Night Safari

Night Safari’s Little ‘Princess’ Joins the Herd

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Night Safari’s largest baby of the year, an Asian Elephant calf, is two months old. The female calf is ready to greet her fans and join the adults in Night Safari’s elephant exhibit.

The adorable baby was born to Chawang, Night Safari’s famed four-ton male Asian Elephant, and mom, Sri Nandong.

Chawang is the Singapore park’s biggest animal and has always been regarded as ‘King of Night Safari’. His princess joins five other elephants in the world’s first nocturnal wildlife park. Aside from her parents, the calf’s brother, 15-year old Sang Wira, also resides at the park.

Inquisitive and intelligent, the calf surprised keepers on May 12 this year, when she bounded into the world earlier than expected. Mom had only been pregnant for 19 months, when usual gestation is closer to 22 months.

True to her eager attitude to life, the little one has grown by leaps and bounds. For a start, her weight has increased to 210kg (463 lbs.), up from an initial 149kg (328) at birth. Ever the curious one, she is an avid fan of all things wet, and will never pass up a chance to slosh about in her play pool, following that with a roll in the sand whenever possible.

She is starting to relish in her independence and is especially close to dedicated caretaker ‘Auntie Tun’, whom she regards as a larger than life playmate. Elephants live in herds, which are made up primarily of related females, who will act as surrogate mothers to juveniles in the group. Although unrelated, Tun continues to play this role with much gusto, and is always on hand to watch over the little one.

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4_Image 1_NS baby ele debut_WRSPhoto Credits:Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Yet to be named, the two-month old calf has already received quite the following on social media, having starred in two videos showing her indulging in all things elephant: splashing around in her signature rainbow tub, going for walks, and experimenting on adult food. Her caregivers are waiting a few more months, to allow her personality to fully develop, before choosing a suitable name reflecting her character.

Dr. Cheng Wen-Haur, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Life Sciences Officer said, “The birth of this female calf is particularly significant as elephants are very slow breeders, and she will contribute towards achieving a sustainable population under human care. She will also play a leading role as an ambassador to help raise awareness on the plight of her threatened relatives in the wild.”

The Asian or Asiatic Elephant (Elephas maximus) is the only living species of the genus Elephas and is native to Southeast Asia from India in the west to Borneo in the east. Three subspecies are recognized: E. m. maximus from Sri Lanka, the E. m. indicus from mainland Asia, and E. m. sumatranus from the island of Sumatra. Asian Elephants are the largest living land animals in Asia.

Since 1986, E. maximus has been listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, as the population has declined by at least 50% over the last three generations (estimated to be 60–75 years). Asian Elephants are primarily threatened by degradation, fragmentation and loss of habitat, and poaching.

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Sweet Surprise for Singapore’s Night Safari

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Night Safari, in Singapore, received a gigantically-sweet, early birthday surprise this year, in the form of a 149kg (328 lb.) baby Asian Elephant, born May 12.

The big bundle of joy arrived 14 days ahead of the award-winning park’s 22nd anniversary, which fell on May 26, 2016.

Sri Nandong, Night Safari’s 30-year-old female Asian Elephant, surprised her animal keepers when she gave birth to the bouncy calf in the elephant exhibit, during operation hours. Keepers had been aware that she was pregnant but did not expect the baby to arrive so soon. An elephant’s gestation period usually lasts between 22-24 months, making it the longest pregnancy in the animal kingdom.

The latest addition to the herd is the park’s first elephant birth in six years. The calf has gained 43kg (95 lb.) since birth, and now weighs a hefty 192kg (423 lb.). The gentle, yet inquisitive, calf was sired by 39-year-old Chawang at Night Safari. With this birth, Night Safari is now home to three female and two male elephants.

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3_Image 2_NS baby ele bathing_WRSPhoto Credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

The calf still relies mainly on mother’s milk, but is starting to use its trunk to explore solid food. Visitors can witness the close bond between mother and baby at the Asian Elephant Exhibit from late June onwards.

For now, the as-yet-unnamed calf enjoys time getting to know the elephant ‘aunties’ Jamilah and Tun, frolicking in a little play pool, and going for short walks to get used to the surroundings.

