5 March, 2024

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A Tale Of Two Incidents: One, In Orchard Road In Singapore; The Other, In Israel/ Palestine – An Analogy

By A. Sivapathasundaram

A. Sivapathasundaram

Crows Attack People Along Orchard Road; The Attack [Hamas fighters launch a surprise attack on southern Israel]

Crows suddenly swooped down and attacked unsuspecting pedestrians walking on the Orchard Road in Singapore. There was a spate of attacks within a short time span, targeting mostly those who were unaware, and catching them off guard, chasing them even when they dodged. People were taken aback by the suddenness and the ferocity of the attacks.

Taking off from the vantage point of lamp posts and street signs, the birds swooped in from behind the victims, grazing their shoulders with their talons and pecking at their necks and ears. 

After the attack, they retired to a particular tree close to the road. So vicious were the avian assailants that people were left bleeding.   

Crows have made similar headlines several times before. In the past, an aggressive colony in another area was culled after a rash of complaints from those who were attacked. 

Responses 

Response 1: [Israel Authorities]

Following the attacks, the National Parks Board (NParks) of Singapore has taken a range of measures, including trapping the birds, removing nests and sources of food in the area, modifying their habitats, setting up barriers to cordon off the area, and culling, to prevent similar incidents, and to manage the population of crows. 

NParks officers also set up barriers to cordon off the area.

But the avian suspected to be responsible for menacing Orchard Road pedestrians remain free. 

NParks director said the organisation has begun carrying out population control measures, including crow trapping and surveying the area to detect the presence of nests or fledglings. The birds will eventually be euthanised. He noted that the house crows are an invasive species that are not native to Singapore.

“NParks will continue to survey the area to closely monitor the crows in the area for aggressive behaviour, and the Mall’s building management was advised to implement measures to protect the public. National Parks conducts estate-wide crow nest surveillance periodically and works with councils to remove these nests on a regular basis to minimise crew attack occurrences” he said.

“The public can mitigate the ills of overpopulation by not feeding birds and disposing of food scraps properly”, he added. 

The people were also warned to be extra careful when passing by Orchard Central and from getting too close to the vicinity. A sign saying “beware of crows” was also put up. 

Response 2 [Supporters of Palestine]

Some put forward the view that the crows were protecting their nest in one of the trees in the area. They only harass to protect their nests and attack the passers-by who got too close to the tree where they roosted, they argued. 

CEO of Acres, speaking about the phenomenon of crow attacks, explained that while the crow attacks may seem scary for many, it is important to understand why they behaved this way. They behave in such a manner because they are particularly protective of their young, both chicks and fledglings. When the adult crows sense that their young are threatened, they may attack.

Response 3 [Supporters of Israel]

One person felt that the situation at Orchard Central was not safe for people walking past. A stall owner at a coffee shop said that she fears being the next victim of the crows. “I don’t dare to walk along that path towards the coffee shop as long as the crows are still there”, she said.

The Bird Group Chair of Nature Society (Singapore) said that the population of crows should be managed as they pose a threat not only to people but also a threat to native species. He pointed out that these winged aliens are known to prey on the native plover, a critically endangered bird. He discouraged people to fight back after being attacked by crows because they are very intelligent animals that will remember your face if you retaliate. He advised members of the public to wear a hat or hold an umbrella to protect themselves from the crows.

Response 4 [Human Rights]

The actions drew a strong reaction from animal conservation and welfare groups and sparked a fierce debate. 

Some urged that it must be ensured that crow population control is carried out in a humane and safe manner.

Some others said that the methods adopted should be science-based and internationally accepted methods of trapping. 

One middle-aged Caucasian woman was seen taking issue with NParks’ attempts to trap the birds. Describing their actions as “not humane”, she asked the officers how they would feel if they were in the crows’ shoes, as the birds were simply trying to protect their offspring.

Response 5 [Ordinary People]

One passer-by said that the public has no right to say whether the birds should live or die. “It is better to left to the professionals” he said.

And some others urged that people must think about the fledglings, the young chicks.

Some argued that we must live together [that the wise solution is two well-defined states and Jerusalem with a special status].

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Latest comments

  • 5
    2

    The Sri Lankan Tamils are in the same plight as the crows Of Orchard Road in Singapore. They failed to achieve what they wanted to keep their nest safe. The fighting crows were shot and killed by their kith/kin from India and their so-called friends from the West. Today the Dragon from China is at the gates of North and East Sri Lanka. India is trying to open its eyes with Sunglasses failing to see the real danger to the Crow Attacker- India. If not for the CROWS India will stink to the high heavens.

    • 1
      8

      Today the Dragon…is at the gates of North and East Sri Lanka.
      India crossed the gates in 1987. What happened next?
      Indian drag net trawlers are robbing our marine wealth. OK, as long as it is not the Chinese I guess?

      • 1
        0

        Hello SJ,

        One Terma Scanter Radar and some Networking etc. could protect Sri Lanka’s Northern EEZ area. If the Government finally decides whose back pockets are to be filled and get themselves in gear for developing Sri Lankan Oil and Gas, then they could well afford a couple of the Radars and the associated ancillary equipment (towers and buildings etc.) to protect the Fishing and the Oil and Gas. I speak from experience – https://www.terma.com/products/radars/coastal-surveillance/
        Best Regards

  • 3
    6

    Ha! ….Lol! Great analogy! Let’s ask that Caucasian woman about Gaza, shall we? typical…..typical…..Let’s see if her perceived Maslow self-actualizations skills hold up at a broader level.

