SINGAPORE - Two young endangered giraffes from India have arrived at the Singapore Zoo and the public can view them from Thursday (Sept 30) in the park's Wild Africa zone.
The two Rothschild's giraffes, which are from India's Mysuru Zoo, belong to one of the most endangered subspecies of giraffes. Fewer than 2,000 of the Rothschild's subspecies are left in the wild.
Their journey to Singapore involved a 22-hour interstate road trip and a seven-day sea voyage, zoo operator Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) said on Thursday.
Named Balaji and Adhil, the two healthy male giraffes, who are both about one year old, arrived at Jurong Port in May.
Transporting the giraffes to Singapore was a challenge for WRS, as there was a lack of suitable air freight due to the pandemic.
"As there was a limited window period to ship the fast-growing youngsters before they outgrew all forms of transport, the team explored the option of surface transport," WRS said.
The two giraffes have been adopted by Kuok Singapore, which runs the PACC Line shipping line that brought the animals from India to Singapore.
The half-siblings - they share the same father but have different mothers - were named by the Mysuru Zoo. Balaji means strength in Hindi and is also the name of an Indian prince. Adhil is a star in the constellation Andromeda and also the name of one of PACC Line's fleets.
Curator of herbivores at WRS, Mr Parmasivam Ramasamy, said: "We are very excited to welcome these gentle giants to Singapore Zoo, and have since introduced them to our resident father-and-son duo, Marco and Jubilee.
"The current giraffe exhibit has ample space for the four, and we have added water troughs and salt lick blocks in preparation for their debut."
The Mysuru Zoo has had an animal exchange partnership with WRS since 2010. Animals that have been brought to Singapore include sloth bears and lion-tailed macaques.
The giraffes, with an expected lifespan of 20 to 25 years in captivity, are staying in Singapore for good.