ASIA’S FIRST GIANT RIVER OTTER BABY AMONG MORE THAN 400 BIRTHS AT WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

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Wildlife Reserves Singapore marks World Animal Day with tribute to babies born at Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo.

Singapore, 3 October 2013Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) marks World Animal Day with a presentation of furry, feathery and slithery babies born in Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo. The four parks saw more than 400 animal babies born between January and August this year, charming visitors with their adorable antics.

Among the most exciting births at WRS is that of Asia’s first giant river otter baby at River Safari. Born on 10 August, the unnamed male pup now weighs 1.6kg and measures 60cm. While it may be small now, giant otters can grow to an incredible length of 1.8m and weigh up to 34kg. River Safari is the first zoological institution in Asia to feature the endangered giant river otter, the largest of the world’s 13 otter species. Found only in South American river systems, giant otters are ferocious predators that hunt piranhas, anacondas and even caimans, earning them the title “river wolves”. Often hunted extensively for their fur and threatened by habitat loss, these river giants are now amongst the rarest otters in the world.

Since its birth on 10 August, Asia’s first giant river otter baby and his mother have been left alone in their den to bond. In a few weeks’ time, the pup will enter River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit where his parents will teach him how to swim. The parents, Carlos and Carmen, are from Germany’s Hamburg and Duisburg Zoo respectively, and arrived in Singapore in August 2012 as part of an animal exchange and breeding programme.

Since its birth on 10 August, Asia’s first giant river otter baby and his mother have been left alone in their den to bond. In a few weeks’ time, the pup will enter River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit where his parents will teach him how to swim. The parents, Carlos and Carmen, are from Germany’s Hamburg and Duisburg Zoo respectively, and arrived in Singapore in August 2012 as part of an animal exchange and breeding programme.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “We have maintained an excellent record of success in our captive breeding programme, and visitors to our parks are often pleasantly surprised to find adorable animal babies. The landmark birth of Asia’s first giant river otter baby represents the culmination of efforts and dedication of our zoology team in adopting and maintaining the highest standards of husbandry. With increasing threats such as habitat destruction and poaching, captive breeding programmes play a pivotal role in conserving threatened species for our future generations.”

Malayan tapir Putri, born on 3 June, enjoys her forest floor playtime at Night Safari. The Malayan tapir is one of the most endangered animals in Southeast Asia. Populations are declining due to poaching and habitat loss from deforestation for agricultural purposes.

Malayan tapir Putri, born on 3 June, enjoys her forest floor playtime at Night Safari. The Malayan tapir is one of the most endangered animals in Southeast Asia. Populations are declining due to poaching and habitat loss from deforestation for agricultural purposes.

Aside from the birth of the giant otter, over 100 species were born or hatched in the four WRS parks, of which 37 are classified as threatened in the *IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. These include the orang utan, manatee, hyacinth macaw and Malayan tapir. Through the years, WRS parks have exchanged many of these animals with other reputable zoos for breeding purposes.

*International Union for Conservation of Nature

RARE “COSTUMED APE” TO GO FOR A JAPANESE ADVENTURE

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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 -

NIGHT SAFARI CELEBRATES A RARE FIRST WITH THE BIRTH OF TWO CLOUDED LEOPARDS

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Singapore, 29 June 2011Night Safari, the world’s first wildlife park for nocturnal animals, recently celebrated the first birth of its clouded leopards, an endangered wild cat. The arrival of the pair of cubs is a major achievement for Night Safari as clouded leopards are notoriously difficult to breed. The high frequency of aggression between the two genders of the beautifully patterned predator sometimes results in the death of the female during mating in wild populations.

Named for the cloud-like spots on its coat, the clouded leopard is a medium-sized wild cat found primarily in lowland tropical rainforest habitats throughout Southeast Asia, Nepal and southern China. Listed as ‘vulnerable’ under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of threatened species, little is known about the behavior or population numbers of the wild species because of their enigmatic nature.

The parents of the new arrivals, father Tawan and mother Wandee, arrived from Thailand’s Khao Kheow Open Zoo two years ago. Since then, keepers at the Night Safari have been hoping to kick start a breeding programme between the two and has been waiting for them to reach breeding age.

Mr Kumar Pillai, Director of Zoology at Night Safari said: “The park has been studying various ways of increasing the success rate of captive breeding of clouded leopards for some time now, such as introducing the pair at an early age to promote bonding and lessen aggression. We have also paired an older female with a younger male as she will be more experienced and capable of defending herself. We are very pleased that our efforts have paid off with the birth of not just one, but two clouded leopard cubs.”

Wild populations of clouded leopards are fast declining as a result of the loss of habitat and are highly sought after in the illegal wildlife trade for their skin and bones. Globally, there are fewer than an estimated 10,000 mature individuals in the wild, with no single population numbering more than 1,000.

This further increases the pressure on wildlife institutions to establish viable captive breeding programmes.

The Night Safari is run by Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), which also operates award winning parks Jurong Bird Park, Singapore Zoo and the upcoming river-themed wildlife park, River Safari. All three parks are actively involved in the captive breeding of endangered species and take part in coordinated global breeding programmes with reputable zoological institutions around the world. To date, WRS has successfully bred endangered wildlife such as the Bali Mynah, white rhinoceros and the Red-shanked douc langur.

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