VISUALLY IMPAIRED GUESTS TO JURONG BIRD PARK CAN NOW ‘SEE’ MUCH MORE

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EXHIBITS FITTED WITH BRAILLE WILL GREATLY ENHANCE THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF THE AVIAN WORLD

Singapore, 21 December 2011 – Launched last Sunday, visually impaired guests can now look forward to ‘seeing’ more of Jurong Bird Park and learning about the winged animals which inhabit the skies with newly-installed Braille interpretives.

Ten of the Bird Park’s most popular exhibits have been chosen to be the sites of these interpretives; Birds of Prey, Flamingo Pool, Hornbill & Toucans, Lory Loft, Macaw Island, Mandarin Ducks, Dinosaur Descendents, Pelican Cove, Penguin Coast and World of Darkness. These exhibits were also selected with the beneficiaries’ needs in mind, making sure that the latter get to experience as much of the world’s largest Bird Park as possible.

The Braille interpretives’ text and information took the Bird Park’s Education team slightly more than a year to conceptualize and research, while the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH) helped to produce the Braille as well as the ‘pictures’ of the birds so that the visually impaired can ‘feel’ what the particular bird is like. This collaboration ensured that the interpretives would be useful to the beneficiaries. “We are very excited to launch this project, and we are now able to conduct educational group tours catering to these special guests. This strengthens one of our three key pillars, namely, Education, and we hope that the Braille interpretives provide the visually challenged with another means by which to explore the very vibrant and interesting avian world,” said Ms May Lok, Director, Education, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

As part of the launch, NTU’s Welfare Services Club brought a group of 50 beneficiaries and their families from SAVH to Jurong Bird Park. It was also an annual Christmas and Family Day event for the visually impaired with the theme ‘JIA.’ Interpreted as ‘family’ in Mandarin, JIA also symbolises Joy In Abundance, which means that having a family is a blessing to be joyful for.

Beneficiaries spent a whole day at the Bird Park going through 10 different stations learning more about the birds at each pit stop. At selected stations, they also experienced feeding the birds. One key stop was made at the Bird Discovery Centre, a living classroom where they touched and felt bird specimens, their feet, feathers and eggs, and obtained an even greater understanding of the bird world. To better equip the NTU student volunteers with avian knowledge, Bird Park’s Education team trained the students based on the 10 exhibits fitted with Braille, so that they could in turn impart the information to the beneficiaries.

Commented Mr Tan Guan Heng, President, Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, “This initiative by Jurong Bird Park to provide signages in Braille is a demonstration of how the Bird Park is bringing more awareness about the needs of the visually handicapped. We hope that others will emulate the Bird Park. Thank you, Jurong Bird Park!”

For more information on Jurong Bird Park and the educational opportunities available, please visit http://www.birdpark.com.sg and http://education.birdpark.com.sg

Eugene Ng, 13, having a feel of the fairy penguin specimen at the Bird Discovery Center.

Eugene Ng, 13, having a feel of the Mandarin duck specimen at the Bird Discovery Center.

Eugene Ng, 13, having a feel of the African fish eagle’s claws specimen at the Bird Discovery Center.

Eugene Ng, 13, having a feel of an Ostrich egg at the Bird Discovery Center.

Eugene Ng, 13, running his hands through an ostrich feather, marveling at its softness.

Eugene Ng, 13, reading the ostrich Braille interpretative at Dino Descendants.

Eugene’s fingers moving nimbly over the Braille, learning about ostriches at Dino Descendants.

Lionel Tan, 15, picturing how a pelican looks like by touching the picture of a pelican in Braille, at Pelican Cove.

Mohammed Ratu, 19, in delight as she experiences having bee-eaters and starlings fly down and grab meal worms out of her hand at African Waterfall Aviary.

Mohammed Ratu, 19, reading about lories at Lory Loft, as a lory looks on.

Lionel Tan, 15, experiencing feeding a lory at Lory Loft.

SAVE OUR BIRDS – AND RESTORE OUR COLOURFUL WORLD

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JURONG BIRD PARK BECOMES AN ORIGAMI WONDERLAND THIS JUNE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

Singapore, 24 May, 2011 – Jurong Bird Park will be aflutter with activity this June as our feathered friends and their origami counterparts bring to life a first-of-its-kind paper wonderland.

