BIG AND BEAUTIFUL BUNDLE BOUNDS INTO SINGAPORE ZOO

1 Comment

BABY WHITE RHINOCEROS IS 13TH TO BE BORN HERE

SINGAPORE, 11 Jul 2012 — Singapore Zoo recently celebrated the birth of its 13th white rhino, an adorable and curious youngster named Jumaane.

Jumaane, which means “born on Tuesday”, arrived on 10 April this year, which of course, is a Tuesday. Weighing approximately 70kg at birth, he is undoubtedly one of the biggest bundles of joy Singapore Zoo has welcomed to date.

Jumaane (front) was born on 10 April 2012, weighing a hefty 70kg. At birth, rhino calves can weigh between 40-70kg. Over the years, he will grow to an estimated male adult weight of 2,300kg.

Baby Jumaane can be seen exploring or rolling around in the mud in his spacious exhibit at the Wild Africa region of the Zoo. His mother, Shova is always close by though, keeping a watchful eye on her precious baby.

Prolific yet protective: 28-year old Shova stays close by while her baby finds his footing around their exhibit. Jumaane is Shova’s seventh calf.

Baby Jumaane excitedly enjoys exploring his exhibit, which is landscaped to resemble the white rhino’s African habitat.

Crash course: Jumaane is already building bonds with the other rhino residents. Here, he is sharing a nosey moment with 2-year old female Kito, who was also born in Singapore Zoo [Note: A group of rhinos is known as ‘a crash of rhinos’]

White rhinos are considered near threatened in the wild on the IUCN’s* Red List of Threatened species. Together with the Indian rhino, it is the largest species of land mammal after the elephant. They are hunted for their horns, which some believe as having medicinal properties. In fact, the horns are actually made of keratin, the same type of protein that makes up hair and fingernails, and there has been no scientific evidence to suggest that they are a cure for anything.

Singapore Zoo currently has eight of these majestic creatures in its collection, and boasts the most number of white rhinos bred in a single zoo in Southeast Asia. Of the 13 babies born here, some have been sent to Indonesia, Australia, Thailand and Korea as part of the Zoo’s ex-situ conservation efforts through its worldwide exchange programme.

Meet the white rhinos during their daily 1.15pm feeding session—the first ever in Asia—and experience an up close and personal encounter with these giants.

*International Union for the Conservation of Nature
PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

A MIRACLE TO CALL OUR OWN – DADDY’S LITTLE GOLDEN BOY

1 Comment

- DAD’S PERSEVERANCE PAYS OFF AS GOLDEN-HEADED LION TAMARIN BABY THRIVES AGAINST ALL ODDS
- THIS FATHER’S DAY, TAKE DAD TO MEET HEALTHY AND ACTIVE BABY AND FAMILY IN THEIR HOME

Baby, now healthy and active, loves exploring his exhibit on his own though his watchful parents still stand close by. Photo credit: Ramlan Bin Saruan for Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Singapore, 15 June 2012 — Born to a father thought past his reproductive years, keepers were doubtful that this baby would survive, especially after his twin brother was found dead the next morning.

But survive he did, and our golden boy, born 23 March 2012, is now ready to meet visitors from his exhibit in Singapore Zoo.

The road to health was an arduous one. His father, Rainbow is now 14 years old and was thought unable to sire any children by keepers. Golden-headed lion tamarins usually have a lifespan of about 12 years. This is suspected to be the reason why the March twins were born extremely frail.

The following morning, one of the twins lost the fight to live. The remaining baby was also looking weak and thought unlikely to survive. Things were not looking good indeed.

Golden-headed lion tamarins usually live up to 12 years old, but feisty Rainbow is now a father at 14. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Thankfully, Rainbow rose to the occasion, carrying the youngster determinedly. Keepers noticed that the baby would ride low on Rainbow’s hip with a straight tail, unlike healthy babies who would curl theirs. Doting father Rainbow stubbornly refused to give up, and picked up the baby every time he fell off.

Animals sometimes abandon their young if they are weak or sickly – an evolutionary mechanism for survival in the wild. However, it is rare for the male to continue carrying the baby if it does not look like it has a good chance at survival, and such young often are left to die.

Rainbow’s patience eventually paid off; Baby’s mother also started nursing him with more confidence and started regularly assisting in baby-caring duties. In the wild though, fathers are the ones who shoulder the bulk of nurturing babies. Mothers would only suckle and occasionally carry their young.

Though Baby was born weak and sickly, Rainbow refused to give up on his son. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

“It is always heartwarming to welcome new births to our zoo family. This baby is even more special because of the extraordinary circumstances that he had to go through to survive. He is a true fighter,” said Mr Alagappasamy Chellaiyah, Assistant Director, Zoology, Singapore Zoo.

Baby is now healthier and more active than ever, and can be seen exploring his exhibit on his own. His protective parents continue to keep a close eye on him.

Rainbow is not the only veteran in our zoo to have children of his own. In February this year, our 20-year old West Indian manatee, Eva, gave birth to her seventh baby, Valentine despite already being a grandmother to two.

The golden-headed lion tamarin is a species endemic to Brazil and is found only in certain areas of the state of Bahia. This tamarin species is listed as endangered in the wild on the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species, with its main threat to survival being the destruction of its forest home by human activities such as farming and mining. Currently, there are believed to be about 6,000 – 14,000 golden-headed lion tamarins in the wild.

Come visit Singapore Zoo’s newest golden boy and his doting family in their exhibit at Tram Stop 2 today, as we celebrate Father’s Day this June!

