CELEBRATING EARTH DAY WITH A PENGUIN PLAY DATE AT JURONG BIRD PARK

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Themed ‘Don’t Dump It, Aquatic Creatures Deserve A Clean Home’, primary school children and youths lead the charge to spread penguin conservation messages at the park.

Singapore, 20 April 2013 – With Earth Day and World Penguin Day falling just three days apart, Earth Day at Jurong Bird Park is particularly meaningful for a group of children and youths who have become conservation ambassadors with a determined focus on spreading the message of “Don’t Dump It, Aquatic Creatures Deserve A Clean Home”, aimed at protecting penguins and other marine creatures.

Coming together for ‘A Penguin Play Date’, students from Greenridge Primary School (GRPS) and youth volunteers created two gigantic penguin art pieces made of recycled materials at Jurong Bird Park. These art pieces take the form of a 3-metre tall 2D silhouette, and a sliding penguin sculpture. In addition, 12 primary school children between the ages of 9-11 manned craft stations in the park to teach park visitors what they know about penguins and how to protect these birds by minimising waste.

GRPS students took a month to collect about 600 recycled bottles for the play date. The recycled bottles are in both art pieces. The penguin silhouette shows how something as innocuous as a kids’ beverage bottle can go a long way in creating an artistic statement for the species. The other art piece, a 1-metre tall papier-mâché sliding penguin depicts the bird sliding freely on ice, is a sight often seen in the Antarctic region.

“Penguins are very cute, and I’m sad that they can die when people throw plastics into the sea without thinking of the other creatures which live there. We hope people will help to protect the penguins,” said Angel Chua, Primary 6 student, Greenridge Primary School.

Inviting the public – particularly young children – to join their play date, the students set up craft stations to teach visitors how to make a simple penguin craft out of recyclable toilet rolls, which participants could bring home. Students completed each roll with a conservation message about penguins.

To equip these youth conservation ambassadors with knowledge about these charismatic birds, a highly interactive Penguins and Pals workshop was organised on 13 March. At this session, they learnt more about different penguin species, their diet, how they adapt to temperate climates and how penguins seem to ‘fly’ in the water. These students also visited two of the world’s five endangered penguin species that live in Jurong Bird Park – the African penguin and the Humboldt penguin. To inspire more students in GRPS about conservation and ensuring a clean home for penguins and other marine creatures, the students involved in the Earth Day project with Bird Park will share their experiences school-wide during a school assembly talk.

May Lok, Director, Education, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “To interest and inspire youths about wildlife, we work very closely with schools and over the last five years, more than 85,000 students have gone through workshops such as Penguin and Pals. A Penguin Play Date is the perfect example of how students, when empowered with the right knowledge and skills, can lead the charge to drive conservation messages to their peers and families, and encourage them to think of ways to protect the homes penguins and marine creatures. These youths are the most ideal conservation ambassadors.”

Jurong Bird Park has successfully bred the African and king penguins. Three endangered African penguin chicks have successfully hatched since December 2010, with the latest hatching on 14 March 2013. This chick is the first in Jurong Bird Park to have undergone successful artificial incubation at the Breeding & Research Centre (BRC). Five king penguin chicks have hatched since 2008, and the Park is the first institution in South East Asia to successfully breed this species in captivity.

Visitors will be able to view both the papier-mâché sculpture and the 2D silhouette for a month from 20 April at Penguin Coast.

For more information on Jurong Bird Park, please visit www.birdpark.com.sg

With Earth Day and World Penguin Day falling just three days apart, Earth Day at Jurong Bird Park is particularly meaningful for a group of children and youths who have become conservation ambassadors with a determined focus on spreading the message of “Don’t Dump It, Aquatic Creatures Deserve A Clean Home”, aimed at protecting penguins and other marine creatures.

With Earth Day and World Penguin Day falling just three days apart, Earth Day at Jurong Bird Park is particularly meaningful for a group of children and youths who have become conservation ambassadors with a determined focus on spreading the message of “Don’t Dump It, Aquatic Creatures Deserve A Clean Home”, aimed at protecting penguins and other marine creatures.

Inviting the public – particularly young children – to join their play date, the students set up craft stations to teach visitors how to make a simple penguin craft out of recyclable toilet rolls, which participants could bring home.

Inviting the public – particularly young children – to join their play date, the students set up craft stations to teach visitors how to make a simple penguin craft out of recyclable toilet rolls, which participants could bring home.

