KEEPERS AND VETS PUT PANDAS IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE AT RIVER SAFARI

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Giant pandas Kai Kai & Jia Jia enter mating season for the first time; Panda caretakers successfully trigger breeding behaviours through controlled lighting and temperature in Giant Panda Forest

Giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia displayed breeding behaviours for the first time at River Safari and were brought together to mate in their den on Friday, 17 April. The 40-minute session did not appear to be successful, which is typical for first-time breeders as they may not know how to mate. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Giant pandas Kai Kai & Jia Jia displayed breeding behaviours for the first time at River Safari and were brought together to mate in their den on Friday, 17 April. The 40-minute session did not appear to be successful, which is typical for first-time breeders as they may not know how to mate. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

SINGAPORE, 21 April 2015 Giant pandas Kai Kai & Jia Jia have officially crossed their first mating season, a cause for jubilation for caretakers at River Safari as the endangered bears are notoriously difficult to breed.

Kai Kai & Jia Jia’s development has been an interesting case for researchers as they are the first pair of giant pandas living so close to the equator. The pubescent pandas were suitable for pairing last year but did not show signs of readiness to mate. Pandas’ mating instincts are brought on by hormonal changes in response to seasonal variations, such as temperature changes and increasing day length from winter to spring.

River Safari’s keepers and vets have employed a number of measures since last November to trigger the breeding cycles of the pandas. These included varying the daylight hours and temperature in the panda exhibit to simulate the transition from winter to spring in the pandas’ homeland in Sichuan, China.

Pubescent panda Kai Kai started showing increasing levels of interest in Jia Jia following efforts by keepers and vets in altering exhibit conditions to trigger breeding behaviours. In early April, the giant pandas were frequently seen peering through the gap in the closed gate linking their exhibits, scent-marking their areas and bleating at each other. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

The pandas responded. Seven-year-old Kai Kai started bleating and scent-marking more frequently to attract six-year-old Jia Jia, who showed the first sign of coming into estrous on 5 April, marked by her swollen genital, restless behaviour and hormonal analysis that indicated she was in heat. The two bears were also frequently seen calling out to each other and looking through a closed gate linking their exhibit.

River Safari’s keepers and vets have employed a number of measures since November 2014 to trigger the breeding cycles of the pandas, and the bears responded well. Since 5 April, six-year-old female Jia Jia started showing signs that she was in heat. She was restless, pacing in the exhibit, rolling on the ground and attempting to breach the gate connecting hers and Kai Kai’s exhibit. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

River Safari’s keepers and vets have employed a number of measures since November 2014 to trigger the breeding cycles of the pandas, and the bears responded well. Since 5 April, six-year-old female Jia Jia started showing signs that she was in heat. She was restless, pacing in the exhibit, rolling on the ground and attempting to breach the gate connecting hers and Kai Kai’s exhibit. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “The latest development with Kai Kai & Jia Jia spells exciting times for panda researchers. They are the first pair of giant pandas to live so close to the equator, and we have shown that we can provide the right conditions to elicit mating behaviours. Maintaining a sustainable population of these critically endangered animals under human care is a crucial part of their conservation plan.”

On the evening of 17 April, both pandas were brought together for the first time in their dens for natural mating. The 40-minute session did not appear to be successful, which is typical for first-time breeders as they may not know how to mate. A decision was made to carry out artificial insemination to increase Jia Jia’s chances of conceiving.

As it became evident that the giant pandas were ready for pairing, on 17 April, keepers brought Kai Kai and Jia Jia together for the first time in an attempt at natural mating. Kai Kai curiously sniffed Jia Jia during their first introduction without barriers. Previously, both pandas have never been in close physical contact with each other. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

As it became evident that the giant pandas were ready for pairing, on 17 April, keepers brought Kai Kai and Jia Jia together for the first time in an attempt at natural mating. Kai Kai curiously sniffed Jia Jia during their first introduction without barriers. Previously, both pandas have never been in close physical contact with each other. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Dr Serena Oh, Assistant Director of Veterinary Services, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Panda reproduction is a notoriously complex process, with females ovulating once a year, in which they are fertile for only 24 to 36 hours. Jia Jia’s hormones started falling on Friday and we needed to move quickly to artificial insemination due to the short window when female pandas are able to conceive.”

