SPREAD THE WILDLIFE LOVE, BE A DOCENT

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WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE IS SEEKING INDIVIDUALS WITH A PASSION FOR NATURE AND WILDLIFE

SINGAPORE, 21 Jun 2012 — Love animals and want to share your knowledge about wildlife and conservation? Put your skills to good use and sign up as a docent at our parks today!

WRS docents at African Adventure, and other docent stations, provide a valuable insight into the world of wildlife for our guests.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore is looking for passionate, committed individuals to spread their love for wildlife at Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo. As a docent, you get to regale guests with fascinating stories of our animals, take them on exciting guided tours, and share beautiful specimens, all in the name of spreading the conservation message!

A WRS docent providing a hands-on learning experience for our young guest at the Reptile Realm station

Our docents, like this one at the Conservation Cove station, are armed with a wealth of knowledge and always willing to share nuggets of information with guests.

Since 1997, docents have been educating our visitors about animals, in particular the need for wildlife and animal conservation. Be part of the legacy when you apply for the Docents Recruitment and Training (RATS) 2012.

Raring to go yet? Simply submit your application by 13 July 2012 and look forward to being part of the docent family!

Details:
Fee: $150
Application deadline: 13 July 2012
Age: 21 years old and above
Interview dates: 21 and 22 July 2012
Training period: Once a week (Saturday or Sunday) from 4 August 2012 to 23 September 2012

For more information, check out our FAQ section at http://education.zoo.com.sg/docent.html or contact us at 6360 2217, fax at 6362 0163 or email veu@wrs.com.sg

Photo credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

CREATING NOSTRILS FOR A PARROT AT JURONG BIRD PARK

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FIRST TIME VETERINARIAN TEAM PERFORMS SUCH A DELICATE ORTHOPEDIC SURGERY

Singapore, 21 June 2012 – Slightly more than a month ago on 12 May, the veterinarian team at Jurong Bird Park created nostrils for a blue-headed pionus parrot. As the case is extremely rare, this is the first time such a surgical procedure has been performed at the Bird Park.

The parrot was part of the Jungle Jewels exhibit. She had a chronic nasal infection which healed, but she somehow recovered in an odd fashion, and there was tissue growth in the nostrils, which blocked it and prevented her from breathing properly. As a result, she was breathing through her beak when she flew. Her beak is also deformed due to corrosion from the nasal infections’ toxins and enzymes.

When the case was brought to the attention of the veterinarians at the Park, research and check ups were conducted over a period of time before a course of treatment was decided on. The veterinarians decided to re-create nostrils for the parrot. During the 1.5 hour surgery, tissue which grew in the nostrils had to be removed to create a canal for proper breathing. Incisions were made at the top of the nose for a soft plastic tube to be inserted into the nostrils and out, under the beak and eventually securing the tube at the back of the parrot’s head with a valve.

“We had to leave the plastic tube in place for 4-6 weeks to prevent secondary healing. Having the tube sent a signal to the body to not repair the empty space left after the removal of tissue, so that tissue does not grow back at the vacant area. That eventually became the nostrils. The parrot recovered well from anesthesia, and she was active and strong as well, which bode well for her prognosis,” said Dr Melodiya Magno, Veterinarian, Jurong Bird Park.

After the surgery, she was tube-fed with parrot formula and given daily injections to relieve her pain. Additionally, a mixture of saline and antibiotics was injected into the valve daily to treat the sinuses and the surgical site.

Today, the parrot has recovered, and the veterinarians will remove the tube, conduct a physical check, take an x-ray and extract blood for testing, to ensure that she is completely well before sending her to the Breeding and Research Centre to be a part of the breeding programme.

Inserting a tube through a metal trocar to create new nostrils, May 12

Original nostrils which are blocked, and the new openings with the tube in place above the original nostrils, May 12

Removal of tissue from original blocked nostrils, Jun 09

After removal of tissue which
were blocking the original nostrils, the tube which was inserted through the new nostrils could connect the upper respiratory
tract to the choanal slit to
promote proper drainage of sinus secretions and normal breathing, Jun 09

Suturing the new nostrils after the tube was removed, Jun 21

Blue-headed pionus parrot with functioning original nostrils, Jun 21

PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

ASPIRING YOUNG OLYMPIANS TAKE SINGAPORE ZOO BY STORM

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Singapore, 20 Jun 2012 — While the rest of the world gears up for the London Olympics, aspiring young Olympians got into the spirit of the games at Singapore Zoo’s Zoolympix 2012. Themed “Super Survivors”, this event aims to challenge our young contestants to see how they match up to our amazing creatures of the wild in various special talents and abilities.

