Japan Sends Rare Turtles To Singapore For Release

Thirteen endangered sea turtles bred in captivity in Japan have been given to a Singapore aquarium to prepare them for release into a natural habitat later this year, scientists said Friday.The hawksbill turtles, listed as a highly endangered species, were brought to Singapore by their Japanese caretakers Tomomi Saito and Yoshihiko Kanou from the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium.

The five one-year-old turtles and eight three-year-olds were turned over on Thursday to the Underwater World Singapore, which is collaborating with the Nagoya aquarium to release the animals.They are the offspring of hawksbill turtles donated by the Underwater World Singapore to the Nagoya aquarium in 1997 and 2002.

As part of the preparations, staff from the Singapore aquarium will monitor and conduct checks on the turtles to determine their fitness for the release scheduled in September.”With the success of their breeding… we would want to have some of these captive-bred turtles return to the wild,” said Anthony Chang, curator of the Underwater World Singapore.
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Endangered Animals Get New Lease Of Life In Singapore

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Sporting spiked hair and silver earrings, Samuel Tay hardly looks like a typical midwife.The 25-year-old zookeeper beams with quiet pride as he watches over his “babies” — row upon row of snakes bred for Singapore’s popular zoo.”These are my kids. Why do I need kids when I have so many already?” he told AFP, gesturing to tanks where newborn reptiles, including some from highly endangered species, receive tender loving care.

From jaguars and chimpanzees to Komodo dragons and manatees, heavily urbanised Singapore is gaining a reputation as a successful nursery for some of the world’s rarest animals.With a breeding programme for 315 species, around one in six of which are threatened, the Singapore Zoo is seeing a steady stream of locally born additions to its collection, currently numbering more than 2,500 animals.
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Activist: Internet Allowing Illegal Wildlife Trade

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Illegal wildlife traders are turning to the Internet to reach a wider customer base, circumvent laws and evade authorities, an animal rights activist told a conference on Sunday.Items such as rhinoceros horns, leopard pelts and even live tiger cubs are being hawked openly in online advertisements on public websites, said Grace Ge, Asian regional director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

The Internet offers anonymity for the seller as well as fast and untraceable sales, while inadequate legislation governing online companies ensures relative impunity, she said at a regional animal rights conference held in Singapore.”The Internet has facilitated the trading of wildlife, which is having a devastating effect on animals and ecosystems worldwide,” she said.Through the Internet, traders are able to “circumvent rules, regulations and evade enforcement”, Ge told delegates at the Asia for Animals 2010 conference.
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