Petition to change S’pore’s national animal to mynah as ‘Sang Nila Utama likely didn’t see a lion’
This damn bird.
Singapore’s national animal is the lion.
Majestic, courageous, bold—these are the common connotations. Truly a creature that can inspire Singaporeans and strike fear in the hearts of enemies.
Some Singaporeans seem to disagree though.
Singapore was given its name when legendary prince Sang Nila Utama sighted an unknown creature on the island.
Believing it to be a lion, the name of this little red dot was born—Singapura, or Lion City.
On July 16 however, one Chafik Rahim started a petition on Change.org to kickstart some, ahem, change, in Singapore.
Instead of a lion, the petition called for the Javan mynah to be named the national animal of the island-state.
His reasoning was that the “damn bird” was a common bird spotted everywhere in Singapore, making the bird “the true symbol of Singapore” instead of the lion.
Javan mynahs are not native
Another much more compelling reason that Rahim cited though, was that “Sang Nila Utama probably didn’t see a lion, since lions are not available in Singapore.”
Lions are not native to Singapore, and it has long been speculated Nila Utama saw a tiger instead.
Back to mynahs, it seems quite a number of Singaporeans share the same sentiments as Rahim.
The petition has impressively garnered 348 signatures out of its targeted 500 signatures within only two days, with several commenters voicing their obvious support.
Despite how common they are, Javan mynahs are not native to Singapore, and are an invasive species, displacing the actual native Common Mynahs.
They have been listed as the third-most invasive species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Still though, the sentiment behind the petition is pretty understandable.
Top photo from Change.org and Boon Siong Er / FB