SINGAPORE ZOO PLEDGES TO KEEP FROGS LEAPING AHEAD OF EXTINCTION

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INTRODUCTION OF FROG KIT AIMED AT CELEBRATING AND RAISING AWARENESS OF FROGS AMONG LOCALS

Singapore, 28 February 2012 — This Leap Year, Singapore Zoo is jumping into action with the introduction of a Frog Kit, aimed at creating awareness and generating interest in local biodiversity, with a focus on our native amphibian friends such as the four-lined tree frog and common greenback species.

During the trial phase, the Frog Kit was distributed to several international and local schools and has received positive feedback from children as young as six. Students from the Canadian International School had a perfect score and successfully released 10 four-lined tree froglets into the pond at Singapore Zoo’s Tropical Crops plantation last March, after looking after them for about five weeks.

The Frog Kit allows its caretakers a first-hand experience of the frog’s intriguing metamorphosis – from egg to tadpole to froglet to adult frog. By being a part of its life cycle, both adults and children will hopefully develop a greater appreciation for these creatures and the wonders of nature.

They may not be the best animals to cuddle up with, but frogs do have a part to play in helping man, as pest control through their diet of insects, such as mosquitoes. Frogs can also tell us if an environment is healthy. Their permeable skin easily absorbs toxic chemicals, which means they are sensitive to very slight changes in the environment. Therefore, if anything drastic happens to frog populations around us, it is an indication that something is wrong in our biosphere as a whole.

The Frog Kit also ties in with the Primary School Science syllabus topic of animal life cycles, and Singapore Zoo hopes more local schools will embrace the kit in the coming months.

This initiative is part of a worldwide event called Leaping Ahead of Extinction: A celebration of good news for amphibians in 2012, coordinated by Amphibian Ark (AArk) to coincide with Leap Day on 29 February. The AArk is a joint effort of three principal partners: the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the IUCN/SSC* Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG), and the IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG).

To date, 51 institutions from 17 countries have confirmed their participation in this global event, which focuses on promoting successes in the conservation of amphibians in captivity and in the wild, especially highlighting projects that involve the release of frogs into the wild.

Last weekend, Singapore Zoo’s “Leap Here!” event which featured frog-related interactive games attracted close to 750 children between 7-12 years. If you’re visiting the Singapore Zoo on Leap Day this year, look out for additional frog information at Fragile Forest.

For more information on other Leap Year events around the world, visit www.amphibianark.org/leap-day-2012/.)

*IUCN/SSC: International Union for the Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission

Students from the Canadian International School wished their froglets well as they were released into the pond at Singapore Zoo’s Tropical Crops Plantation last year

Young guests guessing the number of ‘frog eggs’ in the clduring last weekend’s Leap Here! event at Singapore Zoo

LEAP HERE! FOR FROGTASTIC FUN

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SINGAPORE ZOO CELEBRATES LEAP YEAR WITH FROG ACTIVITIES

Learn more about native frogs such as the banded bullfrog (Kaloula pulchra) (left) and spotted tree frog (Nyctixalus pictus) (right) at Singapore Zoo’s Leap Here! event this 25-26 Feb 2012. PHOTO CREDITS: LEONG TZI MING

Singapore, 20 February 2012– Celebrate the leap year with our amphibious friends who love leaping too! During the 25-26 February weekend, Singapore Zoo will be bringing you a fun-filled weekend where you can learn about and interact with these creatures.

They may not be the best animals to cuddle up with, but frogs do have a part to play in helping man, as pest control through their diet of insects, such as mosquitoes. Frogs can also tell us if an environment is healthy. Their permeable skin easily absorbs toxic chemicals, which means they are sensitive to very slight changes in the environment. Therefore, if anything drastic happens to frog populations around us, it is an indication that something is wrong in our biosphere as a whole.

Find out more about these fascinating creatures and participate in the myriad of activities we have lined up for the whole family this 25-26 February.

Details:
Collect a passport and have fun learning while playing games at five stations. Make sure you get a stamp at each stop. Upon completion, each participant will be given a goody bag and a chance to enter a lucky dip.