On 18 April, male panda Kai Kai was brought into the Wildlife Healthcare and Research Centre for a health check, followed by electroejaculation which is a technique commonly used for semen collection. To ensure a higher chance of conception, the dedicated team of veterinarians and giant panda keepers carried out artificial insemination after an unsuccessful mating session. From left to right (foreground): Head Veterinarian Dr Serena Oh, male panda Kai Kai, Senior Veterinarian Dr Abraham Matthews and Veterinarian Dr Anwar Ali. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

On 18 April, male panda Kai Kai was brought into the Wildlife Healthcare and Research Centre for a health check, followed by electroejaculation which is a technique commonly used for semen collection. To ensure a higher chance of conception, the dedicated team of veterinarians and giant panda keepers carried out artificial insemination after an unsuccessful mating session.
From left to right (foreground): Head Veterinarian Dr Serena Oh, male panda Kai Kai, Senior Veterinarian Dr Abraham Matthews and Veterinarian Dr Anwar Ali. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

She continued: “In the next few months, we will continue to monitor Jia Jia’s hormone levels and conduct ultrasounds to determine if she is pregnant. We will wait and hope for the best.”

In an attempt to increase her chances for a baby panda, Jia Jia was brought into the Wildlife Healthcare and Research Centre for artificial insemination. The vets will monitor Jia Jia for signs of pregnancy in the next few months. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

In an attempt to increase her chances for a baby panda, Jia Jia was brought into the Wildlife Healthcare and Research Centre for artificial insemination. The vets will monitor Jia Jia for signs of pregnancy in the next few months. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

The gestation period for a panda is typically five months, and one or two cubs are usually born.

KOALAS ARRIVE IN SINGAPORE ZOO

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Koalas Chan, Idalia, Paddle and Pellita enter one-month quarantine

Assistant Curator Rubiah Ismail observing Pellita the koala as part of the morning routine. Rubiah, together with Junior Animal Management Officer Rachel Yeo, was on attachment in Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary for two months to learn all about koala care. On 13 April 2015, four female koalas arrived in Singapore Zoo and the quartet is currently on a month-long quarantine. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Assistant Curator Rubiah Ismail observing Pellita the koala as part of the morning routine. Rubiah, together with Junior Animal Management Officer Rachel Yeo, was on attachment in Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary for two months to learn all about koala care. On 13 April 2015, four female koalas arrived in Singapore Zoo and the quartet is currently on a month-long quarantine. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Singapore, 16 April 2015 – Four female koalas from Australia landed safely in Singapore on 13 April 2015, and will make Singapore Zoo their temporary home for the next six months.

Koala Idalia enjoys a spot of breakfast of eucalypt leaves flown specially into Singapore by Qantas Airways. Four female koalas arrived in Singapore Zoo on the evening of 13 April 2015 and they are now in quarantine for a month. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Koala Idalia enjoys a spot of breakfast of eucalypt leaves flown specially into Singapore by Qantas Airways. Four female koalas arrived in Singapore Zoo on the evening of 13 April 2015 and they are now in quarantine for a month. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

The furry envoys, named Chan, Idalia, Paddle and Pellita, departed from their home in Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane, and travelled with Qantas Airways from Brisbane to Singapore. They are now housed in the zoo’s quarantine facility where they will remain for a month. The koala exhibit is expected to open to public in late May with a grand housewarming party and a series of activities for visitors to Singapore Zoo.