The Asian or Asiatic Elephant (Elephas maximus) is the only living species of the genus Elephas and is native to Southeast Asia from India in the west to Borneo in the east. Three subspecies are recognized: E. m. maximus from Sri Lanka, the E. m. indicus from mainland Asia, and E. m. sumatranus from the island of Sumatra. Asian Elephants are the largest living land animals in Asia.

Since 1986, E. maximus has been listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, as the population has declined by at least 50% over the last three generations (estimated to be 60–75 years). Asian Elephants are primarily threatened by degradation, fragmentation and loss of habitat, and poaching.

In general, the Asian Elephant is smaller than the African Elephant and has the highest body point on the head. The back is convex or level. The ears are small with dorsal borders folded laterally. It has up to 20 pairs of ribs and 34 caudal vertebrae. The feet have more nail-like structures than those of African Elephant: five on each forefoot, and four on each hind foot.

Night Safari, the world’s first nocturnal wildlife park, is a 12-time winner of the Best Attraction category awarded by Singapore Tourism Board. In 2014, the park also received an Exceptional Achievement Award in the Special Recognition category for winning the Best Visitor Attraction Experience award consecutively for three years.

This internationally acclaimed leisure attraction embodies innovation and creativity in products and services, and service quality, thus attracting more than 1.1 million visitors annually. More than 1,000 animals from close to 120 species (of which almost 35% are threatened) inhabit the 35-hectare park.

In line with its mission to promote biodiversity, the park focuses on the captive breeding of threatened species. Over the years, it has bred Malayan tigers, Asian elephants, fishing cats, red dholes, anoas, markhors, bantengs, Malayan tapirs and Asian lions, among other endangered species.

A visitor’s experience at Night Safari is not limited to animals but extends to experiential dining segments with the park’s award winning Gourmet Safari Experience, where visitors dine onboard a tram traversing the seven geographical zones. The park can be explored either on foot via four walking trails, or by tram. Night Safari is part of Wildlife Reserves Singapore and is a designated rescued wildlife centre by the governing authority.

Night Safari is located at 80 Mandai Lake Road Singapore 729826. More information can be found at www.nightsafari.com.sg


Pip the Bennett's Wallaby Joey Gets a Cozy New Home

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Pip the Bennett’s Wallaby joey has had an unusual childhood to say the least – he's grown up in a reusable yellow shopping bag, and instead of his mom, he has a team of human caregivers at Singapore's Night Safari who take turns to shower him with love.

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2 wallabyPhoto credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Keepers discovered the still-pink wallaby joey abandoned in the Wallaby Trail exhibit on May 31 when he was about two months old, and immediately rescued him. An attempt was made to reunite mother and young but this proved unsuccessful and a decision was made to hand-raise the joey, which has since been named Pip.

Only 5.64 oz (160 g) when he was found, the most pressing concern was to find a suitable space for Pip to continue his development in the same way he would in his mother’s pouch. In the early stages of a joey’s life, it spends all its time in its mother’s pouch before venturing out at about seven months. The keepers’ creative solution was to repurpose a recyclable shopping bag into a surrogate pouch. The recyclable bag was lined with a towel that had been sewn to resemble a pouch he could snuggle into. As Pip grew, the inner cloth was replaced to accommodate his size. The makeshift pouch turned out to be an excellent substitute as it provided the body warmth and shelter similar to a wallaby mother's pouch.

See photos and learn more after the fold!

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It's a Bear! It's a Cat! It's Neither!

Baby Bearcats Singapore Zoo Night Safari!

Despite having a body like a small bear and a face similar to a cat, the secretive Bearcat is actually a member of the civet family, more closely related to Mongooses and Meerkats (and true civets of course). These baby Bearcats, also known as Binturongs, were born at the Wildlife Reserves Singapore's Night Safari on January 26.

Found primarily in the rainforest treetops of South and Southeast Asia, Bearcats have a mixed diet of fruits, leaves, birds, fish and eggs. Extremely rare among carnivores, this speices has a fully prehensile tail. The meaning of their other name, Binturong, is unknown as the native language it was derived from is now extinct.

Bearcat Cub Hanging from a Tree

Baby Bearcat Cub at Singapore ZooPhoto credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore