As Singapore celebrates her 50th anniversary of independence, take a walk on the wild side at Night Safari and get to know animals native to the island, like the Sunda slow loris, Sunda pangolin, mousedeer, and the elusive wild colugo.
Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “In heavily urbanised Singapore, few people know about our island’s wilder side and the fascinating indigenous species that inhabit our wild places. As we celebrate 50 years of achievements since independence, it is also a good time to appreciate that much of our natural heritage is precious and worthy of our conservation. In Night Safari, one of Singapore’s inventions and gifts to the world, many of these creatures can be observed in comfort and safety. Some of these are part of our collection, some are wild denizens such as the colugos.”
Better known as Sang Kancil in Malay folklore, lesser mousedeer are the world’s smallest hoofed mammal. Look out for them along Night Safari’s Fishing Cat Trail. Mousedeer reach sexual maturity at five to six months, and females have been known to give birth to a single offspring at any time of year.
Zoogeographically, Singapore is part of the Sunda biodiversity hotspot, which means it has a very high number of species and they are found nowhere else in the world. It is imperative to protect native flora and fauna to keep the balance of nature. The more an individual understands the natural world, the stronger the push to safeguard the habitat for future generations. Through the years, Night Safari has helped to protect native species through several initiatives including the Common Palm Civet Project, which started in 2009 to mitigate the escalating human-civet conflict. Night Safari also hosted the ‘Scaling up Pangolin Conservation’ conference in 2013 to map out solutions for the global decline of pangolins.
Night Safari has earned the distinction of being the first in the world to exhibit and breed the critically-endangered Sunda pangolin. Three babies have been successfully bred in the park since the exhibit opened in 2009.
If a trek through a jungle does not appeal, then traipse down to Night Safari—the world’s first wildlife park created to allow observation of wildlife at night —for a wildly exciting journey to spot, learn and appreciate the denizens of Singapore’s local forests.
Another interesting indigenous species is the Malayan porcupine, which can be found along Night Safari’s Leopard Trail. In Singapore, it has been recently recorded on Pulau Tekong. This prickly rodent is known to rattle its quills when startled or excited.
Local residents enjoy 50% admission discounts from Sundays to Thursdays in September. For more information and terms and conditions, visit www.nightsafari.com.sg