Koala Idalia arrived in Singapore on the evening of 13 April 2015, and is currently in quarantine with three other female koalas, Chan, Paddle and Pellita in Singapore Zoo. Members of the public can see koalas in Singapore Zoo’s Australian Outback section from late-May. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Koala Idalia arrived in Singapore on the evening of 13 April 2015, and is currently in quarantine with three other female koalas, Chan, Paddle and Pellita in Singapore Zoo. Members of the public can see koalas in Singapore Zoo’s Australian Outback section from late-May. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “We are ecstatic to host the koalas for the next six months. These lovely creatures are excellent animal ambassadors for Australia, offering a peek into the biodiversity of eucalyptus forests. They will no doubt charm zoo visitors of all ages when the exhibit officially opens.”

The quartet is a precious gift from Australia to Singapore on the occasion of Singapore’s 50th anniversary of independence, and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and Singapore.

HAND-RAISED BABY MANATEE CANOLA WINS HEARTS AT RIVER SAFARI

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Aquarists provide round-the-clock care for abandoned calf Canola and re-introduce her to manatee family

Neglected by her mother after birth, manatee calf Canola (foreground) can now be found swimming with the rest of the manatee herd at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit after receiving round-the-clock care and successful reintroduction by her human caregivers. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Neglected by her mother after birth, manatee calf Canola (foreground) can now be found swimming with the rest of the manatee herd at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit after receiving round-the-clock care and successful reintroduction by her human caregivers. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 8 April 2015 – The 33kg abandoned calf in River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest had to be watched 24 hours for the first few days, fed every two to three hours during the first three months, and re-introduced gradually to its family – a Herculean task that the team of aquarists dived into to give the baby, named Canola, a fighting chance to live.

Born on 6 August last year, Canola is the offspring of the Flooded Forest’s largest manatee – 23-year-old Eva which measures 3.5m and weighs more than 1,100kg. For unknown reasons, Eva abandoned her latest calf despite having successfully raised eight offspring in the past. Eva is also a proud grandmother of two.

To ensure that animals in River Safari retain their parental behaviours, zoologists strive to have the parents raise their offspring. In the case of Canola, there was no other option but to have aquarists hand-raise the newborn.

Deputy Head Aquarist Keith So bottle-feeds manatee calf Canola with a special milk formula infused with canola oil when she was abandoned by her mother after birth at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Deputy Head Aquarist Keith So bottle-feeds manatee calf Canola with a special milk formula infused with canola oil when she was abandoned by her mother after birth at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Mr Wah Yap Hon, Curator, Zoology, River Safari, said: “Hand-raised animals tend to imprint on their human caregivers. The babies will attach themselves to, and learn certain behaviours from their human foster parents, and may not have a chance to bond with their family or other members of their species. In the case of Eva and Canola, we stepped in as a last resort to ensure the survival of this precious baby.”

Similar to caring for a human baby, hand-raising an animal baby requires planning and hard work. For Canola, it involved bottle-feeding every two to three hours from 8am to 10pm daily for the first three months. To increase her fat intake and substitute her mother’s highly nutritious milk, Canola was given a special milk formula infused with canola oil, which inspired her name. To ensure Canola’s safety, the aquarists moved her to a shallow holding pool to minimise the risk of other manatees crowding her and making it challenging for her to rise to the water’s surface to breathe.

Neglected by her mother after birth, manatee calf Canola undergoes a weekly weigh-in at a holding pool in River Safari where aquarists also measure her body length to monitor her growth. Canola’s last recorded weight was a healthy 74kg. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Neglected by her mother after birth, manatee calf Canola undergoes a weekly weigh-in at a holding pool in River Safari where aquarists also measure her body length to monitor her growth. Canola’s last recorded weight was a healthy 74kg. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

“Under the doting care and great team effort of her human caregivers, Canola steadily gained weight and hit all the important developmental milestones of a healthy calf. By December, Canola started swimming with the rest of the herd in the main aquarium, forming close bonds with her species,” said Wah.

