Singapore

“Let It Go”: Video of a man swinging an endangered eagle in East Coast Park causes concern

People gathered on the shore as they watched a fisherman roll in a large catch in East Coast Park.

In the excitement of the moment, however, they might not have realized whether carrying an eagle-ray — an endangered species — was the right thing to do.

Last Friday (May 28) a video clip of the incident was posted on Facebook showing a red man pulling his fishing rod decisively against an invisible fish in the water for almost three minutes.

Three more people helped him as they pulled the fishing line, with one of them impaling a hook on the eagle’s head before dragging him along the shore.

While about ten spectators were heard exclaiming when they saw what was at the end of the fishing line, many netizens expressed concern about what happened to the sea animal.

One Facebook user stated, “Please let it go,” while another said the video was “painful to watch.” Several others identified the eagle ray and noted that it was an endangered species.

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According to The Straits Times, the man who posted the video said the clip was sent to him by a friend and confirmed that the incident took place at Bedok Pier in East Coast Park.

The lightning was captured on May 3 at 4.45pm, conservation group Marine Stewards Singapore reported in the publication.

A photo taken after the capture showed two men dragging the dead eagle jet down a pavement in the swamp.

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The animal has been identified as the white-spotted eagle ray or Aetobatus Ocellatus, one of the three species of eagle rays in Singapore. It is classified as a vulnerable species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.

According to Kelvin Lim, curator of vertebrate collections at NUS’s Lee History Chian Natural History Museum, recreational fishermen often don’t know if they’ve caught an endangered fish.

If he rolls into an endangered species, he suggested they release him if the animal is still alive and not seriously injured.

“Animals get injured when they are stuck, usually in the mouth … Capture and release professionals believe they can heal quickly,” he added.

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However, when a large fish is impaled by a large hook, it will suffer more serious injuries, he explained.

Dr. Huang Danwei, a marine biologist at NUS, said: “We should avoid interacting or getting too close to endangered species. Rather, admire from a distance, whenever possible, to minimize damage and prevent injury to ourselves. “.

The rays have poisonous spines on their tails that can cause painful stings and he notes that sightings of rays, jellyfish and other marine animals have increased in the past two years, he warned.

Last year, a lightweight fisherman weighing 80 kg was caught by leisure fishermen on the Bedok Jetty. The fish was later cut and slaughtered. Identified as a Whipray leopard, it was also a vulnerable species that was not released after being captured.

READ ALSO: Deadly jellyfish sightings in Singapore: don’t pee in the bite, it could actually get worse

alexanderkt@asiaone.com

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