NIGHT SAFARI’S HALLOWEEN HORRORS 2009 CREEPS OFF WITH ‘BEST INNOVATIVE MARKETING INITIATIVE’ PRIZE AT SINGAPORE EXPERIENCE AWARDS

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Singapore, 28 October 2010Night Safari, the world’s first wildlife park for nocturnal animals, has won the ‘Best Innovative Marketing Initiative’ for its Halloween Horrors 2009 campaign at this year’s Singapore Experience Awards. This is the first time Night Safari has been awarded this accolade at these Awards, which are hosted by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

Night Safari’s Halloween Horrors trumped competition from Shangri-La Hotel’s ‘Flash your age’ and Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre’s ’Suntec First’ initiatives.

The ‘Most Innovative Marketing Initiative’ award recognises campaigns that have demonstrated ingenuity, technical quality, considered planning and effective execution in creating an integrated brand marketing campaign specific to an event in Singapore.

Shortlisted entries were judged on the creativeness of the campaign, the ‘look and feel’ of collaterals and materials generated, and most importantly, the success of the campaign. Bonus points were awarded for companies who took into consideration factors such as corporate social responsibility, as well as the ability to enhance the positioning of Singapore as a choice destination.

To promote Halloween Horrors last year, Night Safari embarked on a 360-campaign, which tapped on various channels such as electronic direct mailers, Facebook, posters and in-park collaterals. They also used Foosti Mobile Marketing which is a location-based service, and created a micro-site to engage its customers. One interesting feature of this portal was an e-postcard function, which allowed people to send greetings to friends and share information about the event.

“We were up against some tough competition and we are honoured that Night Safari has won this prestigious award. Halloween Horrors is a premier annual event for Night Safari, so it is important for us to develop a strong marketing campaign around it. Last year, we had a cohesive and integrated campaign that could be carried across various platforms including traditional print media, new media as well as videos. We had received very positive feedback on our marketing initiatives and look forward to developing more innovative campaigns in the future,” said Ms Isabel Cheng, WRS’ director of marketing, sales and communication.

NIGHT SAFARI OFFERS THE BEST VISITOR ATTRACTION EXPERIENCE ONCE AGAIN

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Singapore, 28 October 2010Night Safari, the world’s first night zoo, has been recognised for providing the ‘Best Visitor Attraction Experience’ at the Singapore Experience Awards 2010 yet again. Hosted and presented by Singapore Tourism Board, the Singapore Experience Awards honours organisations and individuals that have made outstanding contributions to enhance Singapore’s image as a premier tourist destination.

The world famous Night Safari beat two other nominees; Singapore Zoo, which is also managed by parent company Wildlife Reserves Singapore, and Singapore Botanic Gardens, to win the ‘Best Visitor Attraction Experience’ category.

Results were unveiled at a gala presentation ceremony at the Shangri-La Singapore earlier this evening, which was graced by Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Education, Mr S Iswaran. This year saw a total of 83 finalists shortlisted in 27 award categories. Finalists in each category were nominated by industry players and experts, with the final winner picked by a panel of judges.

The ‘Best Visitor Attraction Experience’ award recognises visitor attractions which provide their guests with memorable experiences through the delivery of services, facilities, exhibitions and environments. Shortlisted attractions were judged on their ability to attract local and foreign tourists and positively promote Singapore as a premier tourist destination. Finalists were also scored against factors such as highlights of the attraction, innovative initiatives undertaken to enhance clientele experience, overall guest experience, marketing strategies and other accolades awarded previously. Another important criterion for the category was a mystery shopping experience at the shortlisted attraction by the judging panel.

Ms Fanny Lai, Group CEO of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “We are very happy and proud to receive this award for the ninth time. It is a clear endorsement of our hard work and commitment to achieving and maintaining the best international standards for our wildlife parks. We will continue to set the bar higher for ourselves every year, to provide our guests with their most memorable experiences at Night Safari and our other attractions, Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park.”

Night Safari was also most recently awarded “Most Popular Asian Attraction” for the Wildlife Park category at the 2010 Asian Attraction Award presented by The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.

In addition, Night Safari will be launching a new in-park attraction. Inspired by the Naracoorte Cave National Park in Australia, the Night Safari has constructed its very own Naracoorte Cave which will house mysterious cave creatures such as bats, snakes and scorpions. The new attraction will be officially launched in early 2011.

SINGAPORE ZOO CROWNS NEW KING

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Singapore, 15 October 2010Singapore Zoo, the world’s only rainforest-themed zoo, has a new king cobra which has been absorbed into the park’s collection after being rescued by Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s (WRS) wildlife rescue experts. The 4.3 metre long snake, named Elvis, after the King of Rock and Roll, underwent quarantine and health evaluations by the park’s vets, and is now the star of the Singapore Zoo’s Reptile Garden. King cobras are the world’s largest venomous snakes and males average 4 metres in length.

First spotted in a drain along Thomson Road, WRS’ wildlife rescue experts were contacted by NParks officials, who feared that Elvis’ great size may put him in danger from frightened residents. WRS wildlife rescue experts arrived on the scene shortly and brought Elvis back to the wildlife rescue centre for evaluation and review. Because of the animal’s large size, WRS decided to absorb the animal into its collection amid worries that it may encroach on populated areas in the future, and be injured or killed.