Deputy Head Aquarist Keith So conducts a physical check on manatee calf Canola at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest, the world’s largest freshwater aquarium. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Deputy Head Aquarist Keith So conducts a physical check on manatee calf Canola at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest, the world’s largest freshwater aquarium. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Since February, Canola’s caregivers have gradually cut down on her milk intake to four feedings a day to accommodate her increasing diet of vegetables. Manatees spend six to eight hours a day grazing on aquatic plants, which is why they are also known as sea cows. Adults typically consume 50-100kg of vegetation a day, equivalent to 10-15 percent of their body weight.

Manatees are listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species. Their numbers have declined in the last century due to hunting pressures, entrapment in commercial nets and collisions with propellers and motorboats. Through captive breeding, River Safari hopes to contribute to the population of threatened freshwater species such as the manatee. Canola’s birth is an important one as it contributes to the captive populations of manatees in zoological institutions.

Manatee calf Canola (left), which has been melting the hearts of River Safari’s aquarists since August last year, is set to charm visitors now that she is exploring the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit together with the manatee herd. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Manatee calf Canola (left), which has been melting the hearts of River Safari’s aquarists since August last year, is set to charm visitors now that she is exploring the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit together with the manatee herd. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

River Safari’s manatee herd of 12 comprises five males and seven females, making it one of the largest collections of manatees among zoological institutions. These slow-moving mammals can be found swimming gracefully amongst giant trees alongside other aquatic species, such as the arapaima and red-tailed catfish, in the world’s largest freshwater aquarium at the Amazon Flooded Forest.

* IUCN: International Union for the Conservation of Nature

WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE AND TRAFFIC JOIN HANDS TO BATTLE ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE

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‘You Buy They Die’ anti-wildlife crime campaign targets public’s demand for wildlife products;
WRS and TRAFFIC sign memorandum of understanding

Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Singapore, 7 March 2015 – Growing affluence, purchasing power and globalisation all spell disaster for Southeast Asia’s wildlife as rising demand for their skin, meat and body parts is driving thousands of species in the region towards extinction.

Illegal wildlife trade is a multi-billion dollar business, and said to be among the most profitable illicit trades, alongside drugs, arms and human trafficking. This trade often deliberately targets highly threatened animals to meet the demand for exotic meat, traditional medicine, pets and luxury items, directly causing drastic declines in wildlife numbers.

In a bid to increase awareness on the threats faced by animals in the wild, Wildlife Reserves Singapore and TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia have come together to launch the ‘You Buy They Die’ campaign to fight wildlife crime on 7 March 2015.

Taking on a somber tone that is distinctly different from Singapore Zoo, River Safari, and Jurong Bird Park’s usual child friendly setting, the year-long ‘You Buy They Die’ anti-wildlife crime campaign will see interpretative placed in the three parks to educate the public on the seriousness of wildlife crime and how their buying decisions can help support the conservation of endangered wildlife.

Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “Illegal wildlife trade often goes unnoticed in our day to day living, but can have devastating consequences, pushing many animal species to the brink of extinction. It is imperative that people understand how the diverse markets for animal parts can severely threaten the survival of these species. We hope that by presenting the facts to our visitors, people will be more conscious and do their part for the conservation of endangered wildlife.”

Campaign interpretative feature harsh but realistic scenarios that animals face in the wild—images of rhinoceros butchered for their horns, dead pangolin mothers pregnant with babies, freshly killed bear cub cut open to remove the gall bladder, and dead bats hung up to be sold as meat—as an appeal to curb demands.

In addition to urging people to refrain from wildlife trade, the campaign aims to help the public recognise instances of wildlife crime, and appeal to them to report such cases to local authorities.

To reach out to children, Singapore Zoo will introduce the Ranger Ooz Education Trail from 14 – 22 March 2015 that will teach children through interactive exhibits and activity sheets what they can do to fight illegal wildlife crime. All children entering WRS parks will be given a ranger awareness kit for them to take home.

