Nearly 800 animals born, hatched at Mandai Wildlife Group parks in 2022

These birds will eventually be repatriated to boost the wild population.

Ang Qing

Ang Qing

The Straits Times


The Singapore Zoo’s two-toed sloth. PHOTO: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP

March 9, 2023

SINGAPORE – The four wildlife parks in Singapore celebrated 2022 with nearly 800 births and hatchlings, including critically endangered cockatoos and the 14th offspring born to the zoo’s oldest pygmy hippo couple.

The Mandai Wildlife Group on Wednesday said the latest animal babies are made up of 126 species, including 38 species listed as threatened under the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.

The group, formerly known as Wildlife Reserves Singapore, manages the Mandai Wildlife Reserve, which comprises the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, Jurong Bird Park and River Wonders in Singapore.

Jurong Bird Park, which closed in January, successfully hatched two critically endangered citron-crested cockatoos a month apart, and for the first time in 22 years, the park operator said.

Jurong Bird Park successfully hatched two critically endangered citron-crested cockatoos a month apart from each other. PHOTO: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP

The birds were hand-raised at the park’s Breeding and Research Centre to increase their chances of survival. The highly threatened species from Indonesia faces dangers from the illegal wildlife trade and habitat loss.

Other critically endangered new chicks on the block include a brood of 13 Negros bleeding-heart pigeons, born under the first conservation breeding programme outside their native country of the Philippines. These birds will eventually be repatriated to boost the wild population.

Negros bleeding-heart pigeons. PHOTO: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP

Meanwhile, the Singapore Zoo recorded its first Burmese star tortoise hatchling, a species that was declared functionally extinct in the 2000s but is making a comeback due to conservation efforts worldwide.

The reptile, with its black domed shell marked by yellow radiating patterns, was among 21 first-time births across the parks.

The single egg was artificially incubated in the zoo’s RepTopia section to ensure the best conditions for successful hatching, the statement said.

Burmese star tortoise hatchling. PHOTO: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP

Forty-one Golfodulcean poison dart frogs, six axolotls, three electric blue geckos and a lake titicaca frog were added to the year’s list of threatened amphibian arrivals.

Among the zoo’s threatened amphibian arrivals were 41 Golfodulcean poison dart frogs. PHOTO: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP

The zoo’s Fragile Forest embraced its first baby Linne’s two-toed sloth, the offspring of Inigo, an adult female from Taipei Zoo, and her mate Bunny, the zoo’s resident male sloth. Like sloths in the wild, Indigo gave birth while hanging upside down.

The statement said: “The six-month-old baby has started to be inquisitive about its surroundings, and enjoys solid food such as fruit and vegetables.”

The zoo’s oldest pygmy hippo couple, aged 33 and 32, also gave birth to their 14th bundle of joy.

The calf was recently introduced to the larger and deeper pool in the exhibit with its mother.


Contrary to popular belief, pygmy hippos are not swimmers as their bodies are too dense to float so they tiptoe in the water.

For the primates, the endangered ring-tailed lemurs grew their troop with the birth of a sixth member, the first since 2014.

The infant was conceived soon after its mother arrived from France in January 2022.

The endangered ring-tailed lemurs. PHOTO: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP

Meanwhile, River Wonders maintained its track record with the giant anteater, which is notoriously difficult to breed, making the park one of the key contributors to the species’ conservation programme. The pup is the fifth anteater birth at the park.


The species has a single offspring once a year after a gestation period of about six months, the statement noted.

“The fast-growing pup is now too big to be carried on mum’s back for long periods of time, but he certainly has not stopped trying and loves jumping on her especially when she is resting,” the statement said. The pair is currently still spending time together in an off-exhibit area.

Night Safari had three new brush-tailed rat kangaroos, also known as woylies, which can be spotted along the Wallaby Trail.

A baby southern three-banded armadillo. PHOTO: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP

Also at the park is a baby southern three-banded armadillo that will make its debut in 2023.

The 2022 babies mark a fall in births and hatchings from 2021, which recorded about 900 new animals across 160 species.

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