Singaporeans slam vandalism and inconsiderate behaviour at new Changi Jurassic Mile

SINGAPORE – Singaporeans are up in arms over recent acts of vandalism on the outdoor dinosaur exhibits at the newly opened Changi Jurassic Mile.

Barely a week after the 3.5km-long attraction, which connects Changi Airport and East Coast Park, was opened on Oct 11, a video of a woman gleefully rocking back and forth on a baby dinosaur exhibit started making the rounds earlier this week.

The hatchling emerging from its egg is also missing five teeth.

It is one of more than 20 dinosaur models – from a towering Tyrannosaurus Rex to a trio of velociraptors – on display outdoors between the Terminal 4 pit stop and the entrance to East Coast Park.

A spokesman for Changi Airport Group (CAG), which commissioned the dinosaur display, said the exhibit has sustained some damage, and will be temporarily removed for repair work.

When The Straits Times team visited the attraction on Saturday (Oct 17) morning, a sign saying: “I don’t bite! Don’t pull my teeth!” had been put up behind the exhibit.

Responding to queries, a CAG spokesman said the dinosaur exhibits are for members of public to share and enjoy, and should be treated with care.

“We will be adding cautionary signs along Changi Jurassic Mile to remind visitors not to climb on the exhibits. There are also surveillance cameras in place to monitor movements along the path,” said the spokesman.

Some visitors at the new attraction were upset with the vandalised baby dinosaur exhibit, and called for penalties such as a fine to deter people from damaging the displays.

Mr Dennis Lui, 50, who was at the Changi Jurassic Mile for a morning jog, said: “Vandalism is bad. The dinosaur exhibits are good for kids, it makes them excited to take a walk and get some exercise.

“But it’s tough to prevent vandalism or enforce any penalties. You can’t really put CCTVs everywhere,” added Mr Lui, who is unemployed and previously worked in the processing industry.

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Ms Joevena Loy, 42, noted that it would also take a lot of work to go through the surveillance camera footage to identify culprits.

“Educating people, especially children, is more important, as well as family values and upbringing,” said Ms Loy, who made the trip there with her friend Janelle Quek specially to check out the dinosaur exhibits. Both of them work in business development.

Ms Quek, 35, added: “If it is an adult doing the vandalising, perhaps a fine could be imposed. With social media – Instagram and TikTok – nowadays, people like to try to be funny and push boundaries.

“But if you damage a public facility, it spoils the experience for other people.”

Concerns about overcrowding and safe distancing have also prompted the CAG to implement a booking system for the attraction which has been drawing crowds since it opened.

From Friday to Jan 3, visitors will have to reserve a slot on Changi PlayPass to visit the Jurassic Mile on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 9am and midnight.

There was a sizeable crowd at the Hub & Spoke cafe near Terminal 2 when ST was there on Saturday morning, with cyclists thronging the shared path. Many stopped at the cafe for refreshments and toilet breaks.

Some who ST spoke to said the path, which is about 2m-wide, is too narrow to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians.

Visitors at Changi Jurassic Mile on Oct 17, 2020.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Mr Shawn Liu, 45, who was there for a morning jog at 7.20am, said he had nearly been run over by cyclists on the path while jogging.

Flight attendant Shermaine Ng, 43, who was cycling with her husband, suggested that the path be segregated with a designated lane for cyclists.

“The traffic was very heavy with a lot of young children and families with strollers even at 8am, and the path is a bit narrow,” said Mrs Ng.

She added that they had also noticed the dinosaur with damaged teeth along their ride, as it was “very obvious”.

“Since we are all stuck in Singapore and there’s nowhere we can go, it would be great if we could all do our part as citizens. If there’s a new attraction, places for us to go outdoors, we should appreciate it and be responsible to take care of it,” she said.

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