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What's a Tahr?

January saw multiple births of Himalayan Tahr at Singapore Zoo's Night Safari. Four year old Aman, who has been at the park for more than two years, became a proud father four times over. Himalayan Tahr are one of three species (in addition to the Nilgiri Tahr and the Arabian Tahr) of large Asian ungulates related to the wild goat.



Photos courtesy Wildlife Reserves Singapore

More pics after the jump...



In total Aman has sired seven offspring since his arrival. The four additions were born to four different females. Night Safari’s Himalayan tahr collection now stands at 12 females and 10 males.

“We are extremely pleased with the new births at Night Safari as this will create a new bloodline for breeding and increase the total population of Himalayan tahrs. The successful births are made possible with good animal husbandry practices and the dedication of the zoology and veterinary team,” said Mr Kumar Pillai, Assistant Director, Zoology, Night Safari.

Night Safari, through its animal exchange programme, brought Aman from Australia’s Taronga Zoo in 2007 to add new blood to its herd to further boost the park’s breeding programme.

Himalayan tahrs generally range from northern India east to Bhutan, and north to Tibet. The population is declining in their native habitats for several reasons such as habitat loss and degradation, and harvesting for food. Changes in native species dynamics also contribute to falling numbers.

However, they have also been introduced into New Zealand, New Mexico, California and South Africa. Adult males have a pair of massive horns and a shaggy coat, which is quite distinct from the grey coat of the females.

Night Safari integrates the mother and the young male with the herd upon its birth. When it reaches sexual maturity at about two years, the male offspring will be separated from the herd and put into a bachelor group, a common occurrence in the wild.