The air can be so pure and refreshing after the rain. Its time too for some candid pictures.
Archive for January, 2009
Jack the wild boar – 28. January, 2009
This is Jack. This wild boar was a piglet when it was injured and rescued about 14 years ago. Today, Jack’s growing tusk is about poke into its cheeks, causing lots of discomfort. Its about time for it to be cut.
Update: 9 February 2009. Jack should be happier now. It was sedated before several volunteers were able to hold it still before cutting its tusks.
Some visitors felt that Jack should be returned back to the wild. Its too domesticated for that now. Ubin lovers remember Priscilla, the female boar at Chek Jawa.
Photo courtesy of Wild Shores of Singapore
You can see Jack at “Orchid Farm”, 180 meters south of Maman beach. Make sure you collect lots of rubber seeds from the rubber trees nearby that area. Jack loves them.
Here is a link of another picture of Jack by Thomas Hoven. We all shared his feelings of Ubin.
Turtles, tortoises and terrapins – 25. January, 2009
Sometimes you might come across turtles far away from water sources. These are actually terrapins.
How to tell turtles, tortoises and terrapins apart.
1. Turtles have webbed feet for swimming. They live mostly in the water.
2. Tortoises feet are round and stumpy for walking on land. They live on the land.
3. Terrapins have clawed feet. They live both on land and in water.
The word terrapin comes from an Indian word meaning ” a little turtle”.
I found one while cycling in Ubin. I put it in a disused fishing net and released it back to the quarry lake.
There were 3 separate encounters after that. One on the mainland by the side a road. Looks like these creatures have a wanderlust during mating season.
Animal rescues – 25. January, 2009
Ubin can be a unforgiving place for animals. There are thoughtless people who set wire snares to trap them. I have freed birds and monitor lizards from their traps. Sometimes Ubin residents would ask me to help their dogs who are injured. The Negasunt powder from Bayer is very effective against maggot wounds. They cost about $10 each and comes in a small plastic bottle through which powder is squeezed out. I would gave them away, knowing that the lives of many dogs have been saved. (Negasunt should not be used on cats however).
How to apply. Leash the dog if possible, otherwise distract the dog with food. Invert the bottle and shake the powder towards the bottle opening, bring it close to the wound and give a quick squeeze. The dog may be startled and move away. Attempt again until the wound is covered with powder. Repeat a few days later.
Here is the story of GI Jane. She was named GI because of her sheer will to live.
GI Jane has an eye wound several days old. It was so bad that there is no tissue around her eyeball which is rolling in her socket. We mounted a rescue the next day. The distressed pooch was brought over to the mainland for treatment. The vet examined her eyes and informed us that there is nothing he can do. Maggots have eaten right into her skull and she needs to be put down to end her suffering.
By a twist of fate, Mohan who is a seasoned animal rescuer decided to nurse her back to health despite the near impossible odds.
GI Jane is now with PetVilla, a no-kill shelter. She looked none the worse after her near tragic experience.
Ticks infestation is also another problem I have to deal with often. The jungle is full of these bloodsuckers especially during wet seasons. Its so bad that ticks bloated with blood dropped off like popcorn just by brushing over the fur. In such environment ticks cannot be eradicated but can be minimized. For this I use carbaryl powder which is sold under the brand name Sevin. Its cheap and highly effective. I would dust the dogs and they and their sleeping areas would be free of ticks within a week.
Pulau Ubin dogs tend to be medium size with friendly temperament. Sometimes visitors see them as unwanted strays. Dogs can be highly intelligent if you read this interesting article on Moscow’s metro strays.