SINGAPORE: A lively commotion unfolded at a pastry stall as a wild monkey took center stage, boldly helping itself to sandwiches and red tortoise cakes (ang ku kueh).
Tranquility was shattered at the Punggol Bus Interchange as the pastry stall faced an unexpected disturbance, caused by an audacious macaque.
The monkey fearlessly seize sandwiches and red tortoise cakes, relishing its loot right in the vicinity.
The incident, which occurred on a Monday (7 Aug) close to 11 am was promptly captured and shared by vigilant netizens.
In the video, the female stall owner can be seen holding a box of pastries with a smile, but the monkeys were unwilling to take them.
However, the monkey had other plans, defying reluctance and helping itself to nearby delicacies.
Among its acquisitions was an Ang Ku Kueh, also referred to as a Red Tortoise Cake – a cherished traditional Chinese oval-shaped pastry.
With a sprightly leap from the table, the monkey distanced itself a few steps away from the stall, revealing an eager intent to relish its loot.
Employing its teeth, the monkey adroitly opened the plastic box. It then selected a kueh, skillfully removed the leaf wrapping, and proceeded to peel the red skin before indulging in the delectable fillings.
As the monkey savored its feast, it also garnered the attention of numerous onlookers.
Monkeys possibly ventured into public spaces due to the loss of natural habitats
As reported by the Chinese media outlet Lianhe Zaobao, Mr Fu, the husband of the female stall owner (aged 60, a technician), recounted that his wife was occupied at the time. It was only when a customer alerted her that she became aware of a monkey entering the stall from behind.
“During the incident, my wife tried to shoo it away, but it was unresponsive. It boldly took away sandwiches and red tortoise cakes.”
“In the past, there were plentiful forests here, but were cleared for development. The monkeys might have ventured into public spaces due to the loss of their natural habitats, ” Mr Fu said.
An unnamed bus station employee noted that this was the first instance of monkey sightings they’d encountered. He expressed the wish that other monkey groups would not learn from this incident and start frequenting the area.
“With numerous students and passengers present, there’s the potential for harm.”
Not the first incident of monkey thievery
Instances of monkey theft have occurred in Singapore before.
In February of this year, a family residing in Punggol East reported monkeys entering their second-story flat through open windows in their absence. The monkeys took their food and left behind a mess.
In July of the previous year, residents of Punggol East raised concerns about macaques attempting to enter homes in their neighborhood, causing damage to property.
In June 2022, a group of over 10 macaques boldly stole bread and bananas from several shops in Block 658 at Punggol East.
The public urged to avoid feeding monkeys
According to the National Park Board (NParks), the long-tailed macaque is inherently curious and may explore residential homes or seek food.
However, NParks emphasizes that members of the public should refrain from feeding monkeys or any other wildlife they come across. Doing so diminishes the creatures’ natural inclination to forage in their forest habitat.
This action can lead to lasting consequences, as macaques play a role in seed dispersal by consuming fruits that naturally grow in the forest.
The seeds are more likely to germinate and thrive due to the nutrients present in the monkeys’ excrement.
Furthermore, if individuals encounter a monkey at home or outdoors, they are advised to remain composed and avoid making direct eye contact.