Cheered on by her family, a young contender aims to memorise key places in the Elephants of Asia habitat to see how she fares against the elephant, one of the animals with the best memory in the world

Scurry, scurry like a naked mole rat in the quest to find all the carrots while blindfolded!

The popular Pollinator Pals station challenges participants to race against time to transfer as much ‘pollen’ as possible to flowers within 30 seconds.

Think you’re as “Fast-as a Patas”? This station will test your speed against the world’s fastest primate as you navigate through an obstacle course to the finish!

A young Zoolympian proudly shows off her completed Zoolympix passport

Zoolympix 2012 will be on at Singapore Zoo every day until 24 June 2012. So come on down to Singapore Zoo for a fun and educational time for everyone in the family!

Details:
Date: 16 – 24 June 2012
Venue: Singapore Zoo (various locations), 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Fee: $2 per Zoolympix passport (available at Registration booth at start of TreetopsTrail)
Note: Normal admission rates of $20.00 for adults and $13.00 for children between 3-12 years apply

PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

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

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– 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

NIGHT SAFARI CELEBRATES BIRTH OF RARE CLOUDED LEOPARDS

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– NOTORIOUSLY DIFFICULT TO BREED, THREE NEW CLOUDED LEOPARDS ARE BORN A YEAR AFTER THE PARK’S FIRST SUCCESSFUL CLOUDED LEOPARD BIRTH.

The three clouded leopard cubs are healthy and active.

Cubs are seen climbing on branches.

Singapore, 12 June 2012 – Barely a year since its first successful birth of clouded leopards, Night Safari recently welcomed another litter of clouded leopard cubs, one of the world’s rarest and secretive wild cat species. The three cubs that arrived on 14 April 2012 were born to parents Tawan and Wandee, who had their first litter in May last year.

Named for the cloud-like patterns of their coats which help them disappear into the shadows of the forest, clouded leopards are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity. These cats often exhibit very aggressive courtship behaviours which sometimes results in the death of the female during mating. It is estimated that less than 20% of captive clouded leopards have been successful at reproducing because the males tend to kill their females during mating.

This second birth is a result of a planned breeding program, which saw the introduction of Tawan and Wandee at an early age to promote bonding and minimise aggression. The mating pair arrived from Thailand’s Khao Kheow Open Zoo three years ago.

“We are very pleased that our efforts have paid off once again with the birth of this second litter. For a species of big cat facing many threats, every little kitten counts. We hope that this birth will go towards sustaining and increasing the population of clouded leopards both in captivity and in the wild,” said Mr. Subash Chandran, Assistant Director, Zoology, Night Safari.

Clouded leopards are the smallest of the big cats and their highly elusive nature, coupled with nocturnal lifestyle, mean that little is known about their population size and behaviour in the wild as they are very rarely seen. Listed as a vulnerable species by IUCN*, it is estimated that there are fewer than 10,000 individuals left in the wild. Clouded leopards are found primarily in lowland tropical rainforest habitats throughout Southeast Asia, Nepal and southern China. It is believed to be extinct in Taiwan. Population numbers are continuing to decline throughout their natural range due to habitat loss and poaching.

Well adapted to forest life, the clouded leopard has an exceptionally long tail – as long as its body – for balancing on trees. Their flexible ankles allow them to run down trees headfirst. Clouded leopards also have the longest canines of any feline, in proportion to their body size.

Night Safari displays clouded leopards at the Leopard Trail, one of the four walking trails in the park.

Mother Wandee watches over her cubs as they explore the surroundings.

A young clouded leopard

*International Union for Conservation of Nature

YOU CAN BE AN OLYMPIAN TOO AT SINGAPORE ZOO THIS JUNE

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JOIN IN THE RACE FOR THE SUPER SURVIVOR AT ZOOLYMPIX 2012!

Pollinator Pals is back by popular demand from Zoolympix 2011!

Indulge in face/body painting and wear your favourite animal on you at Zoolympix 2012

Singapore, 4 June 2012 — Zoolympix 2012 celebrates the survival of the fittest in the animal kingdom. This year, we highlight the champions in the world of primates. Get ready to pit your skills against our animal Olympians in a series of survival challenges that test your speed, agility, dexterity and brain power!

Race to the six game stations around the Zoo and redeem a stamp each time you successfully clear the challenge. Participants who achieve the highest scores of the day at each station will be inducted into the Zoolympix Hall of Fame. All participants also get to take home a souvenir in the Sure-win Lucky Dip and stand a chance at winning attractive prizes in the Grand Lucky draw.