“Wild animals such as king cobras are magnificent but they can also be dangerous,” said Biswajit Guha, Director, Zoology, Singapore Zoo. “Even though Singapore is heavily urbanised, we retain a vibrant native biodiversity and it is important that Singaporeans respect wildlife when we come across them outside of their forest homes.”

He added, “Members of the public should not attempt to approach wild animals particularly if they appear to be weak, injured or disorientated. Occasionally wild animals such as the king cobra may enter populated areas and are unable to return to the forest. They will likely be stressed and may react in unpredictable ways. Considering that the venom of a king cobra is extremely potent, people should leave the handling of these beautiful reptiles to experts.”

WRS operates Singapore’s only designated rescued wildlife centres and provides snake handling training upon request to relevant agencies and organisations.

Elvis the recued king cobra now calls Singapore Zoo’s Reptile Garden home. Visitors can see how active he is during the king cobra feeding session every Sunday at 2.15pm

The king cobra can strike up at targets within 2.5 metres, making it extremely easy to misjudge safe distances. Despite its size and reputation for ferocity, it only attacks when startled, provoked or when protecting its eggs.

The 4.3 metre king cobra, christened Elvis, is a spectacular specimen, and perhaps one of the largest to have been found in Singapore.

WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE HOSTS FIRST SOUTHEAST ASIAN ANIMAL ENRICHMENT AND TRAINING WORKSHOP

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Growie and Roni the giraffes make use of their long dextrous tongues to get at the carrot sticks packed in tube feeders made from PVC pipes.

Singapore, 4 October 2010 – Wildlife Reserves Singapore is holding the first Southeast Asian workshop to teach zoo and wildlife rescue staff in the region the best practices in animal enrichment and training, which actively promotes the expression of healthy and normal behaviours of wild animals in captivity. This is part of WRS’ commitment to raising wildlife captive care standards in the region, especially as we observe World Animal Day on 4 October, and remember 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity.

Animals in their natural environment carry out a range of activities for their survival in the wild. For example, they need to secure food and shelter, as well as avoid predators, and they pick up the necessary skills from the moment they are born. Those living in captivity at wildlife parks and zoos possess the same instincts and need to express their natural behaviours. However, without the challenges posed by nature, these instincts can express themselves in undesirable and even deleterious behaviours like continuous pacing and over-grooming.

“Even the best captive environment can never truly replicate an animal’s natural surroundings. Animal behavioural management, which involves environmental enrichment, positive reinforcement training techniques and problem-solving processes, has proven effective in keeping captive animals in good physical and psychological health,” said Ms Fanny Lai, WRS’ Group CEO. “We hope this first animal enrichment and training workshop hosted by WRS provides a platform for those passionate about wildlife and wildlife conservation to exchange ideas and share experiences in a bid to improve the management of captive animals and enhance animal welfare.”

The four-day workshop which begins today is held in partnership with animal behaviour consulting firm Active Environments and non-profit corporation The Shape of Enrichment. It is specifically designed for animal care givers and is open to zookeepers, aquarists, managers, supervisors, curators and veterinarians from the Southeast Asian and Australasian region. It will include theoretical and practical training on topics such as enrichment and training planning processes, safety considerations, animal demonstrations, as well as hands-on exercises such as fabrication of animal enrichment devices.

WRS, which operates award-winning wildlife parks including Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, Singapore Zoo, and the upcoming River Safari, places great emphasis on animal enrichment activities. On average, over 90 species of animals in Singapore Zoo receive three sessions of enrichment each week to hone their motor and sensory skills, while increasing their optimal state of well being. These may include exercises such as changing the way their food is presented, or creating a device to stimulate their minds.

For example, spinning feeder balls are used to challenge the Asian short-clawed otters’ dexterity as they try to get to the tasty treats with their nimble fingers. Giraffes, on the other hand, are challenged to retrieve carrots through holes in suspended, large mineral water bottles or PVC pipes. Predatory instincts of reptiles such as the Komodo dragon is drawn out by tossing them a cardboard box filled with dead rats. The ripping of the box to retrieve the rats mimics how they would rip the skin of their prey. The Malayan sun bears are encouraged to explore the environment and use their natural instincts when coconut husks smeared with honey are dangled from the branches in their enclosures. Such exercises encourage exploratory and investigative behaviours.

Ms Gail Laule, one of the founders of Active Environments, said: “Environmental enrichment and positive reinforcement training are essential components of caring for wild animals in captive environments. All zoos should provide the relevant training for its staff, and we are glad that WRS is taking the lead to host such an event in Singapore.”

“We are excited to be part of this inaugural Southeast Asian animal enrichment and training workshop. This event will contribute towards improvements in animal welfare through education and international exchange of enrichment theory and application,” added Ms Valerie Hare, co-founder and workshop coordinator from The Shape of Enrichment.

WRS is expecting an attendance of about 30 participants representing 20 wildlife institutions, including zoos, rescue centres and wildlife parks. Among the participants are representatives from Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Malaysia, and the Hong Kong Zoo and Ocean Adventure in Philippines. To ensure that institutions with a real need to implement animal enrichment and training practices in their facilities are able to attend this workshop, WRS has provided sponsorship to participants from Free the Bears in Cambodia, Lao Zoo in Laos, and Saigon Zoo in Vietnam.

Bima the Komodo dragon tries to rip apart a cardboard box to get to a treat. Keepers have to ensure the box is safe removing all the staples first.

Indera the Malayan sun bear is enthralled by a sugarcane-stuffed coconut, drizzled with honey.

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