NIGHT SAFARI CELEBRATES FESTIVE SEASON WITH BIRTH OF BABY GIRAFFE

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Singapore, 20 December 2011 – The world’s first Night Safari welcomed a lanky surprise this festive season – a 1.88m tall baby giraffe born on December 5, 2011.

The male calf got on his feet just moments after a six-foot drop from his mother, Dobeni, which gave birth standing up. The birth is the first after three years. The 75-kg baby, which is still unnamed, is the third South African giraffe born at the Night Safari. His father, Pongola, and mother Dobeni are also proud parents of female giraffe Kayin, that was born at the park in 2008.

“We hope that the birth of this South African giraffe sub-species at Night Safari will continue to increase the gene pool of the species for global zoological institutions through animal exchanges and breeding programmes,” said Mr. Subash Chandran, Assistant Director, Zoology, Night Safari.

Although the giraffe is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as Least Concern, its range in Africa has been reduced due to habitat degradation. There are nine subspecies of giraffe, which differ in size, coloration, pattern and range. Some subspecies are classified as endangered.

“In the wild, young giraffes often fall prey to lions, leopards and hyenas. It is estimated that only a small percentage of baby giraffes reach adulthood. We are happy to see that our healthy calf is suckling from its mother and galloping in its yard. The first few weeks are very important milestones in a giraffe’s growth,” said Mr. Chandran.

Giraffes are the tallest land animals, growing to a height of between 4.7m and 5.3m. The tallest giraffe in the world recorded a height of 6.1metres. Females are usually shorter than their male counterparts. Being crepuscular, they are active at dawn and dusk and sleep approximately four hours a day. With a flexible upper lip and a long tongue, the giraffe can extend its tongue as far as 53cm to grasp its food of mainly acacia leaves.

Being social animals, wild giraffes exist in loose herds of 10 to 20 individuals. Unknown to many, giraffes, despite their lanky necks, share a similar number of neck bones with humans and mice — seven.

Visitors can visit the baby giraffe at its Night Safari exhibit by February 2012. For more
information on the giraffes at the Night Safari, please visit http://www.nightsafari.com.sg

21-year-old South African giraffe, Dobeni, gently nuzzles her 1.88m tall baby at the Night Safari.

Night Safari’s latest giraffe calf suckles from his mother, 21-year-old Dobeni.

An affectionate mother, Dobeni gently strokes her newborn at the Night Safari. Dobeni stands at approximately 4m in height.

KONNICHIWA TANUKIS!

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WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE WELCOMES ITS FIRST PAIR OF RACCOON DOGS

Singapore, 23 April 2010Wildlife Reserves Singapore, the parent company of award-winning attractions Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo and the upcoming River Safari, recently welcomed its first pair of tanukis from Asahimaya Zoo, Japan. Tanukis are a subspecies of raccoon dogs native to Japan, and these beautiful canids mark the first animal exchange between WRS and Asahimaya Zoo under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two parties last year.

To celebrate the partnership and welcome the tanukis, a gala dinner was hosted by Asahiyama Zoo and Wildlife Reserves Singapore last night. Notable guests included HE Mr Makoto Yamanaka, Ambassador of Japan to Singapore and Ms Fanny Lai, Group CEO of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Named Pom and Poko, the tanukis will be housed at a permanent exhibit in the upcoming River Safari, Asia’s first river-themed park. Significant to the Japanese culture, these beautiful animals have been a part of the country’s folklore since ancient times. Unfortunately, the tanukis’ silky coat has attracted the unwanted attention of furriers, and they have been commercially farmed since 1928. Even today, raccoon dogs are reportedly bred in cruel conditions and are often skinned alive. The practice has led to global campaigns against the use of raccoon dog fur in fashion.

The raccoon dog gets its name from its resemblance to the unrelated raccoon, and is native to East Asia. They were introduced into parts of Europe for hunting purposes in the early to mid-nineteen hundreds and are now considered an invasive species.

Pom, the male raccoon dog exploring his new home in Singapore

Poko, the female raccoon dog, resting during her quarantine period. They have long torsos and short legs with ears that protrude only slightly outside of their thick fur.

Courtesy of Bjorn Olesen - The raccoon dog is a member of the canid family and is indigenous to east Asia. Japanese raccoon dogs are known to produce sounds higher in pitch, sounding similar to cats.

WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE AND SINGAPORE AIRLINES CARGO UNWAVERING IN COMMITTMENT TO BOOST GENE POOL THROUGH ANIMAL BREEDING PROGRAMME

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SINGAPORE AIRLINES CARGO FLIES IN INDIAN RHINO, THE LATEST ADDITION TO NIGHT SAFARI FROM USA, ON 16 APRIL 2009

Singapore, 17 April, 2009 – In a continuous effort to breed threatened species, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) today received an Indian rhino from Oklahoma City Zoo, USA, for its animal breeding programme. The rhino, which flew in via Singapore Airlines Cargo accompanied by a veterinarian and a keeper, arrived in Singapore on April 18. The female rhino, Mary aged 19, will be quarantined for one month. Visitors can look forward to view her on exhibit during the upcoming June school holidays.

“Wildlife Reserves Singapore is pleased that Mary arrived safely. Singapore Airlines Cargo has been a trusted partner in transporting our precious and priceless animals to and from our parks. We are pleased to add Mary to the Indian rhino family as it will allow her to mingle, and we hope she will find the right partner in our male rhino that is currently on exhibit at the “Nepalese River Valley‟,” said Ms Fanny Lai, Group CEO Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

According to the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List, the Indian rhino is “vulnerable” meaning that it is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

Indian rhinos are among the largest of all rhino species, similar to the white rhino. Their natural habitat ranges include tall grasslands, alluvial plains, adjacent swamps and forests of India and Nepal. They are becoming endangered due to habitat loss, coupled with the regard in some culture that rhino horns are an aphrodisiac.

In the first half of the year, WRS parks Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, have scheduled several animal exchanges with other zoos globally. This is in line with WRS’ objective to raise awareness and conservation of species whose population are currently under threat. On 25 March, Night Safari received three Asian lions from Sakkarbaug Zoological Gardens, India. In exchange, Singapore Zoo sent two pairs of cheetahs on 28 March, all on Singapore Airlines Cargo.

“As a supporter of wildlife conservation, we are pleased to be a carrier and logistics partner of choice in this worthy endeavor. Our advanced B747-400 freighters, equipped with the necessary equipment to regulate temperature and cabin pressure, help towards the safe and successful delivery of these animals,” said Mr Tan Tiow Kor, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing, Singapore Airlines Cargo representative.

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