BIRTHDAY SUSPENSE FOR GIANT PANDAS AT RIVER SAFARI

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Giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia celebrate birthdays and third anniversary in Singapore; Changes in Jia Jia’s hormones and behaviours keep caretakers on toes over possible pregnancy

Female panda Jia Jia, who was late for her birthday party, turns seven today. She enjoyed a colourful birthday cake made of ice, bamboo, apples and carrots at River Safari’s Panda Party. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Female panda Jia Jia, who was late for her birthday party, turns seven today. She enjoyed a colourful birthday cake made of ice, bamboo, apples and carrots at River Safari’s Panda Party. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

SINGAPORE, 3 September 2015 – As she quietly celebrated her 7th birthday this morning, River Safari’s female panda Jia Jia continues to keep a little secret which has been keeping vets and keepers on their toes over changes in her behaviours.

In the past two months, panda caretakers have been playing a guessing game on whether the bear is pregnant or going through pseudopregnancy, a common state in which pandas exhibit hormonal and behavioural changes that indicate they are pregnant when they are not.

After the panda underwent artificial insemination on 18 April, caretakers, including a panda specialist from China, have been closely monitoring her behaviours and hormone levels, watching for signs of pregnancy. Since July, Jia Jia has been eating less bamboo, sleeping more, spending more time in her den and her hormone levels are increasing – all signs consistent with pregnancy or pseudopregnancy. Giant pandas commonly display pseudopregnancies and experts worldwide are often not able to determine pandas’ pregnancy status until a late stage.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Under the watchful eyes of our vets and keepers, both Kai Kai and Jia Jia continue to develop well in their Singapore home. Both reached sexual maturity for the first time this year and we are now tracking Jia Jia closely. We hope the data and knowledge gathered from the study of Kai Kai and Jia Jia will add to the global understanding of this endangered species, and contribute to the conservation of giant pandas.”

Vets and keepers have been conducting weekly ultrasound scans to detect a foetus but the results have been inconclusive. Panda caretakers could not detect any foetus based on a recent ultrasound scan on 31 August. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Vets and keepers have been conducting weekly ultrasound scans to detect a foetus but the results have been inconclusive. Panda caretakers could not detect any foetus based on a recent ultrasound scan on 31 August.
PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Since 23 July, vets and keepers have been conducting weekly ultrasound scans in an attempt to detect a foetus but the results have been inconclusive. The gestation period for a giant panda is typically five months, and the foetus only starts to develop a few weeks before birth.

Dr Serena Oh, Assistant Director of Veterinary Services, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Her behaviours are in line with a rise in progesterone but it is not easy to confirm her pregnancy because the gestation period varies for each panda. Giant pandas have delayed implantation and it is difficult to see the small foetus during ultrasound scans. We can only definitively conclude she is not pregnant once her hormone levels return to normal and she has not delivered, but for now, it is still a guessing game.”

Classified as “endangered” with only 1,600 left in the wild, giant pandas are notoriously difficult to breed. River Safari’s pandas were brought together to mate in April, after vets and keepers had successfully triggered breeding behaviours through controlled lighting and temperature in Giant Panda Forest. As the mating session appeared unsuccessful, Jia Jia was artificially inseminated.

Vets and keepers will continue monitoring Jia Jia’s hormone levels and conduct ultrasound scans. The public can follow Jia Jia’s development via Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s Twitter account (@tweetWRS) with the hashtag #SGPanda.

Jia Jia’s mate, Kai Kai, was also presented with a cake today where he enjoyed the birthday treat in the company of 30 pre-school kids from PCF Zhenghua. The male panda will turn eight on 14 September.

The pandas’ birthdays will be marked with a Panda Party Week from 5 to 13 September, where both bears will receive daily treats as a form of enrichment. In addition, visitors can look forward to interactive booths to learn more about giant pandas, and get hands-on with arts and crafts. Visitors can also enjoy one-for-one promotions on exclusive panda merchandise, as well as panda-licious treats. To mark the pandas’ coming of age, children born in 2007 and 2008 enter River Safari for free in September. Free admission is extended to Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term visit pass holders.

INDIGENOUS ANIMALS FEATURED IN “BIODIVERSITY IS US” PROJECT

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WRS creates localised version of global biodiversity campaign; Sunda pangolin, oriental pied hornbill among animals featured

Wildlife Reserves Singapore head vet Dr Serena Oh gives her daughter Megan a piggy back ride, much like how mother pangolins cart their young around, in the local rendition of the “Biodiversity is Us” project with a series of photos that depicts how humans and animals are closely connected. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Wildlife Reserves Singapore head vet Dr Serena Oh gives her daughter Megan a piggy back ride, much like how mother pangolins cart their young around, in the local rendition of the “Biodiversity is Us” project with a series of photos that depicts how humans and animals are closely connected. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 27 June 2015 — Indigenous animals that live in the tropical rainforests, mangroves or coral ecosystems of Singapore take center stage in Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s rendition of the “Biodiversity is Us” project, with a series of photos that depicts how humans and animals are closely connected.

