AN ICY 23RD BIRTHDAY FOR INUKA, SINGAPORE ZOO’S POLAR BEAR

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- First polar bear born in the tropics celebrates with a popsicle of favourites.

Singapore, 26 December 2013 – Inuka, Singapore Zoo’s polar bear turned 23 years today, and celebrated with a three-tiered ice cake chock-full of his favourite food.

The first polar bear to be born in the tropics confidently strode to his colourful popsicle, embedded with salmon, herring, blueberries, apples and strawberries; and topped with a frozen watermelon, whipped cream and a salad of mulberry leaves.

As Inuka nonchalantly munched on his treat, scores of guests stayed glued to his every move, many trying to digitally capture the bear with their cameras. Inuka, the star attraction at Singapore Zoo’s Frozen Tundra exhibit, demolished his ice cake within half an hour, before diving into his pool for a swim in the rain.

Inuka, Singapore Zoo’s polar bear, confidently approached his ice cake, which had been lovingly prepared by his keepers. In the background, scores of visitors get their cameras ready, to capture the first polar bear in the tropics, which turned 23 years today PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Inuka, Singapore Zoo’s polar bear, confidently approached his ice cake, which had been lovingly prepared by his keepers. In the background, scores of visitors get their cameras ready, to capture the first polar bear in the tropics, which turned 23 years today. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

ENDInuka was oblivious to the crowds behind him as he munched on his three-tiered colourful popsicle, which was embedded with his favourite food, including apples, strawberries, salmon, herring and blueberries. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Inuka was oblivious to the crowds behind him as he munched on his three-tiered colourful popsicle, which was embedded with his favourite food, including apples, strawberries, salmon, herring and blueberries. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Inuka intently savouring his frozen ice cake embedded with salmon, herring, blueberries, apples and strawberries; and topped with a frozen watermelon, whipped cream and a salad of mulberry leaves. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Inuka intently savouring his frozen ice cake embedded with salmon, herring, blueberries, apples and strawberries; and topped with a frozen watermelon, whipped cream and a salad of mulberry leaves. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

WORLD’S RAREST TORTOISES TO LOSE FACE VALUE

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Tattooing the tortoise and keeping Ploughshares out of the Illegal Trade

Tattooing the tortoise and keeping Ploughshares out of the Illegal Trade

Singapore, 16th December 2013 – Conservation organizations fighting to save one of the world’s most threatened tortoises from poachers are resorting to a drastic measure—engraving identification codes onto the animals’ shells to reduce their black market value.

Although fully protected, Ploughshare Tortoises are prized for their beautiful high domed shells, but are being pushed closer to the brink of extinction due to high demand as unique and exotic pets. Engraving a tortoise’s shell makes it less desirable to traffickers and easier for enforcement agencies to trace.

Found only in north‐western Madagascar, the tortoise is Critically Endangered and only an estimated 400 adults remain in the wild. Numbers have been devastated through illegal collection and export to meet the international demand for the pet trade, especially in South‐East Asia, where they are sold in markets particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

In March, two smugglers were arrested with 52 Ploughshare Tortoises in suitcases while attempting to enter Thailand, where traders redistribute the animals to dealers locally and abroad. This was the largest ever seizure of Ploughshare Tortoises in Southeast Asia. One of the smugglers, a Malagasy woman was jailed, while the other, a Thai man, was released on bail.

This case exemplifies the increased audacity of smugglers, the urgency of the situation and the need for enforcement agencies to take the illegal trade in this species far more seriously. Based on seizures reported in the media, at least 86 Ploughshare Tortoises have been seized since 2010. Over 60% of these seizures occurred in Thailand while remaining seizures took place in Madagascar and Malaysia; with at least one of the shipments destined for Indonesia.

Four organisations – Wildlife Reserves Singapore, TRAFFIC, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Turtle Conservancy – are joining forces to hold a “Tattoo the Tortoise” event on 16th December at Singapore Zoo to raise awareness of the plight of the Ploughshare and to build support to fight trafficking in the species.

Singapore Zoo currently houses two Ploughshare Tortoises which were confiscated by the Agri‐Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore in 2009. The pair will be used to establish an ‘assurance colony’ in Singapore. The top shell of each tortoise will be engraved during this event – a first for South‐East Asia.

The event will include presentations by experts working on the conservation of these tortoises and an exhibition open to the public. These activities provide an opportunity for the public, governments and other relevant bodies to learn about the dire situation these animals face, and what they can do to save the Ploughshare Tortoises.

