Baby boom at wildlife parks here

Far left: Three fennec foxes were born at the Night Safari last year. They will make their debut in the park's Creatures of the Night show. Left: Cotton-top tamarins are one of the smallest primates in the world and are critically endangered. Below:
Four-month-old cheetah Deka was abandoned at birth but was nursed back to health, thanks to round-the-clock care by vets and keepers at the Singapore Zoo. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Far left: Three fennec foxes were born at the Night Safari last year. They will make their debut in the park's Creatures of the Night show. Left: Cotton-top tamarins are one of the smallest primates in the world and are critically endangered. Below:
Three fennec foxes were born at the Night Safari last year. They will make their debut in the park's Creatures of the Night show. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Far left: Three fennec foxes were born at the Night Safari last year. They will make their debut in the park's Creatures of the Night show. Left: Cotton-top tamarins are one of the smallest primates in the world and are critically endangered. Below:
Cotton-top tamarins are one of the smallest primates in the world and are critically endangered. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Far left: Three fennec foxes were born at the Night Safari last year. They will make their debut in the park's Creatures of the Night show. Left: Cotton-top tamarins are one of the smallest primates in the world and are critically endangered. Below:
Named for the brightly coloured scales on their limbs, these red-footed tortoises are under threat from human consumption and the pet trade.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Wildlife parks in Singapore welcomed more than 600 baby animals last year, including a cheetah and some endangered species native to South-east Asia.

Saving cheetah cub Deka was one of the highlights at the Singapore Zoo, said Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) in a press release yesterday.

Four-month-old Deka was abandoned at birth by its mother on Oct 3 last year, but vets and keepers managed to save the cub. Although it was weak and malnourished at first, Deka spent its first four days in the animal hospital and received round-the-clock care for the next two months until it was strong enough to be independent, said WRS.

Today, it is active, healthy and enjoys sprinting around its play area. Cheetahs are considered a vulnerable species, with only 7,100 left in the wild.

The zoo, Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and River Safari make up the four parks managed by WRS. In 2015, more than 700 baby animals were born or hatched.

WRS deputy CEO Cheng Wen- Haur said: "Each animal baby born and hatched in our parks is an ambassador in its own right. Individually, they represent their wild counterparts, but collectively they embody the need to conserve not just each individual species but the environment as a whole."

Examples of animals under threat that were born last year are the Sunda pangolin, painted terrapin, proboscis monkey, Bali mynah and black-winged starling.

Among the Night Safari's new additions were three fennec foxes, which will make their debut in the park's Creatures of the Night show.

Abigail Ng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2017, with the headline 'Baby boom at wildlife parks here'. Print Edition | Subscribe