Don’t release animals into the wild on Vesak Day

Do not release animals into the wild this Vesak Day — that’s a reminder from the National Parks Board (NParks).

This year’s Vesak Day falls on Saturday.

NParks said it is working with volunteers to carry out “Operation No Release” in the nature reserves and reservoirs this weekend.

They will keep a lookout for any case of animal release and will educate and advise members of the public on the harm of releasing animals into the wild.

NParks director of conservation Wong Tuan Wah said: “We would like to appeal to the public not to release animals into the wild as it means sending them to their deaths.

“As some of these animals are usually kept as pets, they are not likely to survive as they are not used to the surroundings and are not able to cope in the wild. If these animals carry viruses, they will also affect other native wildlife.”

Meanwhile, Buddhist Fellowship president Angie Chew Monksfield said: “We should be compassionate and considerate to animals both in captivity as well as in the wild as releasing certain animals could threaten those in the wild.

“It would be more beneficial to reduce our meat intake all year round than simply releasing animals during Vesak as this could also encourage vendors to increase the supply of animals for this very purpose.”

To complement efforts of the operation, NParks is partnering volunteers and students from CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace to conduct an outreach ambassador session at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve on 19 May, from 9am to noon.

The session aims to educate and advise the public against releasing animals into Singapore’s reserves and nature areas.

This article was first published in CNA