Jurong Bird Park has successfully bred the African and king penguins. Three endangered African penguin chicks have successfully hatched since December 2010, with the latest hatching on 14 March 2013.

Jurong Bird Park has successfully bred the African and king penguins. Three endangered African penguin chicks have successfully hatched since December 2010, with the latest hatching on 14 March 2013.

WHEN TWO’S A COUPLE AND THREE’S NOT A CROWD

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JURONG BIRD PARK CELEBRATES LATEST CUDDLY ADDITION TO ITS AFRICAN PENGUIN COLONY

Singapore, 05 October 2011 – Less than a year after moving to a new home, a pair of African penguins are proud parents of a feisty penguin chick. The couple, who were originally residents of Singapore Zoo, started breeding and nesting soon after relocating to their new home in Jurong Bird Park.

The cuddly chick was hatched on 22 August 2011 and at just 10 days old, weighed 425g; a desirable weight for an African penguin hatchling. Unlike adult penguins, a hatchling usually dons a grey juvenile plumage after its first moult of feathers which occurs between its second and third month of life.

“We are delighted to welcome Bird Park’s first African penguin chick. Birds normally breed when they feel safe, happy and secure in their environment. Although the penguins have been here for only 9 months, they have already acclimatised to their new environment under the watchful eye of the keepers. The hatchling is the first for the five-year-old female penguin, Mate,” said Mr Raja Segran, General Manager, Jurong Bird Park. “While Mate and the male African penguin, Captain, have very good chemistry, they required some help from our keepers when it came to nesting at their new home at the Park.”

As part of the husbandry procedures in the Bird Park, avian keepers provided sand and hay as nesting materials to encourage them to breed. Diet also plays an important part, and all the above, coupled with tender loving care from the keepers, were key in making the African penguins feel comfortable and secure to engage in breeding.

Previously categorised as ‘Vulnerable’ under the IUCN Red List for bird species, African penguins are now recognised as an endangered species. The decline in the population is attributed to lack of food due to over-fishing in surrounding waters. Other reasons include hunting by predators and egg-collecting.

Commonly found in the offshore islands along the coast of South Africa and Namibia, these penguins are also widely known as Jackass penguins because of their donkey-like bray. Easily seen with black stripes and spots similar to the Humboldt penguin, African Penguins are the only penguin species which are adaptable to temperate climates.

The Penguin Coast, consisting of an outdoor and an indoor exhibit spanning 1,600 metres, is home to six penguin species at the bird park. The indoor climate-controlled den features the Humboldts, Rockhopper, Macaroni, Fairy and King Penguins, while African Penguins bask in the outdoor enclosure.

Mate and Captain

Mate and Captain

HUMBOLDT PENGUIN TRANSFORMS INTO A REAL ‘BELLE’

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A FEATHERLESS PENGUIN REGAINS HER PLUMAGE WITH SOME UNUSUAL HELP FROM AVIAN EXPERTS AT THE JURONG BIRD PARK

Singapore, 28 April 2010 – It was a pretty sight when Belle, the now-famous Humboldt penguin, at the Jurong Bird Park frolicked with her fellow penguins in her full-feathered glory recently. It was not too long ago that the 10-year-old was a featherless oddity and was treated like an outcast by her colony. She had missed her moulting cycle and was virtually ‘bald’ for the past four months.

Resourceful keepers and vets at the Bird Park chanced on the idea of designing a customised wet suit for the little Humboldt, which helped her stay buoyant and warm in the water. Together with a carefully managed holistic treatment that included husbandry practise and medication, Belle showed positive signs of recovery. Her feathers have since grown back, and she is now flaunting her full plumage.

Angelin Lim, avian keeper at the Jurong Bird Park, said, “We named this penguin Belle, with hopes that she will return to her beautiful self. Therefore, we were very encouraged when downy feathers started to show after we put her in a cut-out of a human wet suit in January. Her mood improved because she could swim and interact with her fellow penguins. While her condition may have been caused by stress or hormonal imbalance, it was the combination of this unusual ‘wet suit therapy’ and proper medication that led to her dramatic recovery. We are so happy to see Belle back at the Penguin Coast.”

The Penguin Coast is the Bird Park’s latest attraction, featuring a total of 96 penguins from six different species, including Humboldt, Rockhopper, Macaroni, Fairy, King Penguin and the latest African Penguin, a recent addition to the penguin family that is adaptable to tropical climates.

Penguin Coast hosts two 15 minute feeding sessions daily at 10.30am and 3.30pm to educate visitors about penguins and their feeding habits.

