Singapore Zoo breeds more giant river terrapins

By Linette Lin

The Singapore Zoo has successfully bred four giant river terrapins. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS

THE Singapore Zoo has successfully bred four giant river terrapins. These terrapins are native to Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Sumatra, with more expected to join the family of eight in the months to come.

Both female terrapins at the zoo were recently found to be with eggs, due to be laid at any time.

X-ray examinations on Dec 13, 2010 revealed that they were carrying over 40 eggs between them. The incubation period for these rare and elusive terrapins ranges from 68 to 112 days.

Giant river terrapins lay their eggs only once a year and the Singapore Zoo has successfully had four hatchlings to date in 2007 and 2009 - two of which are now on display at the Proboscis Monkey pool, while the others are in the turtle hatchery facility.

The park is currently home to the two adult females, two adult males and the four hatchlings.

Considered an extremely rare species, this breed, also known as Batagur affinis, is listed as critically endangered in the 2009 International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List and in one of the appendixes under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.


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