Tuesday, 9 February 2010
Whatever happened to the monkeys in the Botanic Gardens?
Blog to Express. The book is wonderful to read and it's very interesting to read not just the news stories of when we were there but also to read what has happened since. I think, within it's pages, lies the answer to the disappearance of all those wonderful monkeys. An entry for 1971 reads: MONKEY SHOOTINGS DRAW CELEBRITY PROTEST 23rd January,1971 Hollywood actress Barbara Werle and three friends staged a picket-line protest outside the Botanic Gardens against the culling of wild monkeys in the park. Police broke up the protest after half an hour. Werle and her friends carried placards which read: 'Please don't shoot the monkeys - feed them!'and 'Save the Apes - take one to dinner. Stop the killing'. She said she was moved to protest after reading a report about the two-day cull in The New Nation, an afternoon paper. In response, the Primary Production Department said the monkeys were a 'vicious and wily' nuisance that threatened public welfare and had to be destroyed. It added that the Botanic Gardens would offer a prize to anyone who could suggest a more practical and humane way to get rid of the pests. So, there you have it. It looks like all those monkeys that we enjoyed feeding nuts and bananas to, all that time ago, were eventually shot. I find this quite sad but I suppose it's what I'd thought had probably happened to them. There seems to have been no place for monkeys in the new, very clean, Singapore. I was reading about someone who had lived in Singapore in the 1960s and had returned in the late 1980s and found much of it unrecognisable. He said that he didn't want to return again because he felt that it would have changed too much since his last visit and he would rather remember it how it was. Perhaps many people feel like that. Singapore today is certainly a very different city to the one that I remember in the 1960s. The book is an excellent read and it solves many other mysteries about disappeared parts of Singapore that I've often wondered about. I shall be including a lot more from its fascinating pages later on in this blog, so keep reading. Thanks again, James, for an excellent book, it's very much appreciated.