By Xinle Ng
Singapore - Three adorable lion cubs were born to Night Safari Zoo residents Khapat and Amba this March, and they recently had their booster ‘shots’ by the veterinary team.
The tawny three-month-olds were given a clean bill of health after a mandatory vaccination against respiratory and systemic infections. Their first health check took place two months after they were born on 21 March 2011, and they were given a general examination and microchipped for identification.
Similar to humans, animals can suffer from a variety of infectious diseases. Vaccinations are therefore essential in building immunity and prevention against diseases. This is especially important for the cubs when they are given outdoor access and placed on exhibit. Lion cubs usually get a booster shot when they are 12 weeks old and bi-annually thereafter.
“The practice of animal vaccination is recommended by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) is dedicated to continually improving standards of animal welfare based on the latest and best practices,” said Dr Serena Oh, Assistant Director, Veterinary, WRS.
The Asian lion is a unique subspecies that splits from the African lion. It is smaller in size and sports a less significant mane compared to its African cousin. Most of the wild Asian lion population is found in India’s Gir Forest, a protected santuary where about 300 of these magnificent animals roam. There are an additional 60 of them living in zoos. Under the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN), they are listed as ‘endangered’. One of the problems faced by the Asian lion in the wild is in-breeding which has resulted in weaker individuals. Through Night Safari’s captive breeding programme, WRS hopes to be able to increase the number of Asian lions both in the wild and in captivity. To date, Night Safari has successfully bred seven Asian lion cubs in captivity.
ABOUT NIGHT SAFARI
Night Safari, the world’s first wildlife park for nocturnal animals is a nine-time winner of the Best Visitor Attraction Experience, awarded by Singapore Tourism Board. This internationally acclaimed leisure attraction embodies innovation and creativity in products and services, and service quality, thus attracting more than 1.1 million visitors yearly. Over 1,000 animals from 115 species (of which almost 30% are threatened) inhabit the 40-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 eight geographical zones. The park can be explored either on foot via three 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
ABOUT WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) is the parent company of award-winning attractions Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, Singapore Zoo and the upcoming River Safari. WRS parks strive to be world-class leisure attractions, providing excellent exhibits of animals presented in their natural environment for the purpose of conservation, education and recreation.
In the areas of conservation and research, WRS parks have undertaken multiple projects through collaborations with various organisations and institutions on the oriental pied hornbill, pangolin and orang utan. Highly popular with tourists and locals, Jurong Bird Park welcomed 900,000 visitors, the Night Safari, more than 1.1 million, and Singapore Zoo over 1.6 million visitors in 2010.
More information can be found at www.wrs.com.sg
To view Singapore Zoo's web page on Zoo and Aquarium Visitor News, go to: http://www.zandavisitor.com/forumtopicdetail-2282-Night_Safari