In conjunction with the launch of ‘You Buy They Die’ campaign, WRS and TRAFFIC signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further strengthen and formalise their partnership.

“Fighting wildlife crime is everyone’s responsibility and we’re glad to see organisations like WRS take up the call. By investing funds and using their powerful reach to galvanize public support, they’re giving the effort an immense boost.” said Dr. Chris R. Shepherd, Regional Director for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia. “The key message to the public really is that everyone has a role to play in bringing about an end to the illegal wildlife trade.”

The two organisations have previously collaborated on ad hoc projects to curb wildlife crime, such as in-depth research on illegal wildlife trade, and helping regional authorities in wildlife conservation efforts through the provision of identification guides and training.

Committed to fighting illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade and ensuring the conservation of threatened wildlife, WRS is Singapore’s designated rescued wildlife centre for live confiscated wildlife. It has received and managed confiscated wildlife from the governing authority for over two decades.

NEW STRIPES, SPOTS AND A MANE EVENT AT SINGAPORE ZOO

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Charismatic additions to cat collection are getting preened to welcome visitors

Singapore Zoo’s new white tigers Pasha (below) and Keysa (above) enjoy an afternoon prowl in their habitat as part of a conditioning session to get them settled in their new home. The two-year-old brother and sister pair are part of an animal exchange programme with Indonesia’s Maharani Zoo. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Singapore Zoo’s new white tigers Pasha (below) and Keysa (above) enjoy an afternoon prowl in their habitat as part of a conditioning session to get them settled in their new home. The two-year-old brother and sister pair are part of an animal exchange programme with Indonesia’s Maharani Zoo. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Singapore, 3 March 2015 – Cat lovers are in for a roaring fur-filled experience as Singapore Zoo introduces a flurry of felines in the coming months. The new additions will include white tigers, cheetahs and an African lion.

First to make their public debut will be white tiger siblings Pasha and Keysa. The duo arrived from Indonesia’s Maharani Zoo on 15 January this year, and has since completed their month-long quarantine period. They are now being conditioned to the exhibit most afternoons, and spend their time sniffing and stalking every inch of the habitat. Once keepers are confident they are comfortable in their new home, they will be displayed on a regular basis.

Pasha the white tiger pauses to enjoy a sip of water, before continuing to explore his new habitat at Singapore Zoo. The 2-year old male and his sister Keysa are one of three feline species that have recently arrived at the park. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Pasha the white tiger pauses to enjoy a sip of water, before continuing to explore his new habitat at Singapore Zoo. The 2-year old male and his sister Keysa are one of three feline species that have recently arrived at the park. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

The two-year-old brother and sister pair will take turns with Omar, the zoo’s 15-year-old white tiger, to prowl the tiger habitat at different times of the day. As Omar is in his senior years, there are plans to further enhance the collection in the event he passes on.

Singapore Zoo welcomed four sleek and stunning cheetahs from De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre in South Africa in January 2015. Two of the four peer curiously at their surroundings during their month-long quarantine. Visitors will soon get to see these charismatic cats at Singapore Zoo’s Wild Africa section. Cheetahs are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Singapore Zoo welcomed four sleek and stunning cheetahs from De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre in South Africa in January 2015. Two of the four peer curiously at their surroundings during their month-long quarantine. Visitors will soon get to see these charismatic cats at Singapore Zoo’s Wild Africa section. Cheetahs are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Prepping themselves for their first appearance too, are two pairs of cheetahs. The two males Indiana and Obi, and two sisters Maya and Herculina, arrived from the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre on 14 January. The males will be introduced to the exhibit in early March, while the new females are being acquainted with Kima, the older cat in the Singapore Zoo collection. When they are eventually released into the habitat, visitors will likely only spot two or three cheetahs at any one time, as the sexes will be displayed separately in preparation for future breeding opportunities.