Featuring Singapore’s fauna like the critically endangered Sunda pangolin, oriental-pied hornbill, tokay gecko, crab-eating macaques and knobbly sea stars, the project serves to share knowledge of the environment and the amazing array of life on our planet, and the simple actions that individuals can do to protect it.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation & Research Manager Jessica Lee displays how humans and oriental pied hornbills are closely connected in the local rendition of the “Biodiversity is Us” project, which serves to share knowledge of the environment and the amazing array of life on our planet, and the simple actions individuals can do to protect it. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation & Research Manager Jessica Lee displays how humans and oriental pied hornbills are closely connected in the local rendition of the “Biodiversity is Us” project, which serves to share knowledge of the environment and the amazing array of life on our planet, and the simple actions individuals can do to protect it. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Visitors to the Festival of Biodiversity on 27 and 28 June at Vivocity can visit the Wildlife Reserves Singapore booth to learn more about Biodiversity is Us, and have their pictures taken for their own Biodiversity is Us e-poster. The public can also download the free Biodiversity is Us app to learn about 400 animal species, take part in games and quizzes, build animal checklists and more.

Singapore Zoo’s Deputy Head reptile keeper Jose Pedro Cairos displays how humans and tokay geckos are closely connected in the local rendition of the “Biodiversity is Us” project, which serves to share knowledge of the environment and the amazing array of life on our planet, and the simple actions individuals can do to protect it. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore Zoo’s Deputy Head reptile keeper Jose Pedro Cairos displays how humans and tokay geckos are closely connected in the local rendition of the “Biodiversity is Us” project, which serves to share knowledge of the environment and the amazing array of life on our planet, and the simple actions individuals can do to protect it. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Biodiversity is Us is initiated by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and supports the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011–2020 by providing tools for raising awareness about biodiversity.

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

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

JURONG BIRD PARK UNVEILS WINGS OF ASIA AVIARY

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Rejuvenated aviary houses one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of rare Asian birds;
Park welcomes 11 threatened species for conservation breeding

Guest-of-Honour Mr Desmond Lee, Minister of State for National Development, receives a key to Jurong Bird Park’s rejuvenated Wings of Asia aviary from Sassy the cockatoo.

Guest-of-Honour Mr Desmond Lee, Minister of State for National Development, receives a key to Jurong Bird Park’s rejuvenated Wings of Asia aviary from Sassy the cockatoo. (Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore)

SINGAPORE, 21 January 2015 – Visitors to Jurong Bird Park can marvel at some of Asia’s rarest and most exotic birds with the unveiling of the Wings of Asia aviary today, in a ceremony officiated by Mr Desmond Lee, Minister of State for National Development.

With a collection of over 500 birds representing 135 species when complete, the rejuvenated aviary houses the largest diversity of birds in the park. It is home to one of the world’s most comprehensive and admired collections of Asian birds, including 24 threatened species such as the Bali mynah, Luzon bleeding-heart dove and black-winged starling. These species have been successfully hatched and raised as part of the park’s ongoing conservation breeding programmes.

Black-winged starling

Eleven of the 24 threatened species are new additions, with five being displayed for the first time in the park. These include the Javan green magpie, rufous-fronted laughingthrush and racquet-tailed parrot which are expected to arrive in the park soon. Plans are underway to kick-start a breeding programme for these birds whose numbers are declining rapidly in the wild due to habitat loss and degradation as well as excessive trapping for the cage-bird trade. Through conservation breeding, the park hopes to maintain and safeguard a sustainable population of these birds and eventually introduce selected species back into the wild, in their native lands.

Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Over the years, Jurong Bird Park has been actively involved in the conservation of Asia’s most precious birds, from boosting the numbers of threatened species to working with multiple agencies, to repopulating birds in their native habitats. The unveiling of Wings of Asia represents another feather in our conservation cap and we hope this crown jewel will inspire visitors to appreciate, understand and protect Asia’s winged wonders.”

Previously known as the Southeast Asian Birds Aviary, the 2,600 square-meter exhibit underwent a three-month makeover which included the expansion of its smaller aviaries, theming work, refreshed educational displays for visitors to learn about the different species of birds, and an overhaul of its aviary mesh for better viewing.

Visitors can look forward to special experiences such as feeding and chit-chat sessions with keepers to learn more about the feathered residents.

