Jurong Bird Park’s oldest bird euthanised due to poor health

The vulture, named Rod, has been with the park since 1971.

Edwin Chan

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Published: 26 August 2022, 2:31 PM

Jurong Bird Park (JBP)’s pioneer generation Egyptian Vulture, Rod, has died at nearly 60 years old.

His passing was announced by the Mandai Wildlife Reserve through its Facebook page on Thursday (Aug 25).

According to the Mandai Wildlife Reserve, Rod’s lifespan was “almost three times the natural lifespan of Egyptian Vultures in the wild”. 

Rod, being a geriatric bird, had several age-related health issues, said the reserve. In 2018, Rod was placed under the Senior Animal Care Programme by JBP.

The programme provided frequent health checks, customised diet and feeding, and modified environment “to ensure a good quality of life” for him. 

At his last assessment by his carers and the veterinarians, it was deduced that Rod’s age-related complications were “severely affecting his quality of life”.

On welfare grounds, the decision was made to humanely euthanise him.

Clarence Saw, a staff member at JBP who has worked with Rod since 1988, holds fond memories of the vulture. 

“Rod was a special bird. He was the bird I got to work with the longest, and he was instrumental in honing my bird handling skills in the early years of my career as a 28-year-old.

“Rod showed me how truly intelligent and full of personality birds can be. The bird park will not be the same without him and he will be sorely missed,” shared Clarence.

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