Visitors will have to wait a little longer for the mane event at the Zoo’s Wild Africa section. Timba, a two-year-old African male lion from Dierenpark Emmen in the Netherlands, is awaiting his harem of females, and will only be exhibited at a later date this year. The three females are scheduled to arrive in March.

Male African lion Timba may not be on display yet, but he is being kept occupied with operant conditioning sessions, including target training and whistle training, in the off-exhibit den. These sessions will make it easier for keepers and vets to conduct regular health checks in the future. African lions are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Male African lion Timba may not be on display yet, but he is being kept occupied with operant conditioning sessions, including target training and whistle training, in the off-exhibit den. These sessions will make it easier for keepers and vets to conduct regular health checks in the future. African lions are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

In the meantime, keepers have commenced the all-important medical training for Timba in the off-exhibit den. Aside from keeping him occupied and stimulated, the training is an important aspect of animal care in a modern zoo as it makes routine health checks less stressful for the animals, and is great for keeper-animal bonding.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “As part of our collection planning process, we routinely exchange captive-bred animals with other zoological institutions to ensure we have the appropriate numbers for exhibition and education purposes. New bloodlines are also essential to maintain genetic diversity which is all important for zoos to ensure sustainable captive populations.”

* IUCN stands for International Union for Conservation of Nature

RUB OFF SOME GOAT LUCK AT SINGAPORE ZOO AND NIGHT SAFARI THIS LUNAR NEW YEAR

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Eight auspicious goat kids born in Singapore Zoo and exotic goat species in Night Safari will greet visitors

Singapore Zoo keepers Mohd Hanafi and Amy Chandra show off three of the newest members of Singapore Zoo’s domestic goat herd which arrived just in time to usher in the Year of the Goat. Since 1 Jan 2015, Singapore Zoo has welcomed eight baby goats. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore Zoo keepers Mohd Hanafi and Amy Chandra show off three of the newest members of Singapore Zoo’s domestic goat herd which arrived just in time to usher in the Year of the Goat. Since 1 Jan 2015, Singapore Zoo has welcomed eight baby goats. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 11 February 2015 – Usher in the Year of the Goat at Singapore Zoo and Night Safari to marvel at the beauty and grace of this year’s zodiac animal, and learn all about the elegant species.

Singapore Zoo

Originating in Egypt, the domestic goat can now be found, either farmed or feral, in every continent except Antarctica. Goats are able to thrive in almost any habitat including savanna, deserts, scrub forests and mountains. This Chinese New Year, learn more about goats and their wild cousins at the Goat Awareness booth at Singapore Zoo. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Originating in Egypt, the domestic goat can now be found, either farmed or feral, in every continent except Antarctica. Goats are able to thrive in almost any habitat including savanna, deserts, scrub forests and mountains. This Chinese New Year, learn more about goats and their wild cousins at the Goat Awareness booth at Singapore Zoo. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore Zoo has welcomed the birth of eight goat kids in the last two months, an auspicious sign of a bountiful year to come. The gamboling goat kids are looking forward to charming visitors to Singapore Zoo this festive season as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Visitors looking to rub off some goat luck can capture some precious shots with this year’s zodiac animal, watch goat enrichment, or feed the goats. In addition, children can learn more about goats and their wild cousins at a specially curated Goat Awareness Booth. All goat-themed Chinese New Year activities will run from 18-22 February.

For activity details, visit Chinese New Year Celebrations at Singapore Zoo.

Night Safari

The ‘snake-horned’ markhor is named for their spiraling horns, which can grow up to 160cm, that adorn the males’ heads. This species are threatened by habitat loss in their native environments. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

The ‘snake-horned’ markhor is named for their spiraling horns, which can grow up to 160cm, that adorn the males’ heads. This species are threatened by habitat loss in their native environments. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Over at Night Safari, visitors can marvel at the wilder cousins of the domestic goats – the ‘snakehorned’ markhor, handsome Himalayan tahr, ‘blue’ bharal and rare mouflon.

