Singapore — Former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong is known to be fond of nature in Singapore, as can be seen from his social media posts.
The longtime politician retired from public service last year, though he retains the title “Emeritus Senior Minister”. After a period of medical treatment or the holidays, he has taken to going on long walks to keep his “legs and mind” occupied.
But sometimes, nature comes to him.
Recently, Mr Goh took his love for nature one step further in a series of posts wherein he documented the life and the passing away of a local bird.
Mr Goh started posting about some yellow vented bulbuls in early June, when he discovered their nest in his garden.
He put up a photo of a pair of speckled eggs, and then a video of a bird sitting in the nest.
On June 18, he posted another video, announcing “A new baby has just arrived – a yellow vented bulbul 11 days after the eggs were laid.”
“There is great excitement in my house,” Mr Goh added.
That night he posted about the “baby’s first feed,” and on the following day, he put up another video after the second egg hatched.
ESM Goh has posted his delight over the development of the baby birds, writing that it was, “Like watching a reality family TV show.”
He was later able to distinguish between the mother and father birds and documented the parents’ care for their offspring.
On Father’s Day, he posted a video of the male parent, which he wrote, “helps build the nest.”
He continued to post photos and videos of the bird family throughout the rest of June, writing that the “bulbul chicks grow amazingly fast,” and that he hoped “to catch them flying the coop.”
July 1, 13 days after the chicks had hatched, he wrote that one was getting ready for its first flight, which it took a day later.
By now, the other members of his household, including his wife, a surveillance camera security personnel and helper, were also monitoring the birds’ development, with everyone showing a special interest in the parents teaching their offspring to fly.
However, while one young bird, whom Mr Goh called “kor kor” (big brother) was successful in going off on its own, the other, “mei mei” (little sister) remained in the nest.
Mr Goh documented how the remaining bird, which was still dependent on its parents for food, grew weaker and weaker when it did not go off on its own.
When the bird later tried to fly, it fell into a pot and was injured.
Much to his sorrow, the bird died on July 6, and Mr Goh posted photos showing that they buried it.
“With tears and a prayer in my heart, I bury thee. RIP my little one. We love you as much as your parents and kor kor do.”
It has been a wonderful one month watching the birds build their nest on June 5th, two eggs laid on the 7th, the first hatching on 18th and the second on 19th. But it was heart-breaking to see mei mei’s life ebbing away.
Nature has taken its course. It shows the love and closeness of family, and how each generation passes its knowledge and values to the next.
Birds are intelligent, as shown by the family of yellow vented bulbuls I have come to know,” wrote the Emeritus Senior Minister.
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