The milky stork, known scientifically as mycteria cinerea, is thriving in Taiping Zoo and Night Safari (ZTNS). This followed an effort by the zoo to repopulate the nearly extinct bird species, proving their ability in becoming a zoo with international standards.
Their director, Dr Kevin Lazarus attributed the success to the zoo’s practice of cleanliness maintenance, animal welfare and breeding of a few endangered local species and releasing them back into the wild.
“The milky stork birds have created 12 nests around the exhibit riverbank forest,” he said. “Hatchlings were found in four of the nests but we’ve yet to determine the number.
“ZTNS now has 36 in-cage milky storks while free-ranging ones amount to around 20,” Kevin added. “The nests are in good condition and are under constant monitoring by zoo staff.
“The milky stork conservation programme in ZTNS started circa 2005. We received two original birds from Jurong Bird Park in Singapore,” he elaborated in a statement. “In 2009, we received 10 more birds of the species from Zoo Negara in Ulu Kelang.”
ZTNS had also successfully done two programmes to release the milky stork back into the wild. 10 were released in 2016 and another four in 2017, while in 2018 and 2019, six hatchlings were bred out of the 14.
“The zoo management ensures suitable protection for all its animals, besides an environment that is similar to their original habitat, care for their health and sufficient food,” Kevin stressed.
ZTNS witnessed the birth of three tiger cubs from the Harimau Malaya species on April 12. Even more interestingly, the breeding of milky stork in ZTNS occurred during the Movement Control Order (MCO).