First successful birth of critically endangered Malayan tiger cubs at Wildlife Reserves Singapore in 23 years
SINGAPORE: The Night Safari has welcomed a pair of Malayan tiger cubs, the first successful birth of the critically endangered species at Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) since 1998.
The Malayan tiger faces extinction along with five other remaining sub-species of tigers around the world, WRS said in a press release on Thursday (Feb 25).
Deputy CEO and Chief Life Sciences Officer for WRS, Dr Cheng Wen-Haur said the twin births are a significant addition to the population of this subspecies, given that there are only an estimated 150 Malayan tigers left in the wild.
The yet-to-be-named feline siblings are currently cared for by their mother Intan, in an off-exhibit area.
WRS said the animal care team closely monitors their progress via closed circuit cameras and that Intan is proving to be “a great mum” and is often observed grooming and playing with her cubs.
Singapore’s four wildlife parks also welcomed close to 400 babies across 107 species last year, said WRS.
Of these, 29 are listed as threatened under the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. This includes a tapir calf named Bintang, which means “star” in Malay.
Other new animal births include a new Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo joey and a three-banded armadillo dubbed Bento, which means “blessed” in Portugese.
The River Safari also welcomed three West Indian manatee calves, adding to WRS’ record of having bred 24 of this vulnerable species so far.
“A key goal of breeding wildlife in our parks is to achieve sustainable populations of species under human care. These animals act as ambassadors for their wild counterparts, connecting people with wildlife and help us tell their story through community engagement and education.
“Depending on species and circumstances, these zoo-born progenies may also serve as assurance colonies that could one day be used to strengthen wild populations,” said Dr Cheng.