Belle showing positive signs of ‘recovery’ as she starts moulting again

Belle showing off her slow but sure transformation

WORLD’S LARGEST BIRD PARADISE – JURONG BIRD PARK – TURNS 40

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YEAR-LONG CELEBRATIONS KICK OFF WITH PARK DISCOUNTS, SOUVENIR GIVEAWAYS AND FACEBOOK CONTESTS

Singapore, 4 January 2011Jurong Bird Park, one of four wildlife attractions managed by Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), with the others being Night Safari, Singapore Zoo and the upcoming River Safari, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, by offering discounts off admission prices and gifts to selected visitors.

From now till the end of January, Singaporeans and Permanent Residents who turn 40 this year get 40% off admission ticket prices. From 3-9 January, those who celebrated their 40th birthday on 3 Jan 2011 will get free admission into the park, and the first 40 who come in also get an exclusive Bird Park 40th anniversary T-shirt and a cute plush toy.

Next month, celebrations continue with a Facebook contest to encourage couples to share their 40 years of romantic moments at the park. Couples will be asked to dust off their old photo albums and post pictures of them during their courtship days or weddings. Winners will walk away with free admission tickets and a limited edition Valentine’s Day YooHoo plush toy.

Other exciting activities planned for the year include a wildlife photography contest, as well as the launch of a play area for kids at the park and a brand new Birds of Prey show.

Opened on 3 January 1971, Jurong Bird Park is the first wildlife park to be established in Singapore and is today the largest bird park in the world. Situated on a 20.2-hectare hillside, the award-winning park is a haven for 4,600 birds representing 380 of the world‟s bird species. As the oldest wildlife park here, it is an excellent model of success, spearheading avian conservation and education infused with fun recreation for both young and old, locals and tourists.

Over the years, the Bird Park has made significant strides towards establishing itself as the region’s leading institution for the conservation of avian biodiversity. In the area of ex-situ conservation, it has a Breeding and Research Centre tasked to ensure the welfare, breeding and promulgation of birdlife, and has won several accolades for its breeding programmes.

For example, it was the first park in the world to successfully breed the black hornbill in captivity in 1995 and the twelve-wired Bird of Paradise for which the park received the Breeders‟ Award from the American Pheasant and Waterfowl Society in 2001. In 2006, the Bird Park received the Conservation & Research Award for the Oriental Pied Hornbill Conservation Project by IV International Symposium on Breeding Birds in Captivity (ISBBC). More recently in 2010, the park successfully bred and hatched the highly endangered red fronted macaw, hyacinth macaw and the near threatened great pied hornbill species in captivity. Committed to conservation, research and providing the best possible veterinary care to the birds in the park, the world class Avian Hospital was established in 2006. It is also Singapore‟s designated avian rescued centre for the treatment and rehabilitation of wild birds. The Bird Park frequently collaborates with relevant government agencies in re-introducing indigenous species back into the wild, such as the oriental pied hornbill in its most recent project.

In addition, the park is one of Singapore’s most popular tourist and family destinations. Key attractions such as the Bird Discovery Centre, African Waterfall Aviary, Lory Loft, Southeast Asian Birds Aviary, and the newly launched Penguin Coast as well as its daily shows attracted close to 900,000 visitors in 2009. The S$1.9 million Penguin Coast exhibit features six penguin species, one third of the world‟s total penguin species. It features the African Penguin, one of few species which live in the tropics, as well as five species of cold climate penguins in the indoor climate-controlled den of the exhibit. It was launched to spread greater awareness for the conservation of penguins by bringing visitors up close to these endearing birds.

”2011 represents a milestone for us at the Jurong Bird Park. It is a time for us to look back on our achievements and look ahead to new horizons. We have come a long way since our humble beginnings in the 1970s. Today, the Bird Park is a shining example of the successful integration of conservation, education and recreation. This is possible only with the passion and dedication shown by our staff towards the WRS mission of preserving birdlife biodiversity and spreading the message of conservation„, said Ms Fanny Lai, Group CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

“We hope Singaporeans will continue to have fond memories of their wonderful times spent at the Bird Park by participating in our 40th anniversary festivities throughout the year. Now would be a good time to pay yet another visit to the park and take a walk down memory lane by re-living those cherished moments,” she added.

For more information and the latest updates on the Jurong Bird Park‟s 40th anniversary celebrations, please visit www.birdpark.com.sg, or logon to the Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s Facebook page.

