By 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.
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].