Confining wild animals
Straits Times, The (Singapore) – Friday, December 25, 2009
THE Jurong BirdPark, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo have designated quarantine areas for animals given to them as part of exchange programmes with other wildlife institutions.
Every year, about 20 wild animal exchanges take place. The animals are kept in designated areas within the compound for quarantine purposes.
This year, the Singapore Zoo received a pair of clouded leopards from Thailand, a pair of fishing cats and two pairs of spot-billed pelicans from Sri Lanka, and a female Indian rhino from the Oklahoma Zoo in the United States.
The Night Safari was given three Asiatic lions from India and a female Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo from the San Diego Zoo in the US.
The public will not be able to view them yet as quarantine areas are off-exhibit and accessible only to authorised staff members.
Mr Biswajit Guha, the zoo ‘s assistant director of zoology, said the quarantine period ranges from one to three months depending on the legal and Wildlife Reserves Singapore requirements. These, in turn, vary based on the species and the country from which the animal originated as well as the health of the animal.
Animals donated by members of the public or confiscated by the authorities are also placed in quarantine if they show signs of injury or illness.
‘The team of vets and quarantine keepers will check for signs of injury and illness, and collect samples for laboratory tests and health screening, as well as provide the animals with an appropriate diet, nutritional supplements and medication, if necessary,’ Mr Guha added.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://bigcatrescue.org