Pygmy hippo born at zoo
A pygmy hippopotamus was born at Taipei Zoo on Jan. 31, the first new arrival for the zoo in the Year of the Dragon, a zoo official said yesterday. The birth was not announced by zoo authorities at the time because they had no timeline for when the animal would make its public debut. The calf, a female with a birth weight of 6.01kg, was delivered while Yoshio Yamaguchi, director of Kushiro Zoo in Hokkaido, Japan, was visiting the zoo to sign a friendship agreement. Yamaguchi named the newborn Hsiao Chuan (小釧), based on the Chinese translation of Kushiro Zoo, the official said. In September, the Japanese zoo gave Taiwan a pair of red-crowned cranes — Kika and Big — as a symbol of Japan’s gratitude for Taiwan’s generous aid in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Heavy fog affects traffic
Fog affected the normal flow of air and sea traffic around northern Taiwan early yesterday, hampering departures and arrivals at the country’s main airport and harbor. A total of 39 outgoing and incoming flights at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport were delayed because of the heavy fog, officials said. Five incoming flights were diverted — one to Pudong International Airport in Shanghai and four to Kaohsiung International Airport, the officials said. The fog dispersed later in the day, but some flights were still being affected. The disruption was the second in as many days caused by fog.
Age not a concern in Taiwan
Taiwanese and Japanese are the two peoples in Asia that care the least about age-related issues, a survey released yesterday shows. The survey was conducted by the Anti-aging and Health Society of Taiwan earlier in the month among 1,800 adults in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Only 21 percent of respondents from Japan and 23 percent from Taiwan said they were concerned about aging problems, compared with about 50 percent in Shanghai, the results showed. Physical, brain and memory decline are the three age-related conditions of greatest concern among all the respondents, except for those from Thailand and South Korea, who care most about wrinkles. Seventy-three percent of all respondents identified the brain as the organ that needs the most protection against the effects of aging, topping the chart in China, South Korea, Thailand, Japan and Taiwan and taking second place in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Garuda to reopen flights
Garuda Indonesia said yesterday it would resume flights to Taiwan in May after a break of almost eight years. The Indonesian carrier said it would offer one round-trip flight per day between Taipei and Jakarta starting on May 25 and would use a Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the route. In September 2004, Garuda withdrew from the Taiwanese market after three decades of service. At the time, Taiwan and other countries in the region were struggling with the effects on their tourism and economy caused by an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The reintroduction of Garuda Indonesia’s service in Taiwan will take place in tandem with an effort by Tourism Indonesia to promote some of the less well-known attractions in the Southeast Asian country. One such site is Komodo Island, the natural habitat of the world’s largest lizard, the Komodo dragon, Indonesian authorities said.