BABY ELEPHANT JOY FOR NIGHT SAFARI’S 22ND ANNIVERSARY

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149kg baby arrives a fortnight before award-winning park’s birthday;
First elephant calf in 6 years was born in the exhibit

Image 1_NS baby ele in exhibit_WRS

Image 1: Night Safari welcomed the latest addition to the elephant herd on 12 May 2016, a fortnight ahead of the award-winning park’s 22nd anniversary. The female calf, which weighed 149kg at birth, is the offspring of 39-year-old Chawang and 30-year-old Sri Nandong. Night Safari visitors can witness the close bond between mother and baby at the Asian elephant exhibit from late June onwards. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 31 May 2016Night Safari received a gigantic early birthday surprise this year, in the form of a 149kg female baby Asian elephant on 12 May 2016. The big bundle of joy arrived 14 days ahead of the award-winning park’s 22nd anniversary, which falls on 26 May 2016.

Sri Nandong, Night Safari’s 30-year-old female Asian elephant, surprised her animal carers when she gave birth to the bouncy calf in the elephant exhibit during operation hours. Keepers had been aware that she was pregnant but did not expect the baby to arrive so soon. An elephant’s gestation period usually lasts between 22-24 months, making it the longest pregnancy in the animal kingdom.

The latest addition to the herd is the park’s first elephant birth in six years. The calf has gained 43kg since birth, and now weighs a hefty 192kg. The gentle yet inquisitive calf was sired by 39-year-old Chawang, the Asian bull elephant at Night Safari. With this birth, Night Safari is now home to four female and two male elephants.

Visitors can witness the close bond between mother and baby at the Asian elephant exhibit from late June onwards. For now, the as yet unnamed calf enjoys her time getting to know her elephant ‘aunties’ Jamilah and Tun, frolicking in her little play pool and going for short walks to get used to her surrounds.

Image 2_NS baby ele bathing_WRS

Image 2: Night Safari’s elephant herd welcomed a baby on 12 May 2016. Visitors can witness the close bond between mother and baby at the Asian elephant exhibit from late June onwards. For now, the as yet unnamed calf enjoys her time getting to know her elephant ‘aunties’ Jamilah and Tun, frolicking in her little play pool and going for short walks to get used to her surrounds. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

 

Image 3_NS baby ele in exhibit_WRS

Image 3: Night Safari’s 30 year old female elephant Sri Nandong, introduces her calf to napier grass. The calf, which was born on 12 May 2016, still relies mainly on her mother’s milk, but is starting to use her trunk to explore solid food. Visitors wanting to see the calf will need to be patient as she will only be out in the exhibit from late June onwards. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

NIGHT SAFARI’S BABY ELEPHANT READY TO GREET VISITORS

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Singapore, 4 April 2011 – This April, Night Safari visitors will get to see the park’s first baby elephant in nine years, when the five-month-old calf makes his first public appearance. Born on 23 November last year, this latest addition to Night Safari’s brood of endangered Asian elephants has been named ‘Nila Utama’, after the Sumatran prince Sang Nila Utama, who founded the kingdom of Singapura in 1324.

The bold and inquisitive elephant was sired by Chawang, the sole bull elephant at Night Safari, which is managed by Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS). Now 125cm tall and weighing a hefty 318 kg, it is the first elephant to be born at both Night Safari and Singapore Zoo in almost a decade. Visitors can witness the close bond between mother and baby at the Asian elephant exhibit from April onwards.

“Our four-month-old calf is growing up to be strong, curious, and independent. He is not afraid to leave his mother’s side to explore his surroundings and we have seen the little one even getting into the pool of water himself. Nila Utama is like our very own ‘Singapore son’ and we are excited for Singaporeans and tourists to get acquainted with him. WRS hopes his birth will go towards sustaining and increasing the population of Asian elephants both in captivity and in the wild,” said Ms Fanny Lai, Group CEO of WRS.

Nila Utama is the 11th addition to the family of Asian elephants at WRS, which also runs the Jurong Bird Park, Singapore Zoo and the upcoming River Safari. His mother, Sri Nandong, has raised two other males, Sang Raja (‘noble one’) in 1999 and Sang Wira (‘brave one’) in 2001.

WRS runs successful breeding programmes across all its parks, and has done particularly well with breeding endangered animals such as the pangolin, Malayan sun bear, the orang utans and many others. It works with global partners to increase the gene pool of captive animals through various exchange programmes. For example, Chawang’s semen has been sent to zoos in Australia to help facilitate artificial inseminations with elephants there.

The population of Asian elephants in the wild is dwindling fast – even more so than their better recognised counterpart, the African elephant. An estimated 30,000 to 50,000 are left in the forests of India, Sri Lanka, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Habitat loss poses the most serious threat to the future of these magnificent creatures, as a large part of their native homes are being logged and cleared for urban and agricultural development resulting in human – elephant conflict. WRS is working with Wildlife Conservation Society in mitigating this in Sumatra, Indonesia.

Photo courtesy of Bjorn Olesen

Photo courtesy of Bjorn Olesen