For further information, please contact:

Dr. Chris R Shepherd, Regional Director, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia.
T: +6012 2340790, E: chris.shepherd@traffic.org

Ms Natt Haniff, Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications, Wildlife Reserve s Singapore
T: +65 6360 8659 / +65 9362 8115, E: natt.haniff@wrs.com.sg

Mr Richard Lewis, Madagascar Programme Director, Durrell Wildlife Conservati on Trust
E: Richard.Lewis@durrell.org

Ms Kaitlyn‐Elizabeth Foley, Program Officer and Grants Manager, Turtle Conserv ancy
T: +01 212 353‐5060, E: kaitlyn@turtleconservancy.org

ZOO HOO WILD WOW BIRTHDAY TO MARK GRAND FINALE OF SINGAPORE ZOO’S 40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

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- Visitors invited to go wild with fun activities like token feeding surprises, games and magic shows from 30 Nov to 22 Dec.

Zoo Hoo Wild Wow Birthday

Zoo Hoo Wild Wow Birthday

Singapore, 7 November 2013 – This school holidays, we’re ending off Singapore Zoo’s 40th anniversary celebrations with a big bang! Join us during the weekends from 30 November to 22 December for “Zoo Hoo! Wild Wow Birthday”, which promises fun-filled activities such as token feeding birthday surprises, games, mascot appearances and magic shows for the entire family.

Go wild with the zoo’s resident animals as they enjoy their birthday surprises during select token feeding sessions. Snap a photo with the endearing animal mascot and be ‘wow-ed’ by exciting magic performances. Team up with your kids at fun games for some great family bonding time! Make sure you don’t leave without receiving an exclusive Singapore Zoo 40th activity book!*

This school holidays, watch the lion-tailed macaques unwrapping their enrichment presents

This school holidays, watch the lion-tailed macaques unwrapping their enrichment presents

Wild WOW Birthday
Date: 30 Nov– 22 December 2013 (Weekends only)
Venue: Singapore Zoo, 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Fee: Free of charge
Notes: Singapore Zoo admission rates of $22.00 (adult) and $14.00 (child 3 to 12 years) apply

Get an animal-themed face painting at Singapore Zoo’s Zoo Hoo Wild Wow Birthday

Get an animal-themed face painting at Singapore Zoo’s Zoo Hoo Wild Wow Birthday

Highlights

Token Feeding Birthday Surprise
What’s a birthday without yummy treats? Share in the pure delight of our animal friends as they unwrap birthday presents and treats! Catch our curious chimpanzees among other animals as they open their gifts during selected token feeding sessions.

Dates: 30 Nov, 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22 December
Times & Venues:
1. Orang utan 11.00am
2. Pygmy hippo 2.30pm
3. Chimpanzee 4.35pm
4. Primate Kingdom 11.00am (Colobus monkey, Celebes macaque, lion-tailed macaque)

Wild Wow Photo Wall
Get creative with our ‘fun-ky’ 40th anniversary props at Zoo Hoo’s Wild Wow Birthday photowall and bring home a keepsake in a limited edition Zoo Hoo photo jacket for just $5.

Dates: 30 Nov, 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 December
Time: 10am – 4pm
Venue: Rainforest Courtyard (outside retail shop)

Other Wild Wow Birthday Activities

Other Wild Wow Birthday Activities

Other Wild Wow Birthday Activities

* Singapore Zoo 40th activity book while stocks last.

AN OVERALL PAW-SITIVE RESULT FOR INUKA, SINGAPORE ZOO’S POLAR BEAR

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- First polar bear born in the tropics undergoes annual health-check.

Singapore, 4 November 2013 – As Inuka, Singapore Zoo’s 22 year old polar bear entered his senior years, Singapore Zoo’s vet team performed a health check on him under general anesthesia on 9 October 2013. The first polar bear to be born in the tropics was found to be in general good health for his age. He currently measures 2.5m from nose to tail, and weighs 532kg.

The hour-long medical examination included dental, aural and paw checks. Blood results show no abnormality in his kidneys and liver. There are some warty growths on the underside of his tongue, and a biopsy has been done to confirm if they are benign and can be left alone. Inuka’s teeth also needed some attention, which was to be expected at his age. X-rays of his lower limbs confirmed what his vets have suspected for some time; that he has mild arthritis on his ankle and right wrist joints. The vets will prescribe medications as required, to manage his arthritis.

After the examination, Inuka was revived with a reverse sedative and allowed to recuperate in his den. Within two days, he was back to basking in his ice cave and in no time was paddling in his pool, at Singapore Zoo’s Frozen Tundra.

A team of six from the veterinary department of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (parent company of Singapore Zoo) conducted various tests and observations on Inuka simultaneously to minimise sedation time. Here, a member of the medical team takes a closer look at Inuka’s teeth while Head Vet Dr Serena Oh checks on his shoulder, where he was darted.