*International Union for Conservation of Nature

WOMENFOLK AT SINGAPORE ZOO CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

Leave a comment

GRANDDAUGHTER OF SINGAPORE ZOO’S FAMED ORANG UTAN AH MENG FOLLOWS IN HER NURTURING FOOTSTEPS

Singapore, 8 March 2012 — This International Women’s Day, Singapore Zoo pays tribute to the fairer sex, albeit not of the two-legged kind. Of particular interest is female Sumatran orang utan Chomel who, following in her famed grandmother Ah Meng’s footsteps, is caring for an orang utan baby that is not her own.

Although a first time mother, Chomel has always shown nurturing qualities. In her younger days, she would often be seen helping the younger orang utans navigate the free-ranging areas with ease, teaching them how to test their weight on the branches before moving ahead. She thus became a natural choice for surrogate mother, when keepers made the decision to remove the baby from her mother Sayang, who was gravely ill. Incidentally, Sayang is Chomel’s aunt, which means Chomel is fostering her cousin.

“When we took the baby away, Chomel was outside Sayang’s den. The baby cried as it had never been away from its mother, and Chomel’s instinct was to immediately reach for her. We cautiously gave the baby to her, and she held her close. That’s when we knew things would be okay,” explained Alagappasamy Chellaiyah, Assistant Director, Zoology, Singapore Zoo.

“Like Ah Meng, after a few days of fostering, Chomel actually started to show more loving care to her foster child. During feeding, if the baby cries, she quickly offers the food she is eating. During interactions with visitors, she happily allows Bino, her own son, to explore on his own while holding the adopted one close to her. This is truly a heartening sight to witness, and it almost feels like Ah Meng is back with us” continued Mr Chellaiyah, who was Ah Meng’s primary caretaker during her residence in the Zoo.

Chomel bears a striking resemblance to her grandmother, whose name was synonymous with Singapore Zoo for almost 35 years before she passed on of old age in Feb 2008. Ah Meng too cared for two young orang utans whose mothers were unable to look after them; Anita, a Bornean female still residing here, and a Bornean male called Inoki which now lives in Taiping Zoo, Malaysia.

To mark International Women’s Day the Zoo held a private naming ceremony for the baby, which turns one today. She has been christened Ishta, which means the cherished or desired one.

“International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900s and celebrates the achievements of women everywhere. Chomel is certainly one of our inspiring females and Singapore Zoo wanted to pay tribute to her this momentous day. It’s made doubly special as it also happens to be Ishta’s birthday” said Isabel Cheng, Director, Marketing and Communications, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Sumatran orang utans are critically endangered and wild populations are said to number fewer than 7,000 individuals. Their Bornean cousins are also considered endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Most recent estimates place their numbers at about 50,000.

Singapore Zoo, home to 26 orang utans, has an excellent worldwide reputation of having the largest group of captive orang utans in a social setting which also features the world’s only free-ranging habitat. It contributes to the conservation of Asia’s only great ape through captive breeding. A total of 37 orang utans have been successfully bred since the Zoo opened in 1973. Of these, some have been sent to various zoos in Malaysia, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Sri Lanka as part of a global exchange program me.

Chomel proudly shows off her babies: Bino, her own son, relaxes on his mother’s right arm, while adopted female Ishta clings comfortably to her left. PHOTO CREDITS: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Portrait of a loving mother: Chomel, with Bino on her shoulder and Ishta cuddled in her embracing arms. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

NIGHT SAFARI’S BABY GIRAFFE MAKES PUBLIC AND BLOGOSPHERE DEBUT

1 Comment

PARK LAUNCHES FIRST-EVER ANIMAL BLOG TO SHOWCASE CALF’S GROWING JOURNEY AND CREATES SINGAPORE’S TALLEST BABY PRAM TO BRING LANKY NEWBORN CLOSER TO PUBLIC

Nalo's Tale

Singapore, 1 March 2012 – For the first time, the Night Safari has launched a blog site to highlight the development of its latest tallest addition – a two-month-old baby giraffe named “Nalo”.

Visitors can now visit http://giraffes.nightsafari.com.sg to watch the progress of the male calf as keepers provide an exclusive look at animal husbandry and care at the world’s first nocturnal zoo. Titled “Nalo’s Tales: Adventures of Night Safari’s Tallest Baby,” the blog will record several of the calf’s first experiences, including his debut in the exhibit, as well as his first solid meal. The blog includes photos, videos and keeper interviews, and is updated weekly.

The baby giraffe will also be making his public ‘appearance’ in a 2.1m-tall baby pram – possibly the tallest in Singapore – at the heart of Orchard Road this Saturday, 3 March 2012, between 12pm to 4.30pm. Shoppers will get to see a replica of the baby giraffe strolling down the shopping district in a pram specially designed for the lanky newborn.

Visitors who wish to meet Nalo in real life can do so by participating in an online contest – “Guess Nalo’s Height” – where winners can win tickets to the Night Safari by guessing Nalo’s latest height on the blog.

Nalo, which means “lovable” in Swahili, is the first giraffe to be born in the Night Safari in three years. Born on December 5 last year, the baby giraffe can now be seen in the exhibit together with his family at Night Safari’s African zone. For more information, visit http://giraffes.nightsafari.com.sg

NIGHT SAFARI CELEBRATES FESTIVE SEASON WITH BIRTH OF BABY GIRAFFE

2 Comments

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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 76 other followers