For those who prefer a more relaxing option, be sure to join in our face painting and badge making activities or swing by the awareness booth to discover amazing primate facts!

Details:
Date: 16 – 24 June 2012
Venue: Singapore Zoo (various locations), 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Fee: $2 per Zoolympix passport (available at Registration booth at start of TreetopsTrail)
Note: Normal admission rates of $20.00 for adults and $13.00 for children between 3-12 years apply

Activities:
Awareness Booth: All about Primates!
Singapore Zoo is home to 39 unique species of primates, many of which are endangered. This diverse group boasts a range of adaptions such as opposable thumbs and toes, as well as binocular and colour vision, which truly make them one of the strongest contenders in the survival game.

But even our closest cousins, known for their intelligence and dexterity, have fallen prey to human activities such as logging and hunting. Come learn all about the last three remaining primates in Singapore – the slow loris, long-tailed macaque and banded leaf monkey, and find out more about Singapore Zoo’s primate conservation efforts, as well as how you can do your part to help our closest cousins!

There will also be a special game station that will test just how much you know about them.

Venue: Start of Treetops Trail

Survival Challenge Stations

1. Tools Thumbs Up!
The thumb is an often under-appreciated part of our body, but do you know how important it is in our daily functions? Certain primates, such as the old world monkeys and great apes, in addition to humans, are some of the only animals equipped with opposable thumbs, which are essential for fine and accurate motor skills.

In this game, participants will pit their dexterity against that of an orang utan’s and pick out insects from a piece of log, using just a stick.

Venue: Sumatran Orang Utan exhibit (near island free-ranging area)

2. Blind Burrowers
Naked mole rats are living proof that beauty is truly skin-deep. Though rather unattractive, these rodents come out tops in the battle of survival, living up to four times as long as their rodent relatives.

Come experience the hidden life of a naked mole rat as you locate all the carrots in the tunnel in the shortest time, blindfolded!

Venue: Naked Mole Rat exhibit

3. Knuckle Knock-Out!
Ever wondered how chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, live, work and play? Well, you can start by learning about how they move around. Apes such as the chimpanzee, bonobo and gorilla often engage in knuckle-walking – a trait that allows them to use their hands for the dual purpose of moving on land while still being able to retain their long fingers for climbing trees and manipulating food.

Armed with gloves, participants get to experience life as a chimpanzee as they navigate a route on their knuckles and feet in the shortest time possible.

Venue: Boat Dock 2

4. Pollinator Pals

Back by popular demand from Zoolympix 2011, Pollinator Pals challenges participants to race against time and transfer as much ‘pollen’ as possible to flowers within 30 seconds.

Pollinators like butterflies and bees are essential in ensuring the reproduction and survival of plants. How well will you fare as one of these fascinating fluttery creatures? Find out here!

Venue: Garden with a View

5. Fast-as a Patas!
How fast can you move on all fours? Well, the patas monkey can hit up to 55km/h! That’s faster than the swiftest human being on Earth (44km/h) on two feet!

Come pit your speed against this amazing monkey as you race your way through an obstacle course to cross hurdles, collect fruit items and sprint to the finishing line as fast as you can!

Venue: Garden Pavilion

6. Mammoth Memory
Think you have a good memory? Pit your brainpower against our elephants – known as one of the animals with the best memory skills in the world.

In this game, participants get to see how they fare against the elephant, by being challenged with the task of remembering the key places in an elephant’s habitat.

Venue: Elephants of Asia (Ele-fun Play Area)

SUPERHEROES TO LAND IN SINGAPORE ZOO THIS WEEKEND

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Singapore, 1 Jun 2012 — Forget The Avengers or Spiderman; these super heroes have a bigger mission at hand—to save our environment from further destruction. Hailing from Australia, the Enviro-Mentals will be descending upon Singapore Zoo this Sunday, 3 June 2012 to help spread the message of conservation through song and dance!

(From left) Flick, Phoenix, Newton and Pia are part of an all-new team with a
mission to save the world!

The Enviro-Mentals are off on their next mission to save the Universe!

Phoenix and Flick get groovy with the crowd at Singapore Zoo.

The Enviro-Mentals want YOU to do your part to save the environment.

While you’re in Singapore Zoo to catch them, enjoy all the activities of our Primate Affair event as well!

Details:
Date: 3 June 2012 (Sun)
Venue: Rainforest Kidzworld Amphitheatre, Singapore Zoo, 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Time: 10.30am
Note: Normal admission rates of $20.00 for adults and $13.00 for children between 3-12 years apply