SINGAPORE: Despite the best efforts of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES), a young Sambar deer succumbed to severe malnourishment caused by days of being trapped in a Bukit Timah drain and died after being rescued on Tuesday (6 June)
ACRES co-CEO Kalai Vanan said that the animal welfare group received a call for assistance on Tuesday morning (June 6) and immediately responded to the scene, where it found an emaciated Sambar deer. The animal was so skeletal that it was unable to even walk independently.
ACRES staff provided rehydration and attempted to stabilize the young animal’s condition, but unfortunately, the deer passed away shortly after the rescue attempt.
Mr Kalai Vanan said that it was unusual to find a Sambar deer in a drain, considering that the area is far from their natural habitat and separated by an expressway.
ACRES speculates that the deer may have fallen from a different location, become trapped, and subsequently wandered through the underground drainage system before emerging in the distant drain.
The sambar deer population in Singapore is critically endangered, with less than 20 in the local forests, as estimated by the Nature Society (Singapore).
These creatures are among the largest deer species globally, second only to elk in size. Male sambar deer, which are bigger than the females, can reach heights of up to two meters and weigh up to 260 kilograms.
While sambar deer sightings have been reported in the Mandai area, the incident involving the trapped deer highlights the challenges they may face due to habitat loss and deforestation. Efforts to conserve and protect these rare animals are critical to their survival.
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