RESORTS World Sentosa's Marine Life Park has employed 36 trainers for its 24 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins ahead of the imminent opening of its Dolphin Island attraction.
This level of animal care appears to exceed that at several other dolphin attractions around the world.
Hong Kong's Ocean Park at one point had 40 trainers caring for 40 marine mammals, including 18 dolphins. In 2009, the Dubai Dolphinarium had two trainers for its four dolphins.
Currently, each of the dolphins in Resorts World Sentosa has a primary trainer of its own, with the others assist.
Speaking to reporters last Friday, the park's chief veterinarian Alfonso Lopez said that trainers, with their intimate knowledge of the dolphins, provide a crucial "first line of defence" in detecting anything amiss in their moods or health.
"The bond between dolphins and trainers is very important.
It is the key to preventing and managing problems."
Each morning, the dolphins are given full-body visual checks by the trainers, who are taught to look out for signs of problems in their behaviour or body language.
For instance, a dolphin with gastric flu might curl its pectoral fins closer to its body.
Trainers who sense that something is wrong will inform the park's four full-time vets.
Experts say that the stress while in captivity can make dolphins more susceptible to disease.
Some of these diseases, such as bacterial infections, cannot be detected with the naked eye. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
THE Singapore Armed Forces will buy a new Aster-30 surface-to-air missile system, to boost Singapore's air defence shield.
Announcing the acquisition yesterday, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said that the advanced military forces in France and Italy already use the new system.
It is "many times more potent" than the current I-Hawk ground-based air defence system.
"The Aster will allow us to engage multiple threats simultaneously and from a longer distance," Ng told the Parliament.
He added that the new sys-tem will complement a mobile and shorter-range ground-based air defence system known as Spyder.
He was responding to Nee Soon GRC MP Lim Wee Kiak on the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) operational readiness with the planned relocation of Paya Lebar Airbase to Changi East at around 2030.
Dr Ng did not say how much the move, which was announced last month, would cost.
The RSAF is also looking to upgrade its fighter fleet, such as modernising the avionics system and extending the lifespan of the F-16s.
The advanced capabilities being built up gave Mindef and SAF the confidence to move Paya Lebar Airbase.
This was following a 2011 study of capabilities and security threats for the long term, Ng said.
"We satisfied ourselves that our security would not be compromised.
"The relocation of PLAB could take place after existing airbases at Changi East and Tengah have been expanded to accommodate relocated assets and facilities," he said.
He added that the move will be costly.
However, it will yield "billions of dollars' worth of positive returns to the people in Singapore" in terms of land released for de-velopment and the removal of height restrictions in the area. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
|You are subscribed to email updates from Regional Feed |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610|