Animals

Deer once thought extinct in S’pore in the 1940s dies in Mandai Road accident

Third reported accident in 2018. Last sighting in the wild was in August 2018.

A rare Sambar deer died Tuesday evening (Dec 18) in an accident involving a motorcycle along Mandai Road. The motorcyclist escaped with minor abrasions.

The accident was first reported on Facebook by the Nature Society Singapore group. According to the post, the accident occurred at around 7.20pm.

Source: Nicholas Chung

Source: Nicholas Chung

Deer thought extinct in 1940s; unclear on actual population numbers today

Straits Times once reported (link removed) that the Sambar deer became extinct in Singapore by the 1940s, due to poaching and habitats destruction.

In 2015, Nature Society (Singapore) said:

“Sambar deer sightings have been reported for a number of years now. It has been known that they frequent the Mandai part of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and has been reported as far south as Bukit Brown cemetery. The origin of this herd is not determined yet and the sambar deer population here is also not clear – possibly in the 20s.”

Here’s a map of Mandai Road. The area is near the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari.

In 2010, six Sambar deers escaped from the Night Safari. All were caught in the same year.

Just recently on August 2018, Youtube user Fayze and his friend Raziq spotted a pair of Sambar deer (believed to be male and female) roaming in the wild near Mandai Road.

Sambar deer probably swam from Johor?

Sambar deers are among the largest of Southeast Asia’s deer and they are great swimmers. The animal can easily swim with its body fully submerged and only its head above water.(reference)

It is therefore not surprising if the deer swam across from Johor into Singapore. In fact, the river stream near Mandai Road links directly to the sea right across the Johor zoo as seen in the map below:

But of course, this theory is not conclusive.

Third reported accident in 2018 – all happened at Mandai Road

The accident on Tuesday is the 3rd case so far this year.

In June 2018, a wild Sambar deer had to be put down due to severe injuries sustained in a 3-vehicle accident on the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE), near Mandai Rd.

In February 2018, another Sambar deer died after it was hit by a vehicle.

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