SINGAPORE ZOO WELCOMES 21st WHITE RHINO CALF

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Robust baby up and walking within an hour of birth; First male calf in five years

Image 1 (left): Donsa, Singapore Zoo’s 32-year-old female white rhino proudly shows off her calf. This is Donsa’s 11th baby and one of seven white rhinos at the wildlife park. Altogether, 21 white rhinos have been born in the zoo, some of which have been sent to zoos in Australia, Indonesia, Korea and Thailand as part of a global animal exchange programme.

Image 2 (right): The yet-to-be-named calf stays close to mom Donsa at Singapore Zoo’s back of house rhino facility. Visitors to the park will be able to see him in a few months, when he is ready to join the rest of the herd. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 28 September 2017Singapore Zoo’s prolific 32-year-old white rhino Donsa quietly delivered her eleventh calf in the wee hours of 6 September, and by the time her keepers arrived for work within an hour of the birth, the healthy male calf was already taking his first wobbly steps.

With 20 rhino births under their belts, keepers knew Donsa was due to deliver, and had prepped the birthing den two days before, in anticipation of the new arrival.
The yet-to-be-named calf currently spends time bonding with mom in the back of house facility. An energetic lad, the young one enjoys being scratched with an extended brush.

Keepers use this opportunity to get him comfortable to their presence. These sessions also pave the way for future medical training: conditioning that allows animals to be examined and given simple treatment without being stressed.

Singapore Zoo is home to seven of these majestic creatures, and the latest addition is the first male born in five years after a string of females. Of the 21 babies born here, some have been sent to Australia, Indonesia, Korea and Thailand as part of the Zoo’s ex-situ conservation efforts through its worldwide exchange programme.

Although Donsa and baby are not in the public eye yet, you can meet Hoepel the proud father, and the other white rhinos, during their daily 1.15pm feeding session—the first ever in Asia and one of Singapore Zoo’s signature programmes—and experience an up close and personal encounter with these giants.

White rhinos are considered near threatened in the wild on the IUCN’s* Red List of Threatened species. Together with the Indian rhino, it is the largest species of land mammal after the elephant. They are poached for their horns, which some believe as having medicinal properties. In fact, the horns are made of solid keratin, the same material in hair and fingernails, and there has been no scientific evidence to suggest that they are a cure for anything.

SZ White Rhino Calf 3_SZ

Image 3 (left): Although barely three weeks old, Singapore Zoo’s white rhino calf already knows what he loves—being scratched! Keepers indulge him in this activity as part of early conditioning, which allows him to be comfortable around keepers and less resistant to touch during future medical procedures. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

*International Union for the Conservation of Nature

WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE AND SINGAPORE AIRLINES CARGO UNWAVERING IN COMMITTMENT TO BOOST GENE POOL THROUGH ANIMAL BREEDING PROGRAMME

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SINGAPORE AIRLINES CARGO FLIES IN INDIAN RHINO, THE LATEST ADDITION TO NIGHT SAFARI FROM USA, ON 16 APRIL 2009

Singapore, 17 April, 2009 – In a continuous effort to breed threatened species, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) today received an Indian rhino from Oklahoma City Zoo, USA, for its animal breeding programme. The rhino, which flew in via Singapore Airlines Cargo accompanied by a veterinarian and a keeper, arrived in Singapore on April 18. The female rhino, Mary aged 19, will be quarantined for one month. Visitors can look forward to view her on exhibit during the upcoming June school holidays.

“Wildlife Reserves Singapore is pleased that Mary arrived safely. Singapore Airlines Cargo has been a trusted partner in transporting our precious and priceless animals to and from our parks. We are pleased to add Mary to the Indian rhino family as it will allow her to mingle, and we hope she will find the right partner in our male rhino that is currently on exhibit at the “Nepalese River Valley‟,” said Ms Fanny Lai, Group CEO Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

According to the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List, the Indian rhino is “vulnerable” meaning that it is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

Indian rhinos are among the largest of all rhino species, similar to the white rhino. Their natural habitat ranges include tall grasslands, alluvial plains, adjacent swamps and forests of India and Nepal. They are becoming endangered due to habitat loss, coupled with the regard in some culture that rhino horns are an aphrodisiac.

In the first half of the year, WRS parks Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, have scheduled several animal exchanges with other zoos globally. This is in line with WRS’ objective to raise awareness and conservation of species whose population are currently under threat. On 25 March, Night Safari received three Asian lions from Sakkarbaug Zoological Gardens, India. In exchange, Singapore Zoo sent two pairs of cheetahs on 28 March, all on Singapore Airlines Cargo.

“As a supporter of wildlife conservation, we are pleased to be a carrier and logistics partner of choice in this worthy endeavor. Our advanced B747-400 freighters, equipped with the necessary equipment to regulate temperature and cabin pressure, help towards the safe and successful delivery of these animals,” said Mr Tan Tiow Kor, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing, Singapore Airlines Cargo representative.