Close to 400 babies across 107 species joined the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Parks in 2020 with 29 species listed as threatened.
The Singapore’s four wildlife parks found many reasons to celebrate throughout the year, with close to 400 babies across 107 species joining the animal family.
Babies From 29 Threatened Species
The Night Safari welcomed a pair of Malayan tiger cubs on 27 December 2020, the first successful birth of the critically endangered feline at WRS since 1998. With an estimated 150 Malayan tigers left in the wild, the birth of this duo is a significant addition to the population of this subspecies.
The Malayan tiger faces extinction together with five other remaining sub-species of tigers around the world. The yet-to-be-named siblings are currently cared for by their mother Intan, in an off-exhibit area. The animal care team closely monitors their progress via closed circuit cameras.
On 29 June 2020, Night Safari welcomed birth #33 to its Malayan tapir family, a species listed as endangered on the IUCN’s Red List. True to his moniker, the calf named Bintang, which means ‘star’ in Malay, captured the hearts of many when he made his debut on WRS’ social media pages. The fearless young male has since transitioned into the two-toned coat that is distinct in adult tapirs.
Over at Singapore Zoo, critically endangered red ruffed lemur couple, Minnie and Bosco, specially matched because of their genetic compatibility, welcomed their first pair of twins on 22 February 2020. The rust-coloured brother and sister are now almost fully grown and can be seen exploring their home together with their parents.
The Celebes crested macaques were no slouches in the breeding mission either. They too added to the tally of breeding efforts when the latest addition, Joyo (an Indonesian name which means ‘victorious’) was born on 3 July 2020. The critically endangered primate can often be seen swinging around the exhibit and emulating the ways of his elder brother Agung.
At Jurong Bird Park, the 2020 breeding season had many highlights, with a few first-time hatchings for the park such as western long-tailed hornbill, crowned hornbill, violet-backed starling, golden-breasted starling and burrowing owl. We also saw some species return to breed after a break, such as the red- fronted macaw, recently uplisted to critically endangered due to habitat loss and illegal trade. With fewer than 275 mature individuals left in the wild in its native Bolivia, every chick that helps strengthen the ex-situ population is extremely valuable. Other notable species that have continued to expand their families include blue-eyed cockatoo, straw-headed bulbul and lesser bird-of-paradise to name just a few.
2020 also saw the birth of a number of other compelling individuals at WRS. Simba, the lion city’s first lion cub to be born through assisted reproduction was conceived in Singapore Zoo. As the only offspring to his father Mufasa, Simba takes on the important task of continuing his bloodline for genetic diversity.
Night Safari’s southern three-banded armadillo duo, Rocha and Rolar became parents on 5 September 2020, less than a year since being introduced to each other at the night park. Their little ball of joy has been named Bento, which means ‘blessed’ in Portuguese, and can be seen skittering around with mom in their exhibit at the Fishing Cat Trail.
River Safari’s aquarists experienced thrice the joy with a hat trick of successful births of the park’s most iconic species, the West Indian manatee. Two of which were born to first time mums, Canola and her best friend Joella. WRS has an impressive track record with this vulnerable species, having bred 24 so far.
*Photo Credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore