Two leopard cats rescued from a flat in Singapore to be returned to Malaysia

I am glad these two leopard cats seized from a flat in Singapore will be returned to Malaysia.

Two of the leopard cats on the way to their new home. Photo by Anbarasi Boopal / ACRES.

They were kept illegally and rescued following a tip-off in July 2018. DNA analyses confirmed they were not from Singapore. Instead they matched with known Malaysian animals.

This process highlights the key roles of wildlife groups, including wildlife rescue by ACRES: Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Singapore), government agencies (then AVA and NParks), and zoo (Wildlife Reserves Singapore) working together to fight wildlife crime and care for the animals.

Also, local biodiversity research was necessary to determine these leopard cats were not from Singapore (well done Tekong, Western Catchment and Central Catchment leopard cats!). The genetic work was done by a government lab and results were compared with Singapore leopard cat DNA sequences.

I feel the $500 fine seems light for the trouble caused. The staff hours, genetic testing, husbandry costs, and prosecution work probably adds up to thousands of dollars. Plus, the trauma these animals have to endure cannot be compensated.

The illegal wildlife trade is harmful to the environment, where the population and ecology are affected, and it hurts the welfare of the animals involved. I hope animal lovers are aware and do not support it.

Do not harm wildlife by taking them from the wild. Photo by Anbarasi Boopal / ACRES.

Chandra, A. 2020. 2 endangered Asian leopard cats rescued from HDB flat to be returned to wild in Malaysia. Today. <>

ST Forum letter: Benefits of having wildlife in our midst

Read the local Sunday paper’s (Sunday Times) commentary on 13 Apr 2014 about the coexistence of wildlife with humans in urban areas in India and North America, and was inspired to reply with a local perspective. The paper has a listed average circulation of 449,200 and a readership of 1.43 million, so I figured it could be a nice way to reach some of the english paper-reading populace.

So armed with an opinion, I got active with a word processor. Had to slip in a reference to the leopard cat of course. After some professional editing, this ensued and was published on the Sunday Times 20 Apr 2014:

The published letter. Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited.

The published letter. Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited.

Hopefully the letter would lend a little voice to carnivorans and other wildlife in Singapore.