Those not keen to run around the Zoo can also be a part of the fun in other ways! Write your wish for our local frogs on a message board near the entrance ticketing area. Face painting by our Conservation Ambassadors is also available for those who wish to get creative and look like their newfound frog friends

Date: 25-26 February 2012 (Sat-Sun)
Time: 9am – 5pm
Who can participate: Children 7-12 years
Registration: Next to entrance retail shop, Singapore Zoo, 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Station Locations: Various (indicated below)
Note: Registration on a first come first served basis for 500 children each day so come early to avoid disappointment!

Metamorphosise!
Find out how frogs grow and see how these unique creatures differ from other animals through metamorphosis. Then try your hand at putting their stages of growth in the right order.

Location: Fragile Forest Entrance

Ecological pest busters!
Ever wondered what frogs eat to get their stunning colour? Get some tips from their diet for ideas on getting that healthy glow. Be warned though, for these jumpers are known to be great for pest control, so think twice before adopting their eating habits!

Location: Opposite Fragile Forest Entrance

“Count the Clutch?” and “Long Leap the King!”
Test your estimation skills by guessing the number of frog eggs in a clutch. The person with the closest guess gets to have their name on the scoreboard at the station. Kids can then see how they measure up against their newfound frog friends in a leaping challenge by taking part in a standing broad jump contest.

Location: Sheltered area at Orchid Garden

Tadfrog Match
Ever had anyone tell you that you have dad’s nose or mum’s eyes? Frogs however, look quite different from their young. Come see how good you are at piecing their family portrait together, and learn more about where and how they live. You might even get to see a real-life family of frogs!

Location: Opposite Fragile Forest

Frog, three, two, one… Can you save the frogs from extinction?
Kids will be challenged to finish our challenging frog puzzles as fast as they can and stretch their brainpower by identifying the species. The person who completes the jigsaw puzzle in the shortest time will have their name on our scoreboard.

Location: Sheltered area at Tropical Crops

RARE “COSTUMED APE” TO GO FOR A JAPANESE ADVENTURE

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SINGAPORE ZOO SENDING FIRST DOUC LANGUR EVER ON BREEDING LOAN

Singapore, 16 February 2012 — For the first time, Singapore Zoo will send one of its captive red-shanked Douc langurs away. A comprehensive health check was carried out on the selected female, named Wani, prior to her journey to Japan’s Yokohama Zoo later this month.

Although a species of monkey and not an ape, Douc langurs are commonly known as “costumed apes” because of their interestingly patterned body coat. Native to the rainforests of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, they are listed as endangered on the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species. Locals hunt this monkey for food and its body parts, which are used in the preparation of traditional medicines. It is also sometimes hunted to sustain the international pet trade. During the Vietnam War, its forest habitat was also destroyed by defoliating agents and bombs.

This delicate and striking monkey made its Singapore Zoo debut in 1988. Since then, 27 Douc langurs have been successfully bred.

Wani underwent a thorough health check on 16 January 2012 prior to a 30-day quarantine in anticipation of her journey to Japan. Her departure will conclude a breeding loan agreement with Yokohama Zoo, which had sent us a clouded leopard in 2001.

To ensure Wani does not suffer too much from homesickness in her new environment, Singapore Zoo plans to send another Douc langur to Yokohama Zoo later this year as part of another breeding loan arrangement.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore, through the parks it manages – Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo – engages in a worldwide breeding exchange programme with many reputable zoological institutions so that that the global gene pool can be kept as diverse as possible.

Wani, a second-generation captive born Douc langur at Singapore Zoo, will be making a one-way trip to Yokohama Zoo later this month as part of a breeding loan. Her father, Hanoi, still resides with us.

Douc langurs are one of the most beautiful Asian monkeys, with almond-shaped eyes and delicate facial features.

