November 4, 2013
anesthesia, aural check, biopsy, dental, health check, inuka, medical examination, medication, paw check, polar bear, singapore, vet team, x-ray, zoo
- First polar bear born in the tropics undergoes annual health-check.
Singapore, 4 November 2013 – As Inuka, Singapore Zoo’s 22 year old polar bear entered his senior years, Singapore Zoo’s vet team performed a health check on him under general anesthesia on 9 October 2013. The first polar bear to be born in the tropics was found to be in general good health for his age. He currently measures 2.5m from nose to tail, and weighs 532kg.
The hour-long medical examination included dental, aural and paw checks. Blood results show no abnormality in his kidneys and liver. There are some warty growths on the underside of his tongue, and a biopsy has been done to confirm if they are benign and can be left alone. Inuka’s teeth also needed some attention, which was to be expected at his age. X-rays of his lower limbs confirmed what his vets have suspected for some time; that he has mild arthritis on his ankle and right wrist joints. The vets will prescribe medications as required, to manage his arthritis.
After the examination, Inuka was revived with a reverse sedative and allowed to recuperate in his den. Within two days, he was back to basking in his ice cave and in no time was paddling in his pool, at Singapore Zoo’s Frozen Tundra.
A team of six from the veterinary department of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (parent company of Singapore Zoo) conducted various tests and observations on Inuka simultaneously to minimise sedation time. Here, a member of the medical team takes a closer look at Inuka’s teeth while Head Vet Dr Serena Oh checks on his shoulder, where he was darted.
Checks on large and dangerous animals are often conducted in the animal’s den to minimise the time they are sedated. During these times, vets use a portable x-ray machine to take x-rays of animal’s various body parts.
Inuka’s paw measures an astounding 20cm across, which makes the hand of a grown man look miniscule in comparison!
February 16, 2012
breeding exchange programme, costumed aps, douc langur, global gene pool, health check, International Union For Conservation of Nature, iucn, patterned body coat, red list, red-shanked douc langur, Singapore Zoo, yokohama zoo
SINGAPORE ZOO SENDING FIRST DOUC LANGUR EVER ON BREEDING LOAN
Singapore, 16 February 2012 — For the first time, Singapore Zoo will send one of its captive red-shanked Douc langurs away. A comprehensive health check was carried out on the selected female, named Wani, prior to her journey to Japan’s Yokohama Zoo later this month.
Although a species of monkey and not an ape, Douc langurs are commonly known as “costumed apes” because of their interestingly patterned body coat. Native to the rainforests of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, they are listed as endangered on the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species. Locals hunt this monkey for food and its body parts, which are used in the preparation of traditional medicines. It is also sometimes hunted to sustain the international pet trade. During the Vietnam War, its forest habitat was also destroyed by defoliating agents and bombs.
This delicate and striking monkey made its Singapore Zoo debut in 1988. Since then, 27 Douc langurs have been successfully bred.
Wani underwent a thorough health check on 16 January 2012 prior to a 30-day quarantine in anticipation of her journey to Japan. Her departure will conclude a breeding loan agreement with Yokohama Zoo, which had sent us a clouded leopard in 2001.
To ensure Wani does not suffer too much from homesickness in her new environment, Singapore Zoo plans to send another Douc langur to Yokohama Zoo later this year as part of another breeding loan arrangement.
Wildlife Reserves Singapore, through the parks it manages – Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo – engages in a worldwide breeding exchange programme with many reputable zoological institutions so that that the global gene pool can be kept as diverse as possible.
Wani, a second-generation captive born Douc langur at Singapore Zoo, will be making a one-way trip to Yokohama Zoo later this month as part of a breeding loan. Her father, Hanoi, still resides with us.
Douc langurs are one of the most beautiful Asian monkeys, with almond-shaped eyes and delicate facial features.
Dr Serena Oh, Assistant Director, Veterinary, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (extreme right), and her team draw blood samples from Wani to be sent for tests. They are looking out for human diseases such as Hepatitis A and B, as well as dengue fever. This is in line with the Japanese authorities’ requirements for animals being imported into the country. *IUCN: International Union for Conservation of Nature Photo credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore -
July 25, 2011
asian lion, captive breeding, endangered, gir forest, health check, international union of conservation of nature, iucn, lion cub, microchip, Night Safari, ns, serena oh, vaccination, waza, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, WRS
Singapore, 21 July 2011 – Three adorable lion cubs were born to Night Safari residents Khapat and Amba this March, and they recently had their booster ‘shots’ by the veterinary team.
The tawny three-month-olds were given a clean bill of health after a mandatory vaccination against respiratory and systemic infections. Their first health check took place two months after they were born on 21 March 2011, and they were given a general examination and microchipped for identification.
Similar to humans, animals can suffer from a variety of infectious diseases. Vaccinations are therefore essential in building immunity and prevention against diseases. This is especially important for the cubs when they are given outdoor access and placed on exhibit. Lion cubs usually get a booster shot when they are 12 weeks old and bi-annually thereafter.
“The practice of animal vaccination is recommended by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) is dedicated to continually improving standards of animal welfare based on the latest and best practices,” said Dr Serena Oh, Assistant Director, Veterinary, WRS.
The Asian lion is a unique subspecies that splits from the African lion. It is smaller in size and sports a less significant mane compared to its African cousin. Most of the wild Asian lion population is found in India’s Gir Forest, a protected santuary where about 300 of these magnificent animals roam. There are an additional 60 of them living in zoos. Under the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN), they are listed as ‘endangered’. One of the problems faced by the Asian lion in the wild is in-breeding which has resulted in weaker individuals. Through Night Safari’s captive breeding programme, WRS hopes to be able to increase the number of Asian lions both in the wild and in captivity. To date, Night Safari has successfully bred seven Asian lion cubs in captivity.
Vet staff doing a routine health check before administering the vaccine.
The cub is held down for the vaccination.