Anyone living in Singapore is no stranger to Mandai Wildlife Reserve thanks to its vibrant collection of parks that includes the Singapore Zoo and the recently moved Bird Paradise.
Since it is primarily known for housing wild animals, not many may know that there are domesticated critters living on its grounds too.
Consisting of cats, dogs, birds, and mice, this unique community lives in the Singapore Zoo and entertains guests twice a day as part of a live presentation.
Recently, Mandai Wildlife Reserve introduced the loveable rescue dogs that perform in the Animal Friends presentation, melting the hearts of viewers everywhere.
Let’s get to know Benji, Buddy, George, Katie, and Hope.
In a video shared on Mandai Wildlife Reserve’s TikTok page yesterday (19 July), viewers got to know the rescue dogs through the eyes of Natalie, the manager of Animal Behaviour & Programmes.
@mandaiwildlifereserve Meet the goodest boys and girls of our Animal Friends presentation! 🐕 😍 #mandaiwildlifereserve #singaporezoo #dogs #dogsoftiktok #cute #funny #adoptdontshop #fyp ♬ Little Things – Tiqta
The first dog she introduced was Buddy, a male Golden Retriever.
Calling him the “greatest lover of food”, Natalie said he will do “anything” for a snack.
As such, she jokingly warned viewers to not have any food when they approach him.
At the same time, Buddy loves and lives for people and attention, said Natalie.
She then moved on to Buddy’s brother, Benji. While Buddy appears to be more exuberant, Benji is a sensitive soul, according to Natalie.
One unique way he demonstrates this sensitivity is by sensing guests who are not having a good day, and going up to them to nudge them for a pet.
“It immediately melts them,” Natalie said.
She concluded that Benji can sense emotions and attend to them, which she felt is “very, very sweet”.
Next up on the roster was George, a Japanese Spitz.
Dubbed the “derpest” of the group, the adorably absent-minded canine could be seen wandering off at one point with a toy in his mouth as Natalie called out to him.
While he managed to stop long enough for Natalie to pet him, George managed to get distracted by something else in no time as he wandered out of frame again.
Resigned, Natalie waved goodbye to him.
She then turned her attention to Katie, aka George’s sister.
It is worth noting that the first time viewers meet Katie onscreen, she is taking a poop.
While George was described as gentle and curious, his sister Katie seems to be the total opposite.
“She’s very hyper. She does love people, but she’s also a little bit sensitive to noise,” Natalie explained, which is something the team takes into account to ensure her environment is suitable for her.
Last but not least, viewers met Hope. Estimated to be 17 years old this year, the senior doggo is a one-of-a-kind Singapore Special.
A long-term resident at the Singapore Zoo, Natalie said that she has known Hope for over 10 years.
At this point, Natalie highlighted that all the animals here are rescues, and Hope is no exception.
She was abandoned at a vet hospital at the tender age of two-and-a-half years, and used to be “afraid of everything”.
Since being adopted, however, Hope has come out of her shell and is now fearless, according to Natalie.
“Hope’s personality is that … she does what she wants,” she said.
Her cheeky attitude was on full display in the video, as she continuously ignored Natalie’s attempts to get her attention as the latter kept calling out to her.
The Animal Friends presentation happens twice a day at the Rainforest KidzWorld Amphitheatre at 1.30pm and 4pm.
According to a description on the Mandai Wildlife Reserve website, the show demonstrates how we can all get along, which goes for cats and mice as well as cats and dogs.
The animals there put on performances that showcase their intelligence and agility. Spectators may even get to join them on stage.
One of the presentation’s goals, according to Natalie, is to create a moment for guests in which they feel a change the second they are with the animals or the animals come up to them.
In doing so, she also hopes to share the animals’ rescue stories and promote adoption at the same time.
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Featured image adapted from Mandai Wildlife Reserve on TikTok.
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