Rare pangolin baby among 400 animal babies born at WRS parks this year

By Zaki JufriEvents - 02 October 2014 6:00 PM | Updated 6:16 PM

Rare pangolin baby among 400 animal babies born at WRS parks this year

It is perhaps one of the most critically endangered animals in Singapore.

The elusive and nocturnal Sunda pangolin produces only one or two offspring a year. 

But on 13 July 2014, Radin, a baby pangolin, was born at the Night Safari.

It is the third pangolin baby born there since 2011. The Night Safari is the first zoological instituition to house the creature, which is hunted for its meat and scales, so much so that it is driven to extinction by illegal animal traffickers and has experienced a loss of habitat.

Coinciding with World Animal Day on 4 October this year, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) marked Radin's arrival as well as more than 400 animal babies that were born or hatched between January and August in the parks under its umbrella.

World Animal Day started in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species. Since then, it has grown to encompass all kinds of animal life and is widely celebrated in countries throughout the world.

Giant river otter Carmen takes her pups for a swim. Photo: WRS


This year the Singapore Zoo welcomed four rare births: a cotton-top tamarin, a javan langur, a proboscis monkey and a southern river terrapin.

The southern river terrapin is one of the most endangered species on earth and only 200 adult individuals remain in the wild. The zoo also houses the largest collection of proboscis monkeys, outside of Indonesia.

Jurong Bird Park successfully hatched eight baby Bali mynahs as well as a goliath palm cockatoo.

A distant cousin of the wild otters, River Safari's rare giant river otters Carlos and Carmen produced two pups on 8 July. Their first pup born last year did not survive.

Carlos and Carmen are from Germany’s Hamburg and Duisburg Zoo respectively, and arrived in Singapore 2012 as part of an animal exchange and breeding programme. The River Safari is the first zoological institution in Asia to feature the animals.

Javan langurs. Photo: WRS

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, WRS' Chief Life Sciences Officer said: “Each of these births represents a precious glimmer of hope in our effort to help save the planet’s biodiversity. Many of them are part of coordinated conservation breeding programmes to safeguard against extinction in the wild. All of them are invaluable ambassadors for their species to connect our visitors to the need for their protection.”