Pets & Animals

General Information

Spot a wild animal in your neighbourhood and not sure of what to do? These guides provide you with practical advice and the relevant authorities you can contact for help.

If you require more help, contact AVA at 1800-476-1600 or drop us a note through AVA's online feedback form.

Are You a Responsible Pet Owner?

Be a considerate pet owner! Read more on how you can be one in public.

Asian Koels

The Asian Koel is a large cuckoo bird that is a protected species under the Wild Animals and Birds Act. It is more often heard than seen, especially during its breeding season with its distinctively loud, repetitive ku-oo calls. Some people might be inconvenienced and affected by the calls of the Asian Koel.

The AVA is working with NParks, NEA and premise managements to prune trees, and remove crows’ nests (as Asian Koels lay their eggs within crows' nests) and food sources to discourage Asian Koels from roosting in residential areas.

If the calls of the Asian Koels in your vicinity bother you, contact AVA or seek help from your town council or condominium management.

For more information on Asian Koels, read about it here.

Koel (Female)


Bats are shy and will usually not attack humans unless they feel threatened or are attacked. You are advised to leave bats alone if they enter your property. They will usually fly off after feeding. To discourage bats from visiting your property, install bright outdoor lights as they prefer dark places.

For more information on encounters with bats, read about it here.

Bat - Noel Thomas

Living in Harmony with Cats in your Neighbourhood

Stray cats, also known as community cats, live in our environment. These cats are generally wary of people and other animals. However, some have become used to human interaction through the efforts of responsible care giving.

Read more on "Living with cats in your neighbourhood": 

Stray cat


Civets are shy and will stay out of sight. However, if you do see them, refrain from touching or chasing them as they will attack when provoked or cornered. To avoid attracting civets, keep all cat and dog food safely indoors.

For more information on encounters with civets, read about it here.

Civet - Noel Thomas


In Singapore, crows are regarded as a nuisance because of their cawing and droppings. Crows can turn hostile especially when you are near their young. To prevent crows from gathering and roosting in your neighbourhood, keep the area free of food litter. Do not leave trash bags outside your garbage bin because crows easily tear apart these bags in their search for food.

For more information on encounters with hostile or nuisance crows, read about it here.

Crow - Nicholas Tan

Monitor Lizards

Monitor lizards in Singapore can grow to 3 metres long. While monitor lizards kill their prey with their venom, this venom only has a mild effect on humans. Monitor lizards are shy. Do not, however, touch or chase them as they will attack when provoked or cornered. If bitten, see a doctor immediately because the bite can become infected.

For more information on encounters with monitor lizards, read about it here.

Monitor Lizard - Noel Thomas


With urbanisation, some monkeys are drawn out of the forest and may visit your homes to explore or look for food. Feeding monkeys do not help them in any way. Learn how to minimise contact with them by managing your refuse, keeping food out of sight, and monkey-proof your home.

For more information on encounters with monkeys, read about it here.

Monkey - Jayasri Srikantan Lakshminarayanan


Otters are generally shy and will move away when approached. However, like most wild animals, otters will protect themselves and their young if they get cornered and cannot escape. As such, if you encounter an otter, please do not touch, chase or corner it. Instead, observe from afar.

For more information on encounters with otters, read about it here.

Otters (photo credit - Max Khoo)


Pangolins are highly endangered animals. These shy anteaters are threatened by the loss of their natural habitats and are poached widely for their meat and scales. Do not be alarmed if you see a pangolin. Do not chase or try to corner it as this will frighten it.

If you spot any poaching or illegal trading in pangolins taking place, gather as much information as you can and call AVA, the National Parks Board or the police.

For more information on encounters with pangolins, read about it here.

Pangolin - Chan Kwok Wai


Pigeons are a problem because their droppings stain homes and public amenities. They can also spread diseases to humans. In Singapore, you can be fined up to S$500 for feeding pigeons. If you have a problem with pigeons in your neighbourhood or home, contact your town council or estate manager. You can also hire a pest control company.

For more information on encounters with nuisance pigeons, please refer to the following:


Common Pigeon - Alan Owyong

Should Dogs be Leashed and Muzzled?

Pet owners are required by law to leash dog(s) in public places. Read more here. 


Stay calm if you spot a snake and do not attack it. If the snake is in a room inside your home, take children and pets away from that room and close all the doors and windows except those that lead outside. This is to allow the snake to escape outdoors.

If the snake is in an open area, cover it with a heavy blanket or towel. Place heavy things around the edge of the blanket or towel so that the snake cannot get out and then go and get help.

For more information on encounters with snakes, read about it here. You may also wish to download SG Snakes, a mobile app fully funded by the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund.

Snake - Noel Thomas

Understanding Dogs' Body Language

Learning how to read a dog's body language may allow a better understanding of a dog's possible aggression and predict what it is likely to do. Although not every dog behaves in the same way, here are some illustrations on what an aggressive dog could be like, and what you can do when you encounter it. 



Why do Dogs Bark?

Dogs bark to communicate. It is important to understand the cause of their barking. Read more on why dogs bark and how to lessen the noise: 



Wild Boars

Wild boars are unpredictable animals and can be dangerous. Their teeth can inflict serious injuries. Female wild boars, especially, are dangerous when protecting their young.

If you come across a wild boar, keep a safe distance from it. Do not try to feed it. Move away slowly. Do not provoke it by taking a photograph with the flashlight turned on.

For more information on encounters with wild boars, read about it here.

Wild Boar - Jonathan Ngiam

Your Chance Meeting with Stray Dogs

Stray dogs live in the open and do not have homes. They may be seen roving in packs, foraging for food and looking for shelter. Most of the stray dogs are scared of humans and are quick to stay out of your way or they may approach and sniff you. 

Read more about "What you can do when you encounter stray dogs": 



Back to Top LAST UPDATED ON Thursday, November 08, 2018
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