Dr Serena Oh, Assistant Director, Veterinary, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (extreme right), and her team draw blood samples from Wani to be sent for tests. They are looking out for human diseases such as Hepatitis A and B, as well as dengue fever. This is in line with the Japanese authorities’ requirements for animals being imported into the country. *IUCN: International Union for Conservation of Nature Photo credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore -

DONNING THEIR SUNDAY BEST FOR VALENTINE DUCK-SHIP AT JURONG BIRD PARK

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Singapore, 3 February 2012 – There are similarities between the avian and human world. Amongst both parties, there are instances of monogamy. Cranes, penguins, hornbills and ducks are some of the avian species which practice monogamy.

Mandarin ducks, famed for being a symbol of fidelity and marriage in Chinese culture, are thought to be monogamous. At Jurong Bird Park, it is now breeding season for these 27 Mandarin ducks, and what is interesting when breeding season comes round is that the male ducks (drakes) don their Sunday best for courtship. From a drab-looking, brown-white plumage, the drake morphs into an iridescent colour palette of orange, brown, purple, green and blue to attract the female duck. Once a pair is established, mating takes place in the water, and a clutch of 8-12 eggs is laid, with an incubation period of 30 days.

Carolina wood ducks are also known to be a monogamous species. Likewise with the Mandarin ducks, all wood ducks sport similar earthy colour tones until breeding season starts. The drake then sports a glossy plumage of several shades of green, white and black, with a sleek crest to attract a mate. Eggs are laid in clutches of 7-15 with an incubation period of 30 days.

The adventurous Carolina wood ducks take courtship a step further, taking nightly strolls on their own from their exhibit at the Bird Park’s entrance into the Park under the cloak of darkness. They visit the Mandarin duck exhibit, some 300m away from the entrance. They have also made tracks for the Pools Amphitheatre, where twice daily shows are held, but unfortunately, as their journey takes place after park hours, Bird Park staff have told them firmly that they are too late for show auditions and auditions have closed. The wood ducks then quack in dismay at being herded away from the Pools Amphitheatre. No chance at fame tonight!

Whilst the ducks engage in mating rituals, couples to Jurong Bird Park on 14 February can also indulge in a premium package specially put together for Valentine’s, where Cupid’s Candlelight Dinner takes centrestage. The recently launched Penguin Coast plays host to lovers as they wine and dine on delectable dishes like the oven-baked Chilean Codfish, Wagyu Beef, and Blueberry Chocolate Chateau, right in front of an amazing penguin viewing gallery. A dining treat to be savoured, couples will get an up close experience and photo opportunities with a bird of prey appearance, and penguin feeding and commentary as they dine the night away in tuxedoed company.

Jurong Bird Park’s Cupid Candlelight Dinner
Date: 14 Feb 2012 (Tuesday)
Venue: Penguin Coast
Time: 7pm
Pricing: $208 + per couple

Charges include admission and dinner at Jurong Bird Park for two, and an exclusive couples gift.

Seats are limited, so do make those reservations early! For reservations, please call 6360 8560 during office hours or email event.sales@wrs.com.sg.

Starter: Lovers’ Lobster Salad - Lobster Medallion with Mango, Avocado, Water Chestnut, Sherry Vinegar Enhanced with Aged Balsamic topped with Garden Salad

Soup: “My Little Dumpling” Scallop Soup - Light Cream of Scallop Soup with Smoked Turkey Dumpling and US Asparagus served with Assorted Country Style Bread (Multi-grain and Olive Bread Roll)

Entrée: Cod My Heart - Oven Baked Marinated Chilean Codfish with Champagne Sauce, Pea Puree, Chateau Dauphinoise and Baby Vegetables

Entrée: Wild About Wagyu - Corn Fed Wagyu Beef with Merlot Jus, Pea Puree, Chateau Dauphinoise and Seasonal Vegetables

Dessert: Lust for Chocolate - Flavor Blueberry Chocolate Chateau Enhanced with Vanilla Sauce and Strawberry Sauce Finished with Glazed Fresh Fruit

Also included in the dinner menu package:
** Free flow of soft drinks, orange, pineapple and lime juice.
** Special gift for the couple.
** Bottle of sparkling wine.

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