More than 30 pouched giants at Jurong Bird Park underwent annual health check to safeguard against avian influenza

IMAGE 1: Veterinarian Dr. Chiharu Okumura administers a dewormer to a great white pelican during Jurong Bird Park’s annual health check on 20 May to ensure the birds are free of parasites. The annual operation lasted about three hours and involved 12 staff who caught, carried and weighed each of the 34 giant water birds.

IMAGE 1: Veterinarian Dr. Chiharu Okumura administers a dewormer to a great white pelican during Jurong Bird Park’s annual health check on 20 May to ensure the birds are free of parasites. The annual operation lasted about three hours and involved 12 staff who caught, carried and weighed each of the 34 giant water birds.

SINGAPORE, 26 May 2015Jurong Bird Park was a flurry of feathers last Wednesday as more than 30 pelicans underwent a health check that included weight-taking, blood sample collection, deworming and vaccination against avian influenza. The operation lasted about three hours and involved 12 Jurong Bird Park staff, including three veterinarians and four vet assistants, who restrained and weighed each of the 34 giant water birds. The annual check ensures the birds are healthy, and facilitates early detection and treatment of illnesses.

IMAGE 2: Veterinarian Dr. Neo Pei Ci administers a vaccine against avian influenza on a Dalmatian pelican – the largest pelican species – as part of an annual health check at Jurong Bird Park on 20 May. The operation lasted about three hours and involved 12 staff who caught, carried and weighed each of the 34 giant water birds.

IMAGE 2: Veterinarian Dr. Neo Pei Ci administers a vaccine against avian influenza on a Dalmatian pelican – the largest pelican species – as part of an annual health check at Jurong Bird Park on 20 May. The operation lasted about three hours and involved 12 staff who caught, carried and weighed each of the 34 giant water birds.

Pelicans are among the heaviest flying birds and are characterised by their long beaks and famous elastic throat pouches that assist them in catching fish. Jurong Bird Park is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of pelicans with all eight species represented. These are the American white, great white, brown, pink-backed, Peruvian, Australian, Dalmatian and spot-billed pelicans. Visitors at the park can find the Peruvian pelicans basking in the sun alongside cormorants and herons at the Shore Birds exhibit. All other seven species can be found diving for fish at Pelican Cove which features the world’s first underwater viewing gallery for these birds.

IMAGE 3: Veterinarian Dr. Chiharu Okumura (left) conducts a physical check on a Dalmatian pelican as part of an annual health check at Jurong Bird Park on 20 May. The operation lasted about three hours and involved 12 staff who caught, carried and weighed each of the 34 giant water birds.

IMAGE 3: Veterinarian Dr. Chiharu Okumura (left) conducts a physical check on a Dalmatian pelican as part of an annual health check at Jurong Bird Park on 20 May. The operation lasted about three hours and involved 12 staff who caught, carried and weighed each of the 34 giant water birds.

IMAGE 4: A keeper weighs a Dalmatian pelican by holding the bird while standing on the scale. All birds are individually weighed to monitor any significant weight loss or gain which could indicate potential health problems.

IMAGE 4: A keeper weighs a Dalmatian pelican by holding the bird while standing on the scale. All birds are individually weighed to monitor any significant weight loss or gain which could indicate potential health problems.

In celebration of SG50, local residents can sign up for a special Feather Friends membership and enjoy unlimited year-round entry to the park – all for the price of a one day admission ticket. More information can be found at http://members.wrs.com.sg/