Front entrance of Jurong Bird Park (1985)

Jurong Falls Aviary, Jurong Bird Park (1971 -1980)

Visitors queuing up at front admission to purchase tickets (1971 – 1980)

Old tram system, Jurong Bird Park (1971 -1980)

PENGUIN WONDERLAND DESCENDS ON JURONG BIRD PARK THIS DECEMBER HOLIDAYS

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SINGAPORE, 12 November 2010 – Visitors to the Jurong Bird Park this December will be greeted by foam snow flurries and more as Songbird Terrace at the Bird Park transforms into Penguin Wonderland to inspire festive holiday cheer and for kids to experience winter fun in the tropics.

The Terrace’s fountain plaza will become Snowy Cove, a weekend winter playground for kids, aged 4 and above, to have fun amidst white landscapes with snow foam. Water will also spew from the fountain jets, which, in addition to the snow machine, transforms the entire area into a thoroughly wet and white experience, one the kids will enjoy.

The exclusive Penguin Party is another weekend activity that will add to the festivities. Kids participating in the Penguin Party will receive a free party pack and an ice cream, while stocks last. Open to kids aged 4 – 12, the hour long party will be hosted by Pengu and Pengy, two fun penguin characters, who will teach children a cute penguin dance to welcome Santa Claus from the North Pole. Adding an aura of wonder to the party will be a special magic show. This party is by invitation only, so parents should keep a look out for penguin mascots at the park’s main panorail station, who will give out invitations to lucky participants. For a limited 15 minutes every weekend, Pinky, the Bird Park’s lovable Humboldt penguin, will make an exclusive appearance for the Penguin Party. After the party, children will troop towards the re-vamped penguin exhibit Penguin Coast, where groups of children from the party can get up close to Pinky and take a group shot with her.

Other fun activities happening at the Bird Park include penguin-themed face painting, eco-friendly penguin craft activity, sand art and an area for kids to pledge to save Mother Earth. To encourage kids to participate, a specially designed button badge will be given with every completed pledge, while stocks last.

Families heading to the Bird Park this December will also be among the first to view the brand new Penguin Coast, which launches with a new look and with a new penguin species.

The African penguins will feature for the first time at an outdoor enclosure at the Bird Park, while the King penguins, Rockhoppers, Humboldts, Macaronis and Fairies can be found indoors.

Visitors to the Penguin Coast on week days can also participate in other exciting activities. Every day at 10.30am and 3.30pm for 15 minutes at Penguin Coast, kids can find out about the feeding habits of penguins from the keepers of the Penguin Feeding Programme. In addition, adorable penguin mascots will be roving the park and mingling with visitors for photo opportunities. Usual park admission charges apply, but the additional activities are all free for guests to the park.

For more information, please visit www.birdpark.com.sg

Visit the all-new Penguin Coast

African Penguin - Photo courtesy of Bjorn Olesen

AFRICAN PENGUINS COME MARCHING INTO PENGUIN COAST

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JURONG BIRD PARK LAUNCHING WILDLIFE ON THE COAST ATTRACTION

SINGAPORE, 29 September 2010 – Experience an eco-haven with the feel of an African coastline right here in Singapore when the Jurong Bird Park launches its coastal wildlife habitat, Penguin Coast, this December.

For the first time at the Jurong Bird Park, there will be an outdoor enclosure featuring African Penguins. Also known as Jackass Penguins for their distinctive loud braying calls, they are one of the few species of penguins that live in tropical conditions and are commonly found on the South Western coast of South Africa.

African penguins grow to 68–70 cm (26.7–27.5 in) tall and weigh between 2 to 5 kg. They have a black stripe and black spots on the chest, the pattern of spots being unique for every penguin, like human fingerprints. They also spot pink glands above their eyes that get more pink in colour the hotter the penguin gets.

Visitors can view simulated waves created by artificial wave making machines crashing against a shoreline where marsh birds native to South Africa, like the Cape Shelduck or South African Shelduck, large goose-like birds with wings strikingly marked with black, white and green, paddle in the waters.

The Penguin Coast will also be home to gulls. These are medium to large coastal birds, usually grey or white, with black markings on the head or wings and longish bills with webbed feet. Gulls are famous for their aerial acrobatic maneuvers in the wild when hunting for food in the open sea.

Take a quick march down to the Jurong Bird Park this December holidays for a tropical penguin encounter!

African Penguin - Photo courtesy of Bjorn Olesen

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