World Wildlife Day: Cuties Born In Our Wildlife Parks During COVID-19
STORY: Janelle Yong
03 March 2021
Despite the general chaos of 2020, the year wasn't all bad. While we've been grappling with COVID-19 and social distancing measures, our animals at Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) parks have seen the arrival of several newborns.
To celebrate World Wildlife Day today (4 Mar), check out these adorable babies:
Name: None yet
Born: 4 February 2020
First up, meet this adorable, as-yet-unnamed tree kangaroo joey, who was born to proud parents Nupela and Makaia in early February this year. Starting out the size of a jellybean, the joey has graduated to spending more and more time out of Mama Nupela's pouch – and roughhousing with mummy instead!
Names: None yet
Born: 22 February 2020
Born to proud parents Bosco and Minnie, these tiny lemur twins are a true miracle birth – especially considering the last red ruffed lemur to be born in Singapore Zoo was their father Bosco, who was born here 11 years ago.
On top of that, getting red ruffed lemurs to reproduce is notoriously tough, as they only mate once (!) per year, during which the females are only fertile for one out of the few days that they're sexually receptive.
Born: 28 June 2020
He may be young, but this cutie has already stolen our hearts. Aptly named Bintang, which means "star" in Malay, this tapir is the first male calf born at Night Safari in almost a decade. Over the last few months, Bintang has grown from an adorable baby to an adventurous calf who enjoy taking dips in the kiddy pool and exploring the great outdoors of his exhibit (under the watchful eye of Mama Satki, of course).
Born: July 2020 (Exact date unknown)
This close-knit family of Celebes crested macaques recently welcomed baby Joyo into their troupe. Joyo, whose name is an Indonesian moniker meaning "victorious", joined Mama Dewi, Papa Doni, big bro Agung and (honourary) aunt Ria in early July, just as crowds began returning to Singapore Zoo after the end of Circuit Breaker. These social creatures form tight family units, and Joyo can often be seen snuggling with Dewi and Ria during grooming sessions.
Name: None yet
Born: August 2020 (Exact date unknown)
Manatees are the epitome of ugly cute, and this nameless newborn calf is no different. Born to River Safari icon Canola, who was also born here in 2014 and hand-raised by River Safari aquarists, the male calf has recently begun eating solid foods, preferring sweet potato leaves and cabbage above other veggies.
6. African Lion
Born: 23 October 2020
If you're a lion called Mufasa, and your offspring is not called Simba, that would just be wrong. The Singapore Zoo welcomed this little lion cub that was conceived using a method that we can only describe as, um, jialat. Zookeepers and veterinarians had to collect sperm via electro-ejaculation from the geriatric male lion, which was humanely euthanised after the procedure. Mufasa's health was deteriorating, so we guess his was a happy ending, so to speak.
7. Malayan Tiger
Name: None yet
Born: 27 December 2020
Last month, Wildlife Reserves Singapore announced that a pair of Malayan Tiger cubs was born at our Night Safari in Dec 2020. Their parents are Intan and Bongsu. This marks the first successful birth of a critically endangered big cat species at WRS. *sniff sniff* With only an estimated population of 150 in the wild, the birth of twin cubs is a significant addition to the population of the endangered sub-species, said WRS. 🐯🐯
Last but not least, our feathered friends at Jurong Bird Park have thrived this year, with over 100 chicks hatching since the start of 2020. This includes hatchlings from various endangered species such as blue-eyed cockatoos (last hatched in Singapore four years ago), red-fronted macaws, yellow-backed chattering lories (eight of them, in fact!), white cockatoos and black-faced spoonbills.