SINGAPORE: More than 600 animal babies were born or hatched in Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo in 2016, according to Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS).
Among them were highly threatened Southeast Asian animals such as the Sunda pangolin, painted terrapin, proboscis monkey, Bali mynah and black-winged starling which are on the brink of extinction, WRS said in a media release on Wednesday (Feb 15).
Two black-winged starling chicks waiting to be fed. (Photo: WRS)
Nine painted terrapins hatched in April at the Singapore Zoo, while a proboscis monkey was born at the zoo in the same month.
The painted terrapin is one of the most endangered species of freshwater turtles in Southeast Asia due to human consumption and habitat loss. Singapore Zoo saw nine successful hatchings in April 2016. (Photo: WRS)
Born in April 2016, this proboscis baby monkey is Singapore Zoo's 30th successful birth of the endangered primate species since 1999. (Photo: WRS)
"Since 1999, Singapore Zoo has seen 30 proboscis monkey births and Singapore lays claim to the highest number of proboscis monkey births outside of their native Indonesia," WRS said.
Neha the Asian elephant, which arrived in May 2016, now weighs close to 500kg. (Photo: WRS)
Other highlights include the birth of Neha, an Asian elephant born on May 12 at the Night Safari, as well as the fifth birth of a Sunda pangolin since 2011 on Oct 7 at the same park.
Serai, Night Safari's fifth Sunda pangolin baby, was born in October 2016. (Photo: WRS)
"This makes Night Safari one of the most successful wildlife parks in the world in caring for and breeding the world’s most trafficked mammal," WRS said.
Even though there are only 7,100 cheetahs left in the wild, the Singapore Zoo also welcomed cheetah cub Deka on Oct 3, the zoo's first cheetah birth in 14 years. She was initially abandoned by her inexperienced first-time mother, WRS said, but was saved by vets and keepers who hand-raised the cub.
Cheetah cub Deka was born in October 2016. Here, she demonstrates her sprinting prowess during playtime. (Photo: WRS)
The Night Safari's first pair of fennec foxes also successfully bore three kits in November, WRS said.
Fennec foxes are native to the Saharan desert and are known for their unusually large ears. (Photo: WRS)