ART GOES WILD AT SINGAPORE ZOO!

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Singapore, 10 October 2011 – Kids can dig deep into their artistic genes and unleash their creativity at the Singapore Zoo’s “Zoo Hoo! Art goes wild” event this year-end school holidays. Centred around art and animals, the event promises lots of colourful fun and educational activities.

To be held over five weekends from 19 November to 18 December, “Zoo Hoo! Art goes wild” will feature activities for the whole family. There will be real elephants parading the park, arts and crafts activities and even lovable cartoon characters SpongeBob Squarepants and Patrick Star will make an appearance!

In line with the theme and as one of the main sponsors of Elephant Parade Singapore, an open air art exhibition of painted elephant statues, the zoo will also showcase 30 decorated, life-sized baby elephant sculptures around the park. Painted by local and international artists, each elephant will be a unique piece of art, providing quirky photo opportunities for kids and their parents.

What’s more, on 19 Nov, Playeum® the Play Museum celebrates The Big Draw at ZooHoo! Art Goes Wild”, with the theme “Fantastical Creatures Go Wild”. Using animals as an inspiration, Playeum® unleashes children’s imagination; to go wild as they immerse themselves in a wide range of art activities to create unique creatures of their own. What’s more they can enjoy the invaluable opportunity to work with artists who will play role models to bring out the children’s innate abilities. Come join us for a day of wacky fun and learning.

Highlights
Animal friends get creative
Visitors can watch and learn from our animal kingdom “Picassos”, i.e. the orang utan and Asian elephants, as they create art pieces on paper with simple strokes of paint.
Dates: 19, 20, 26, 27 Nov, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 Dec 2011
Time / Venue: 11.00am: Elephant painting at Elephants of Asia exhibit and 3.40pm: Orang utan painting at island free-ranging orang utan exhibit

Funky Elephant Parade
Make way for the majestic Asian elephants of the Singapore Zoo, as they sashay through the park all decked out in quirky finery. Accompanied by performers and musicians, our elephants will mesmerise visitors with their commanding presence.
Dates: 19, 20, 26, 27 Nov, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 Dec 2011
Time: 2.45pm: Elephant meet and greet, 3.00pm: Funky Elephant Parade
Venue: Proboscis monkey exhibit at Rainforest Walk

Create your own animal cartoon
Kids who have always dreamed of becoming animators can get their first experience of creating their own animal cartoon character at the zoo. They will first learn the basic cartoon techniques, while drawing inspiration from real life subjects at the zoo, such as the hedgehog, tortoise and iguana.
Dates: 19, 20, 26, 27 Nov, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 Dec 2011
Time: 11.45am
Venue: Rainforest Kidzworld

Ele-paints Me!
Kids will have tons of fun taking and designing their own photographs on an Apple iPad. What’s more, they can email it to themselves as a memento of the event!
Dates: 19, 20, 26, 27 Nov, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 Dec 2011
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Venue: Rainforest Walk (near Zoo retail shop)

SpongeBob Squarepants and Patrick Star Appearance
Join lovable SpongeBob Squarepants and his best friend Patrick Star in a bouncy bubbly session.
Dates: 19, 20, 26, 27 Nov, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 Dec 2011
Time: 10.30am and 3.30pm (30 min session)
Venue: Birthday Pavilion at Rainforest Kidzworld

Mask Making Fun!
Little ones (big ones are welcome too) can let their imagination run wild, as they design their own free souvenir mask* with different art supplies like coloured markers, magazines, crepe paper and bells.
Dates: 19, 20, 26, 27 Nov, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 Dec 2011
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Venue: Various locations around the park
* Whilst Stocks Last

Mad About Elephants! Booth
Find out more about elephants at this educational booth, and even have first-hand experience handling some of the specimens such as dung and teeth!
Dates: 19, 20, 26, 27 Nov, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 Dec 2011
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Venue: Ele-fun play area at Elephants of Asia exhibit

More more more animal fun!
A jumble of other animal activities await throughout the day!

Animal training and care demonstrations
Learn more about how our trainers condition the animals, and watch their amazing bond as they work together.
Dates: 19, 20, 26, 27 Nov, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 Dec 2011
Time: 1.30pm and 2.45pm (30 min each session)
Venue: Rainforest Kidzworld

Man vs Wild Challenges
Pit your strength against the elephant or orang utan and see who comes out tops!
Dates: 19, 20, 26, 27 Nov, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and18 Dec 2011
Time / Venue: 11.10am: Orang utan at island free-ranging orang utan exhibit and 3.15pm: Elephant at Elephants of Asia exhibit

Animal meet and greet
Depending on when you visit, you’ll be able to meet a snake or a falabella, the world’s smallest breed of horse!
Dates: 19, 20, 26, 27 Nov, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 Dec 2011
Time: 11.00am, 1.00pm and 4.00pm: Snake, 10.00am and 2.00pm: Falabella
Venue: Singapore Zoo entrance

Playeum®’s The Big Draw – “Fantastical Creatures Go Wild”
Children and their families can immerse themselves in a wide range of novel art activities to create unique creatures of their own.
Dates: 19 Nov (Sat)
Time: 10.00am – 5.00pm
Venue: Various locations around Singapore Zoo

Note: Most activities free unless otherwise stated. Normal admission rates of $20.00 for adults and $13.00 for children 3-12 years apply. For more information, please visit www.zoo.com.sg.

Elephants painting at Singapore Zoo

Painting by elephant at Singapore Zoo

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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