A team of six from the veterinary department of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (parent company of Singapore Zoo) conducted various tests and observations on Inuka simultaneously to minimise sedation time. Here, a member of the medical team takes a closer look at Inuka’s teeth while Head Vet Dr Serena Oh checks on his shoulder, where he was darted.

Checks on large and dangerous animals are often conducted in the animal’s den to minimise the time they are sedated. During these times, vets use a portable x-ray machine to take x-rays of animal’s various body parts.

Checks on large and dangerous animals are often conducted in the animal’s den to minimise the time they are sedated. During these times, vets use a portable x-ray machine to take x-rays of animal’s various body parts.

Inuka’s paw measures an astounding 20cm across, which makes the hand of a grown man look miniscule in comparison!

Inuka’s paw measures an astounding 20cm across, which makes the hand of a grown man look miniscule in comparison!

TRIPLE THRILL FOR WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE AT SINGAPORE EXPERIENCE AWARDS 2013

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- Night Safari wins 11th honour for Best Visitor Attraction Experience category.
- Singapore Zoo’s ‘Wild Discoverer Tour’ joint winner for Best Travel Experience.
- ‘Pandamonium Hits Singapore’ wins Most Innovative Marketing Initiative.

Singapore, 21 October 2013Wildlife Reserves Singapore walked away with three accolades at the Singapore Experience Awards 2013: Night Safari, the world’s first wildlife park for nocturnal animals, was again recognised for providing the ‘Best Visitor Attraction Experience’, making this its 11th honour in this category; Singapore Zoo’s Wild Discoverer Tour was a joint winner for Best Travel Experience; Wildlife Reserves Singapore also won the Most Innovative Marketing Initiative with ‘Pandamonium Hits Singapore’.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore's winning team

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s winning team

Hosted and presented by the Singapore Tourism Board, the Singapore Experience Awards is Singapore tourism’s highest accolade; celebrating the luminaries who constantly innovate and create distinctive and compelling Singapore experiences.

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

Singapore Zoo’s Wild Discoverer Tour tied with ‘Changi WWIITM – A Changi Museum War Trail’ for the ‘Best Travel Experience’ award.

These two awards are among 11 that were given out in the ‘Experience’ category, which recognise organisations which package experiential elements to create a distinctive Singapore experience that encompasses product and service excellence, and is enjoyable and memorable to visitors. Finalists were also scored against factors such as the delivery of the experience, customer satisfaction and marketing initiatives undertaken to enhance overall guest experience. Another important criterion for the category was a mystery shopping experience at the shortlisted attraction by the judging panel.

In the awards category for marketing and media, ‘Pandamonium Hits Singapore’ won the Most Innovative Marketing Initiative, beating ‘A Classic GSS Affair @OC’ and ‘Singapore “Be A Star Kid” Children Enrichment Program’.

This award is one of four in the marketing and media category, which celebrates marketing and promotional efforts through creative campaigns and media that showcase the compelling sights and sounds of Singapore.

Results were unveiled at a gala presentation ceremony at the Marriot Hotel Singapore this evening. This year saw a total of 82 finalists vying for 27 awards. Finalists in each category were nominated by industry players and experts, with the final winner picked by a panel of judges.

Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “There is much to celebrate this evening. We are elated and honoured to receive this trio of awards, which are testament to our hard work and commitment to achieving, maintaining, and even surpassing the best international standards for our wildlife parks.

Being the world’s first nocturnal zoo, Night Safari’s unique offering and stellar reputation has made her a firm favourite and iconic attraction for both foreign and local visitors. Through the years, the team has worked hard to maintain this world class establishment. Winning this year is especially sweet as we look forward to celebrating her 20th anniversary in May 2014.

And with Singapore Zoo celebrating her 40th anniversary this year, having our Wild Discoverer Tour jointly win the Best Travel Experience is definitely the icing on the cake!

We are equally thrilled that ‘Pandamonium Hits Singapore’ has been chosen Most Innovative Marketing Initiative. It’s just been a year since we welcomed giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia to Singapore’s shores, and clearly Singaporeans have embraced them with open arms and continue to follow their every move.”

He added: “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 Singapore Zoo, and our other attractions, Jurong Bird Park and River Safari.”

ASIA’S FIRST GIANT RIVER OTTER BABY AMONG MORE THAN 400 BIRTHS AT WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

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Wildlife Reserves Singapore marks World Animal Day with tribute to babies born at Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo.

Singapore, 3 October 2013Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) marks World Animal Day with a presentation of furry, feathery and slithery babies born in Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo. The four parks saw more than 400 animal babies born between January and August this year, charming visitors with their adorable antics.

