. Animals whether harmless or otherwise will create alarm or fear to some children or maybe adults. So they should be get rid of no matter what. How to handle them is a matter of whether they are trained or not. If they are not trained…arena they are able to capture the animal without causing it any harm or injury. is a job well done. ..not many people have the guts to handle animals. ..some just know how to play lip service. In the old days…we just kill it and threw it away…no fuss…but we are more civilised and humane in our ways of dealing with animals.

  8. Cannot totally blame them as this kind of case seldom happen and is better they kill or whatever to the animal before it get struck maybe even causing the train to derail or breakdown.

  9. I applaud their initiative. Where was ACRES when pigeons and wild boars were culled? SMRT STAFF BASHING? GO BASH THE USELESS SMRT MISMANAGEMENT INSTEAD!

  10. ACRES, with all due respect to you being the expert in wildlife, you can comment, but its not right for you to criticise SMRT in handling the monitor lizard, because the SMRT are not expert like you to know how harmless or how aggressive the reptile can be. And they were just reacting the way what most would probably have done, ie holding its tail in that kind of situation.

  11. So now we expect SMRT staff to know how to handle a monitor lizard the way ACRES doesn’t it!?

    Perhaps that’s how we can Singaporeans knowing how to run the train system even though they have absolutely no idea how things work!

  12. No one told them that Lizard was sent there to Monitor their work? It’s a Monitor Lizard…..

    Dragged them off now, next time they will send in the Prefect Lizard!

  13. Well done SMRT guys. Fuck Acres. I’m sure any like minded person/s don’t have any intention to hurt animals. But when it comes to situations like this, we’re dealing with some wild and fierce lizard here.

  14. Id say kudos to the staff for avoiding harming the lizard and from conversation someone were heard saying be gentle , “don’t harm it ‘ in malay. As amateurs they could have been bitten but congrats to all the heroes .

  15. Ridiculous ACRES. Do you know which part of monitor lizard is the most deadliest? I catch them when I was a kid, tail is where you should hold tightly too. Ignorant people are worst than stupid people.

  16. In Singapore if you spot a snake, a monitor lizard, monkey or a wild boar, just call 999. The police will take care of it. Please do not harm them. The reason we have such animals is because we are rich in forestation which is good for the environment and these animals too. Of course, for all I know Singapore has no tiger nor even lions. So don’t be scared! I have seen pythons measuring almost 3-4 meters. Just keep still, they won’t harm you. They come out to look for food. They are scared of humans lah!

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