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Feeding wildlife endangers hikers

28 Jul 2020 / 02:08 H.

    DURING my usual hikes up Bukit Kledang in Ipoh, there is usually a sense of calmness and a sense of security since many people are walking up and down the hill without feeling threatened even though there is proximity to wildlife to a certain degree.

    One could see monkeys walking along the roads and jumping from tree to tree.

    Lately, such calmness and security were threatened when a troop of monkeys gathered around part of the hilly road.

    They attempted to attack me as I was climbing the hill, and I was lucky there was a car nearby and the driver asked me to get in.

    He told me he was also chased earlier.

    As I investigated further, I was told that an individual had provided some food to these monkeys earlier and they were gathering around due to this reason. As I walked further I realise there were no signboards along the hilly road stating that food is prohibited to wildlife.

    Troops of monkeys tend to gather when food is provided.

    Therefore, the Association for Community and Dialogue urges the local authorities to put up more signboards along the hilly roads and elsewhere at Bukit Kledang to ensure there is no contact between wildlife and hikers.

    Heavy fines should be imposed on those who defy rules.

    There is also a need for constant patrolling by local authorities.

    It is hoped that the authorities would act with a sense of urgency to protect hikers and also tourists from other states who visit Bukit Kledang during their stay in Ipoh.

    Ronald Benjamin

    Secretary

    Association for Community and Dialogue

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