SINGAPORE, Jan 27 – People who care about rodents, particularly hamsters, suspected a group of rats at Singapore Zoo could be in danger and asked the Mandai Wildlife Reserve to give the creatures more breathing room.
The Hamster Society of Singapore posted on their Instagram account on Thursday (January 26) that they had received news that “a family of more than 20 rats under the care of our Singapore Zoo” appears to be suffering from oxygen starvation during she “lives in a big enclosure”. “.
“They were behaving abnormally, sticking their noses through the fine holes and gaps in the rims to breathe. Sometimes you can see them climbing over each other,” it said.
It has been claimed that zoo staff apparently said the rats were “looking for fresh air” and that workers would “open the acrylic box 30 minutes a day”.
Apparently, the animal rights group felt that this was “not enough”.
“We hope this will be heard by the appropriate individuals, who will be able to make immediate changes to rectify this situation,” the society said.
In a video accompanying the post, some rats can be seen congregating at a panel of the acrylic case where there are tiny vent holes and sniffing the chamber’s holes and joints.
However, an internal review by Mandai Wildlife Group after it was made aware of the video found the rats were “in good health with no signs of respiratory distress or shortness of breath.”
In response to TODAY’s inquiries, Mandai Wildlife Group said in a statement that the enclosure in the video is part of the Fancy Rats exhibit at Singapore Zoo’s Rainforest Kidzworld.
dr Heng Yirui, a veterinarian with Mandai Wildlife Group, said the exhibit in the video houses 13 rats and consists of two large interconnected chambers, “with plenty of room for the rats to move around.”
“Each of these chambers is also equipped with fans to circulate the air and ensure ventilation at all times. The exhibition is also cleaned daily.”
dr Heng also said that the veterinary and animal care teams’ visual assessment of the video revealed that the rats’ behavior was “not unusual” as it was recorded just before the rats’ feeding time.
“Rats are also naturally very curious animals and rely on sniffing to probe and inspect their surroundings.
“The inquisitive sniffing seen in the video is part of how they discover new scents in the environment, even when guests come close to their home.”
dr Heng added that for more than two years, none of the rats in the current enclosure have been diagnosed with respiratory problems or other medical problems related to poor ventilation.
“The animal welfare and the care of the animals are not affected. Nonetheless, we appreciate the diligence and concern of all internet users who have been following this today.”
As for the statement from the staff at the Hamster Society Singapore, Dr. Heng: “We recognize that communication between our staff and guests could be better and we will work to improve it.” – TODAY