Singapore wildlife parks welcomed almost 800 animal babies in 2022

These include babies from 38 species listed as threatened in the wild, such as the giant anteater and brush-tailed rat kangaroos.

Justin Hui

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Published: 8 March 2023, 6:14 PM

Singapore’s four wildlife parks welcomed close to 800 babies in 2022, said the Mandai Wildlife Group in a press release on Wednesday (Mar 8).

The births and hatchings were from a total of 126 species, with 38 of these listed as threatened under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

In its final year of operations, the Jurong Bird Park saw the successful hatching of two citron-crested cockatoos. This is the first time in 22 years that these critically endangered birds from Indonesia’s Sunda region were successfully hatched by the park.


citron-crested cockatoo hatchling at the Jurong Bird Park
The two citron-crested cockatoos hatched on Sep 21 and Oct 19 in 2022. PHOTO CREDIT: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP


They join other critically endangered new chicks including 13 Negros bleeding-heart pigeons, two Vietnam pheasants, a great green Macaw and a Red-fronted Macaw. 

The Negros bleeding-hearts are part of the first conservation breeding programme outside of their native country of Philippines, and the progenies will eventually be repatriated to boost wild populations.

Among the 21 first-time births across the parks is the Singapore Zoo’s baby Linne’s two-toed sloth. It was born two years after the arrival of Indigo, an adult female from Taipei Zoo, which became the mate of the zoo’s resident male sloth, Bunny. 


Linne's two-toed sloth hanging upside down with baby
Like sloths in the wild, Indigo gave birth while hanging upside down. PHOTO CREDIT: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP


Another first-time birth at the Singapore Zoo is the Burmese star tortoise.

This critically endangered tortoise, with its black domed shell marked by distinctive yellow radiating patterns, is slowly making a comeback in the wild thanks to global conservation efforts.

The single egg was artificially incubated in RepTopia to ensure the best conditions for successful hatching.


Burmese star tortoise at RepTopia
The Burmese star tortoise was historically found in the dry zone of central Myanmar until it became extinct in the wild in the mid-2000s. PHOTO CREDIT: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP


Also making it to the list of new births are three Williams’ dwarf geckos, or electric blue geckos, 41 Golfodulcean poison dart frogs, six axolotls and a Lake Titicaca frog – all of which are considered threatened amphibian species. 

The zoo’s oldest pair of pygmy hippos, aged 33 and 32, gave birth to their 14th calf last year named Thabo. The calf’s name translates to “he who brings joy”.


Pygmy Hippo Thabo
Pygmy Hippo Thabo made his debut in the exhibit on Feb 17, 2023. PHOTO CREDIT: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP


The zoo’s endangered ring-tailed lemurs also expanded their troop with a sixth member. This is their first birth since 2014. The African painted dog pack also further expanded with the addition of seven pups.

The River Wonders maintained its good track record with the giant anteater, which is notoriously difficult to breed. Their latest addition is the park’s fifth anteater birth.


Giant anteater baby on mother's back
This species of anteater has a single offspring once a year after a gestation period of about six months. PHOTO CREDIT: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP


The Night Safari saw three additions of the critically endangered brush-tailed rat kangaroos, also known as Woylies, three oriental small-clawed otter pups, and an endangered Malayan tapir.

It also welcomed a baby Southern three-banded armadillo. This is the only species of armadillo that can encase itself in its shell to fend off predators. 

According to the Mandai Wildlife Group, the shy female baby has started transitioning to the adult diet that includes vegetables, mealworms and ant eggs in the back-of-house den with her mother.


Southern three-banded armadillo baby in the Singapore zoo
The young Southern three-banded armadillo will make her debut later this year. PHOTO CREDIT: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP


The number of baby animals born across the parks in 2022 was a decrease from 2021, which saw nearly 900 animals born.

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