Celebrating National Day at chow time

They may not be Singaporean, but three rare tortoises smuggled here from Madagascar got to celebrate National Day this week when they tucked into a meal designed to look like the Republic's flag. They nibbled away at pumpkin, red pepper, star fruit a
ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH
ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

They may not be Singaporean, but three rare tortoises smuggled here from Madagascar got to celebrate National Day this week when they tucked into a meal designed to look like the Republic's flag. They nibbled away at pumpkin, red pepper, star fruit and flowers served on a banana leaf, thanks to staff at the Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (Acres) wildlife rescue centre. The critically-endangered radiated tortoises - named Todd, Denise and Radio by Acres staff - belong to one of the most beautiful tortoise species and their populations have been dwindling due to exotic pet trade and habitat loss. The trio will eventually be repatriated to Madagascar. Meanwhile, a plantain squirrel also enjoyed a Singapore-themed meal comprising mashed bananas, noni fruit, hibiscus flowers and dragon fruit shaped to look like the flag. Native to Singapore, this creature was separated from its mother before being raised at the Sungei Tengah centre in a semi-wild environment - with natural vegetation and exposure to the elements - and is due to be released back into the wild. 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2019, with the headline 'Celebrating National Day at chow time'. Print Edition | Subscribe