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LCSD saddened by death of jaguar Siu Fa

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) announced today (June 10) that the female jaguar Siu Fa kept in the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens (HKZBG) passed away peacefully this afternoon, and the department was saddened by the loss.

A spokesman for the LCSD said the lifespan of a jaguar reared in a zoo was generally 20 years. The 21-year-old Siu Fa was born in a zoo in Germany in 1987, and was sent to the HKZBG two years later.

"The LCSD understands the public and media concerns about the health of Siu Fa, and had been releasing information through the media that Siu Fa's days were numbered," the spokesman said.

"Siu Fa was under the intensive care provided by the Zoological Team of the HKZBG and was closely monitored by the department's senior veterinary officer. But she lost the battle against time and passed away peacefully today.

Siu Fa will be turned into a specimen for education and exhibition purpose.

The spokesman said Siu Fa's favourite food was rabbit meat and she loved playing in the pool inside her cage.

The spokesman said the staff of the HKZBG were saddened by the loss of Siu Fa, but they would continue to devote themselves to the conservation of endangered animal species.

Since jaguars need larger areas for activities, the LCSD decided to renovate Siu Fa's cage for endangered primates.

The HKZBG is well experienced in primate husbandry and conservation. In the past three years, the park succeeded in breeding nearly 30 primates. Through the arrangement of the International Studbook Keeper, endangered species were sent to zoos overseas for exchange and breeding.

A total of 11 out of 20 species of mammals currently kept in the park are primates. They are Bornean orang-utan, buff-cheeked gibbon, emperor tamarin, golden lion tamarin, lion-tailed macaque, red-handed tamarin, ring-tailed lemur, siamang, white-faced saki, black and white ruffed lemur and pygmy marmoset.

Ends/Tuesday, June 10, 2008
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