Among the most exciting births at WRS is that of Asia’s first giant river otter baby at River Safari. Born on 10 August, the unnamed male pup now weighs 1.6kg and measures 60cm. While it may be small now, giant otters can grow to an incredible length of 1.8m and weigh up to 34kg. River Safari is the first zoological institution in Asia to feature the endangered giant river otter, the largest of the world’s 13 otter species. Found only in South American river systems, giant otters are ferocious predators that hunt piranhas, anacondas and even caimans, earning them the title “river wolves”. Often hunted extensively for their fur and threatened by habitat loss, these river giants are now amongst the rarest otters in the world.

Since its birth on 10 August, Asia’s first giant river otter baby and his mother have been left alone in their den to bond. In a few weeks’ time, the pup will enter River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit where his parents will teach him how to swim. The parents, Carlos and Carmen, are from Germany’s Hamburg and Duisburg Zoo respectively, and arrived in Singapore in August 2012 as part of an animal exchange and breeding programme.

Since its birth on 10 August, Asia’s first giant river otter baby and his mother have been left alone in their den to bond. In a few weeks’ time, the pup will enter River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit where his parents will teach him how to swim. The parents, Carlos and Carmen, are from Germany’s Hamburg and Duisburg Zoo respectively, and arrived in Singapore in August 2012 as part of an animal exchange and breeding programme.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “We have maintained an excellent record of success in our captive breeding programme, and visitors to our parks are often pleasantly surprised to find adorable animal babies. The landmark birth of Asia’s first giant river otter baby represents the culmination of efforts and dedication of our zoology team in adopting and maintaining the highest standards of husbandry. With increasing threats such as habitat destruction and poaching, captive breeding programmes play a pivotal role in conserving threatened species for our future generations.”

Malayan tapir Putri, born on 3 June, enjoys her forest floor playtime at Night Safari. The Malayan tapir is one of the most endangered animals in Southeast Asia. Populations are declining due to poaching and habitat loss from deforestation for agricultural purposes.

Malayan tapir Putri, born on 3 June, enjoys her forest floor playtime at Night Safari. The Malayan tapir is one of the most endangered animals in Southeast Asia. Populations are declining due to poaching and habitat loss from deforestation for agricultural purposes.

Aside from the birth of the giant otter, over 100 species were born or hatched in the four WRS parks, of which 37 are classified as threatened in the *IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. These include the orang utan, manatee, hyacinth macaw and Malayan tapir. Through the years, WRS parks have exchanged many of these animals with other reputable zoos for breeding purposes.

*International Union for Conservation of Nature

CELEBRATE CHILDREN’S DAY WITH INUKA THE POLAR BEAR

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Singapore, 23 September 2013 – Chill out in Singapore Zoo’s Frozen Tundra with the little ones this Children’s Day and enjoy a frosty fun time with a lineup of educational activities about polar bears. Pique your child’s curiosity about polar bears – the largest land predator in the world – in our ‘Snow’ & Tell session, and see the children go wild on a great seal hunt. To end off on a warm and fuzzy note, work on a beautiful ‘Happy Children’s Day’ card together for Inuka the polar bear!

Inuka swimming at Frozen Tundra

Inuka swimming at Frozen Tundra

Children’s Day activities at Singapore Zoo
Date: 4– 5 October 2013
Venue: Singapore Zoo, 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Fee: Free of charge
Notes: Singapore Zoo admission rates of $22.00 (adult) and $14.00 (child 3 to 12 years) apply

1. Snow & Tell session
Venue: Auditorium
Duration: 20min
Time: 9.30am, 10.30am, and 11.30am

Discover how polar bears adapt, survive, and live comfortably in their cold environment in a Snow and Tell session. Participants will learn interesting facts such as the polar bears’ habitat, diet, and threats they face in the wild. Also find out how zookeepers at Singapore Zoo look after and engage our very own polar bear, Inuka. This talk is free of charge* and requires no registration. Simply follow the signs to the auditorium at the specified time slots.

* Singapore Zoo admission rates of $22.00 (adult) and $14.00 (child 3 to 12 years) apply

2. The Great Seal Hunt
Venue: Frozen Tundra
Time: 10.00am to 2.00pm

Children get to hone their predatory instincts in the Frozen Tundra Great Seal Hunt. Participants play the role of little polar bears hunting for prey — hidden seal stickers around the Frozen Tundra exhibit. Follow the instructions on the stickers and mark out the specially designed Frozen Tundra map provided by Singapore Zoo staff. The first 100 participants to complete their map will win attractive prizes!

 3. Draw for Inuka!
Venue:
Frozen Tundra
Time: Zoo operating hours – 8.30am to 6.00pm

Have your child express their creativity by penning their own drawings of Inuka wishing him a Happy Children’s Day! Participants can bring their drawings when visiting the Zoo and their work will possibly be displayed at the Frozen Tundra exhibit. A drawing corner and drawing materials will be available for children who wish to draw at the Zoo itself.

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