The event, titled “Save the Colour,‟ is a hands-on way in which the whole family can learn about avian conservation and the various elements that contribute to a healthy ecosystem. Most of the Penguin Coast area will be turned into an “Origami Village‟ and visitors will be asked to help rebuild the village and habitats of the birds, who represent the colours of our world. With the combined efforts of many participants throughout the weekends of June, the village will become “populated‟ with origami items which symbolise avian habitats, and kids also learn that everyone can make a difference to saving the colours of our world.

The three habitats represented in the village will each have a different conservation theme. For example, at Antarctica, the aquatic and the tropical garden landscape, kids will learn to fold origami items like “ice blocks‟, fishes and flowers to highlight the dangers of global warming and deforestation.

Kids can also “adopt a bird” by making a contribution to the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund (WRSCF) and learn how to fold an origami crane which symbolises the bird that they have saved. They can then show their commitment to the cause by attaching a personal pledge to each crane they place on the trees in the garden habitat.

Kids can also help to spread the message about “Saving the Colour‟ by sending their friends free postcards. The postcards will be mailed for free to their friends and is limited to local addresses only.

For a little more fun, kids can also experience and celebrate the vibrance of our feathered friends by getting free colourful air-brushed bird tattoos and face painting makeover at our Origami Village.

Event Details
Date: Every weekend in June, 10am – 4pm
Venue: Jurong Bird Park
Price: Park entrance fees apply, event participation is free
Adult: $18.00
Children (12 years old and below): $12.00
Free for children below 1 year old

Annual Camps
Jurong Bird Park’s annual 2-Day Bird Quest Camp and Sleep with the Penguins Camp will also be part of the exciting activities lined-up this June holidays. The 2-day Bird Quest Camp is an exciting adventure that allows kids to get up-close with raptors, and some may even get to handle a bird of prey! Behind the scenes tours are also scheduled, and there will be lots of hands-on activities and feeding sessions with birds. It includes a tour around the Bird Discovery Centre where they will come face to face with the world’s largest egg, and learn more about how birds fly. Families get to spend quality time with our feathered friends during the Sleep with the Penguins Camp. Camp participants will also meet Pinky, the park’s star Humboldt penguin, get a chance to get behind the scenes and separately, feed some feathered friends!

For more information on the annual camps, log onto: http://education.birdpark.com.sg/

Save The Colour

BE RAPTURED BY NEW BIRDS OF PREY SHOW AT JURONG BIRD PARK

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Jurong Bird Park, the world’s largest bird paradise, will launch a brand new hawk show featuring up to 25 birds of prey on 12 March. Aptly named ‘Kings of the Skies,’ the revamped show will feature a larger cast of birds, including Cinereous vultures, griffin vultures, white bellied sea eagles, lugger falcons and Eurasian eagle owls.

Once a sport only practised by nobles, guests will have a chance to learn more about falconry through this show which conveys the spirit and art of falconry practised by various countries in the past. The highly interactive and engaging show will feature other animals such as a horse and dog alongside the birds for the first time. Key highlights of the show include the Mongolian Falconer on horseback with Batelur eagle, 2 Medieval Falconers demonstrating a hunting collaboration between a dog and a Harris hawk, and the show’s finale, where 6 species of vultures like Cinereous vultures, Repel’s Griffin vultures, white-backed vultures, turkey vultures, a white-headed vulture and a Himalayan Griffin vulture take to the stage.

Details
Date: Daily – Beginning 12 March 2011 (Saturday)
Time: 10am & 4pm
Venue: Fuji Hawk Walk
Admission fee: Adult – S$18.00, Child (3 – 12 years old) – $12.00

A bald eagle showcasing its flight ability as part of the segment on medieval falconry in the Show

A Cinerous vulture skulks in as part of the Show’s finale with six other species of vultures

A medieval falconer with a Harris hawk, which will demonstrate hunting by flying to a lure

A Mongolian falconer rides out on horseback with a Batelur eagle

 

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