    • 4
      1

      Good Morning – or not,

      Looks like the Israelis have resumed the destruction of Gaza at 10:30 a.m. Sri Lanka time, sorry Champa your optimism was misplaced.
      Looks like the crows will be taken care of by completing obliterating their habitat and any means of sustenance for any lifeforms in the area.
      I hope I am wrong and the USA will stop Israel now from completing this Genocide of the Palestinians.
      Best Regards

      • 2
        7

        “Looks like the crows will be taken care of by completing obliterating their habitat and any means of sustenance for any lifeforms in the area”
        This is sick!

        • 2
          8

          LS
          Sorry to see that you are repeating the analogy characteristic of a sick mind.

          • 3
            0

            Oh, come on SJ, LS was speaking cynically as per AS’s analogy on crows (crows obviously analogous with the Palestinians who have been chased from their natural habitats and are angry….and now Israel is going to completely wipe them out). He did say “I hope I am wrong and the USA will stop Israel now from completing this Genocide of the Palestinians.”

            • 0
              2

              ““I hope I am wrong and the USA will stop Israel now from completing this Genocide of the Palestinians.””
              That does not take the sting out of the ‘crow’ analogy, which has certain unkind linguistic connatations in Tamil.

          • 1
            6

            LS & author
            Can you name one country that has been rid of crows by cutting down trees and destroying nests?
            Crows are far cleverer as a community than any group of politicians.

          • 3
            0

            Hello SJ,
            The word is facile, not sick, for the author’s allusion – Sri Lankans seem to like allusions, analogies and metaphors. Did you not see the Israeli Defence Minister’s comment about fighting “human animals”. Try to recognise my use of sarcasm in repeating the author’s terminology. I also referred to Champa in my comment – please read what I replied on the 28th November in the article “It Is Not War But Ceasefire That Is Freeing Hostages & Prisoners”. I predicted exactly what the Israelis would do.
            In 1967, at the age of 14, I was the only one in my class of 30 to denounce the Israeli theft of the Palestinian/Jordanian and Egyptian lands. Call it occupation, self-defence or whatever, to me it was theft and murder. Oh and don’t mention the Israeli bombing of the USS Liberty ship!
            To be continued

            • 3
              0

              Continued
              In the early fifties my father spent time in Egypt and Libya as a British Soldier and saw first hand the discriminatory treatment by the British Government and troops. My 2nd Gt Grandfather (93rd Highlanders) saw the same treatment by the Russians against the Tatars in Crimea. He also took part in the storming of the Secunderabagh, Lucknow, India 16 November 1857 and witnessed the atrocities committed by both sides ignoring that India was also an occupied country. The intentional killing of civilians is a War Crime and given proven intent would also be Genocide. Will the USA (as the only ones that have any influence) stop this Genocide?
              Best Regards

              • 1
                5

                LS
                Thank you for the bit of family history, interesting, but not quite pertinent to the point that I raised.
                It was about an analogy in very bad taste.
                Sorry to note that it does not seem to matter to you very much, for I expected better from you.

                • 3
                  0

                  Hello SJ
                  Children, women, the elderly and grown men are dying horrible deaths at the hands of the Israelis and you are worried about an analogy in bad taste. In the words of my friend Drew from Hull “what planet are you on?”
                  Best Regards

                  • 0
                    2

                    An analogy in bad taste is an analogy in bad taste.
                    The author used it with a different motive to what you now claim.
                    I was sorry that you used it without much thought.
                    *
                    Sometimes home truths appear to come from another planet, when there is no good defence.

  • 1
    0

    very funny. but the difference today from in the past is that different social media etc is not allowing just the authorities and the MSM versions anymore. It is pretty clear that all the garbage that was fed to us in the past by the Media and Hollywood is just propaganda.

    I think all that they want to do is to make all the crows go settle in Malaysia or Indonesia so that it will no longer be the problem of the authorities but they forget to realise that the crows will settle where they will and do not take instruction well

    • 1
      3

      a14455
      Nature does not respond the way a man draws a gun.
      Its revenge is slow but certain and in fair measure to the harm done by man.
      Check if Singapore has really got rid of crows?
      BTW
      Singapore has a pretty serious pigeon menace.
      Any thoughts from crow haters?

  • 2
    0

    SJ
    You said elswhere.
    “Champa
    The Hamas attack was not against civilian targets. The number of military casualties and captives should tell you something.
    You too rely on the mainstream media.”
    .
    SJ
    My comment referred to the attack at a bus stop at Jerusalem on November 30, 2023 killing civilians. Hamas claimed they did it.

    • 1
      0

      C
      If you are referring to a brutal response to over ten thousands of killings and demolition of most of urban Gaza to place Hamas on par with IAF, you should be more careful.

  • 4
    1

    This analogy is interesting and perhaps best served to take a shot at western animal welfare attitudes, but a big miss nonetheless. The reactions to a human-animal conflict have been compared to that to a human-human conflict.

    Human Rights and Animal Rights (and ethics thereof) have never been equitable and never will be.

    Human advancements have been at the expense of countless fauna (and flora). We build our villages, towns, cities, transportation networks, farmlands, petroleum fields, industrial zones, and just about everything else by directly or indirectly destroying habitats.

    Isn’t it hypocritical that we want to take the high road and run to the defense of crows in a Singapore neighbourhood?

    And is the plight of the Palestinians analogous to that of the crows at the Orchard Road in Singapore!?

    • 1
      3

      Animal welfare activists do protest at such cruelty, and there is no hypocrisy in it, even if one may dispprove.

      • 0
        1

        In absolute terms, it is hypocrisy and they do vacillate.

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