BIRTH OF ENDANGERED ASIAN LION CUBS ROUND UP NIGHT SAFARI’S 20TH ANNIVERSARY WITH A ROAR

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Birth of two more cubs makes it a dozen babies in total for prolific Asian lion pair;

Only 300 Asian lions remain in India’s Gir Forest, the only place where they are found in the wild

Baring its full set of small but sharp teeth, this feisty little Asian lion cub is all set to roar into the new year, as part of the pride of 13 Asian lions that calls Night Safari home. The as-yet-unnamed cub is one of two Asian lion babies born on 27 September 2014. Photo credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Baring its full set of small but sharp teeth, this feisty little Asian lion cub is all set to roar into the new year, as part of the pride of 13 Asian lions that calls Night Safari home. The as-yet-unnamed cub is one of two Asian lion babies born on 27 September 2014. Photo credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Singapore, 9 December 2014 – As a sweet finale to Night Safari’s 20th anniversary this year, endangered Asian lion residents Khapat and Amba gifted the park with two Asian lion cubs, making them the 11th and 12th babies to be born to their prolific parents.

Born on 27 September, the tawny male and female pair was sexed, microchipped and given a round of vaccinations during their veterinary checkup in late November. Visitors can look out for them in upcoming months, when they will be introduced to their older siblings in the Asian lion exhibit along Night Safari’s tram route. For now, they are spending time bonding with mom in the cubbing den at a back of house facility.

One of the newest members of Night Safari’s Asian lion pride bares its teeth to demonstrate its mettle. The cub, one of two born on 27 September 2014, is currently bonding with mom in a back of house facility, but will be introduced to the Asian lion exhibit along Night Safari’s tram route in upcoming months. Photo credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

One of the newest members of Night Safari’s Asian lion pride bares its teeth to demonstrate its mettle. The cub, one of two born on 27 September 2014, is currently bonding with mom in a back of house facility, but will be introduced to the Asian lion exhibit along Night Safari’s tram route in upcoming months. Photo credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “It’s always heartening to welcome new babies into our collection, especially at a time when many of the world’s wildlife species are being threatened as a direct result of human-related activities. These births are a valuable addition to an assurance colony of Asian lions under human care, and will help to safeguard against extinction in the wild.

Dr Ng Weng Yan, veterinarian, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, holds the male cub still to take its weight, as part of a health check. The cub weighed close to 8kg at two months, while his sister is a little lighter at approximately 6.8kg. Aside from being sexed for the first time, the cubs were also vaccinated and microchipped for identification.  Photo credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Dr Ng Weng Yan, veterinarian, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, holds the male cub still to take its weight, as part of a health check. The cub weighed close to 8kg at two months, while his sister is a little lighter at approximately 6.8kg. Aside from being sexed for the first time, the cubs were also vaccinated and microchipped for identification.
Photo credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

The Asian lion is a separate subspecies from the African lion. Listed as endangered under the IUCN* Red List, 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 sanctuary where about 300 of these magnificent animals roam. Additionally, close to 340 Asian lions live in zoos. Night Safari has 13 lions in its pride, the fourth largest collection under human care.

Night Safari hopes that it will be able to contribute to Asian lion numbers, both wild and under human care, through its captive breeding programme. To date, Night Safari has successfully bred twelve Asian lion cubs, one of which was sent to Denmark’s Aalborg Zoo last June, as part of an animal exchange programme.

Award-winning Night Safari, the world’s first safari park for nocturnal animals, officially celebrated her 20th anniversary in May this year.

*IUCN: International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED BALI MYNAHS FIND NEW HOME IN JURONG BIRD PARK

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First feathered residents move into soon-to-be-opened Wings of Asia aviary

Avian management officer, Ivan Choo, releases a pair of Bali mynahs into Jurong Bird Park’s Wings of Asia aviary which will officially open in late January 2015.  PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Avian management officer, Ivan Choo, releases a pair of Bali mynahs into Jurong Bird Park’s Wings of Asia aviary which will officially open in late January 2015.
PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

SINGAPORE, 4 December 2014 – Four critically endangered Bali mynahs, whose numbers add up to fewer than 50 in the wild, were among the first feathered residents to move into the new Wings of Asia aviary at Jurong Bird Park.

The Bali mynah, or Bali starling, is found only in the Bali islands of Indonesia and can be identified through its clear white feathers, black-tipped wings and vivid blue skin around its eyes. The declining numbers are primarily attributable to unsustainable, illegal trapping for the pet trade and rapid habitat destruction.

With fewer than 50 left in the wild, the Bali mynah is one of the many rare bird species that Jurong Bird Park aims to protect through its conservation and research programmes. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

With fewer than 50 left in the wild, the Bali mynah is one of the many rare bird species that Jurong Bird Park aims to protect through its conservation and research programmes.
PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

To conserve the species, Jurong Bird Park has been working with the Bali-based Begawan Foundation on a breeding and exchange programme to boost the population and enhance the gene pool of Bali mynahs raised under human care.

In the next few weeks, over 300 feathered residents will be moved into their new homes. Visitors to Jurong Bird Park will soon get to marvel at Asia’s rarest and most exotic birds with the unveiling of the Wings of Asia aviary in late January 2015.

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