Taiping Zoo, Night Safari announce success in breeding yet another endangered species: The milky stork

The MCO has brought joy in the conservation of the endangered milky stork with 12 nests spotted at the Taiping Zoo and Night Safari. — Picture courtesy of ZTNS
The MCO has brought joy in the conservation of the endangered milky stork with 12 nests spotted at the Taiping Zoo and Night Safari. — Picture courtesy of ZTNS

TAIPING, May 29 — Taiping Zoo and Night Safari (ZTNS) scored another success in the breeding of the endangered milky stork.

Taiping Municipal Council president Khairul Amir Mohamad Zubir said the birds had made 12 nests in the zoo and four of them have shown hatchlings.

"This is good news as milky storks were bred during the movement control order," he said in a statement, adding that the exact number of hatchlings has yet to be ascertained.

The zoo currently has 36 milky storks in captivity and 20 free-ranging ones.

Zoo director Dr Kevin Lazarus said the zoo's milky stork conservation programme began in 2005 where the zoo obtained two birds from Singapore's Jurong Bird Park.

"In 2009, ZTNS also received 10 milky storks from Zoo Negara.”

Dr Kevin added that the zoo later released 10 birds in 2016 and four birds the next year within the zoo compound.

"Of the 14, six of them managed to breed in 2018 and 2019.”

Dr Kevin added that the species was classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

"In Perak, it is found mostly in Kuala Gula, Bagan Serai but the numbers are dwindling due to reduction in the birds' mangrove forest habitat.”

The birds, added Dr Kevin, are highly sensitive and difficult to breed if its habitat is disturbed.

"Its nesting season is between March and July every year.”

On April 12, the zoo welcomed three Malayan tiger cubs bringing the total to eight tigers in the zoo.

The last time the zoo had tigers born in captivity was in 2009.

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