The Himalayan tahr thrives on rugged alpine mountains from northern India to Bhutan, and male tahrs have a long shaggy mane in winter. This species are threatened by habitat loss in their native environments. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

The Himalayan tahr thrives on rugged alpine mountains from northern India to Bhutan, and male tahrs have a long shaggy mane in winter. This species are threatened by habitat loss in their native environments. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

While only the markhor and tahr are considered true goats, the bharal and mouflon are wild sheep that are no less nimble and sure-footed, making their homes in mountainous and rocky regions. These wild goats and sheep can be encountered along the Night Safari tram route.

For activity details, visit Chinese New Year Celebrations at Night Safari

The goats in Mandai enjoy the centre stage and look forward to welcoming visitors over the Lunar New Year holidays.

HUMAN RACE FOR ANIMALS ATTRACTS OVER 9,000 AT SAFARI ZOO RUN 2015

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Double the fun in seventh installment of popular run, with dedicated days for competitive and fun runners

(Centre, on stage) Guest-of-Honour Mrs Claire Nazar, Council Member, Families for Life, flags off the Safari Zoo Run Fastest Kid Race. Flanking her are Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore and Ms Isabel Cheng, CMO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore. Mrs Nazar and her family later joined the 6,000-strong crowd for the 6km Safari Zoo Fun Run, in a show of sporting fun and family bonding. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

(Centre, on stage) Guest-of-Honour Mrs Claire Nazar, Council Member, Families for Life, flags off the Safari Zoo Run Fastest Kid Race. Flanking her are Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore and Ms Isabel Cheng, CMO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore. Mrs Nazar and her family later joined the 6,000-strong crowd for the 6km Safari Zoo Fun Run, in a show of sporting fun and family bonding. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 9 February 2015 — A human herd of more than 9,000 dashed, loped and strode down Mandai’s lush corridors in this weekend’s Safari Zoo Run 2015, which was conceived seven years ago to commemorate Ah Meng, Singapore Zoo’s iconic Sumatran orang utan.

For the first time ever, Safari Zoo Run was held over two days. Over 3,000 avid runners took on the 12km or 6km Safari Zoo Challenge on Saturday, while a 6,000 strong crowd of enthusiastic participants enjoyed the Fun Run route through Night Safari and Singapore Zoo at a more leisurely pace this morning.

Families taking part in the Safari Zoo Run Stroller Walk slowed their pace to get a closer look at Singapore Zoo’s giraffes during Safari Zoo Run 2015. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Families taking part in the Safari Zoo Run Stroller Walk slowed their pace to get a closer look at Singapore Zoo’s giraffes during Safari Zoo Run 2015. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Another new feature this year was the roaring finale that awaited Sunday’s runners — the family-friendly Safari Zoo Run Carnival, which brought together exciting stage acts, a bazaar, educational stations and animal photography with some of the parks’ animal stars.

Safari Zoo Run is dedicated to the memory of Ah Meng, the zoo’s iconic Sumatran orangutan, who died of old age in February 2008. A part of the proceeds from the event will benefit the endangered wildlife under the care of Night Safari and Singapore Zoo.

As participants of Safari Zoo Run’s Fun Run stopped to take photos of the orang utans, the cheeky primates had a vertical race of their own, to their treetop playground. Safari Zoo Run is dedicated to the memory of Ah Meng, the zoo’s iconic Sumatran orangutan, who died of old age in February 2008. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

As participants of Safari Zoo Run’s Fun Run stopped to take photos of the orang utans, the cheeky primates had a vertical race of their own, to their treetop playground. Safari Zoo Run is dedicated to the memory of Ah Meng, the zoo’s iconic Sumatran orangutan, who died of old age in February 2008. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

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