Baby boom at Singapore’s wildlife parks, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Baby boom at Singapore’s wildlife parks

Singaporeans may be having fewer children, but it is a different story at our wildlife parks here.

In fact, it is a baby boom.

According to the Mandai Wildlife Group, the four main wildlife parks in Singapore – Bird Paradise, Night Safari, River Wonders and Singapore Zoo – celebrated 970 births and hatchlings across 128 species in 2023.

That is the highest number of babies that the wildlife parks have collectively produced since 2013, Mandai Wildlife Group said on March 20.

Among the new additions are to 29 species listed as threatened under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.

Of the 128 species that celebrated new arrivals in 2023, 19 are part of internationally managed breeding programmes, such as the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria’s Ex-Situ Programme, said Mandai Wildlife Group.

Among the 19 in the programme is the red ruffed lemur, which is critically endangered. The zoo saw the addition of a pair of twin males in 2023.

The arrival of the young tykes marked a special milestone in the conservation of their species, as reproducing is difficult since they only breed once a year, said Mandai Wildlife Group.

The zoo in 2023 also for the first time saw the births of pure-bred green and black poison dart frogs and the hatching of a Roti snake-necked turtle.

Another highlight for Mandai Wildlife Group was the hatching of an African flamingo chick – Singapore’s first for over 25 years – at Bird Paradise.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Mandai Wildlife Group’s deputy chief executive officer, said it is the team’s privilege to watch the young animals grow and to be part of conservation efforts for the species under their care.

“Every new addition to our wildlife family is special, as each birth and hatching contributes towards nurturing healthy, sustainable populations of species under human care,” added a delighted Dr Cheng, who is also the chief life sciences officer.

The 2023 babies mark an increase in births and hatchings from 2022, which recorded nearly 800 new animals across 126 species.

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