Fossas, Madagascar’s Apex Predators, Arrive At The Singapore Zoo

Fossa at Singapore Zoo
Image: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Most people would know of the fossa from the animated movie Madagascar where they were portrayed as vicious creatures, or as Kowalski described them “wild beasts that bite with flesh-shredding, bone-crushing jaws of doom”.

In truth, they are graceful and intelligent predators and now you can see them for yourself as a pair of fossa have arrived at Singapore Zoo.

Fossa – Madagascar’s Top Predator

Fossa are a carnivorous mammal with a cat-like head, a muzzle that resembles a dog and a long body that looks similar to a mongoose. It is a native of Madagascar where it lives in forested areas. Beside rodents and rats, one of its favourite prey is – as portrayed in the movie Madagascar – lemurs.

Varus and Kabibi

Singapore Zoo’s two fossas are nine year old male Varus and five year old female Kabibi.

Varus, Singapore Zoo’s nine-year-old male fossa.
Varus, Singapore Zoo’s nine-year-old male fossa. Image: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Varus has a bold and curious personality while Kabibi is more shy and reserved.

Kabibi, Singapore Zoo’s five-year-old female fossa, eating in her den.
Kabibi, Singapore Zoo’s five-year-old female fossa, eating in her den. Image: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

As fossa are solitary creatures by nature, the two animals will share their new exhibit at Singapore Zoo on a rotational basis.

fossa exhibit at Singapore is designed to replicate the foosa’s natural habitat.
The fossa exhibit at Singapore Zoo is designed to replicate the foosa’s natural habitat. Image: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

The fossa exhibit at Singapore is designed to replicate the foosa’s natural habitat. The exhibit has been designed to include dynamic branches. In contrast to older, static designs, dynamic branches are spring loaded and move with the weight of the animal, similar to the way that natural branches behave.

Fossa at Singapore Zoo

As part of Singapore Zoo’s latest exhibit design philosophy with guest interactivity in mind.
Image: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Visitors to Singapore Zoo can look forward to daily interactive sessions. The fossa exhibit at Singapore Zoo is designed with sliding panel that opens up to a mashed window. This allows keepers to access the fossas from the public area to carry out conditioning sessions and affords visitors a chance to get an upclose experience of the animals.

Varus and Kabibi were brought to Singapore Zoo under the recommendation of European Endangered Species Programmes (EEP), a breeding programme by the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA). Singapore Zoo is a member of the programme which aims to conserve healthy populations of animals under human care and maintain their genetic diversity. The hope is that Singapore Zoo’s fossa pair will produce more baby fossas.

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