GET DRESSED FOR TRICK-OR-TREAT FUN AT RIVER SAFARI’S FIRST SAFARI BOO

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Kids enjoy merry-not-scary festivities for free at River Safari from 6pm

Safari Boo visual

SINGAPORE, 1 October 2014 – This October, River Safari invites all little ones to join Singapore’s wildest trick-or-treat event – Safari Boo – for free! Dress the kids in their favourite costumes for an enchanting night with mythical creatures, interactive discovery stations, special animal presentations, and up-close encounters with river monsters at twilight.

Held over five days on Oct 22, 25, 26 & Nov 1 and 2, Safari Boo festivities take place from 6pm to 9pm (last admission at 8pm). The park will be transformed with colourful decoration, trick-or-treat trails, illuminated displays and a parade of fantastical characters such as the mermaid and unicorn. Children aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm* and are encouraged to come dressed in fun (not scary) costumes and stand a chance to win in a costume contest. To get into the festive spirit, even Kai Kai & Jia Jia mascots will be decked out in their Safari Boo outfit.

Mr Lee Meng Tat, Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “Safari Boo is an all-new event for families with children to have a fun and educational time at River Safari. Through the exciting programme line-up and hands-on activities, we hope visitors will have a memorable adventure in the park and learn a thing or two about wildlife.”

As part of the festivities at Safari Boo, the Giant Panda Courtyard will be home to a myriad of activity stations, including one where little ones can play archaeologist and uncover animal bones to solve mysteries. Those brave for some scaly encounters can feel the unique body covering of animals such as the pangolin and arapaima, and find out why these animals are threatened because of their scales.

Meet a friendly witch and Frankenstein himself, who will introduce various creatures of the night and charm visitors with stories in River Talk: Myths and Legends. This special animal presentation features up-close encounters with snakes, bearded dragons and creepy-crawlies, and is a purr-fect opportunity for kids (and even adults) to get over their phobias and educate others against developing fears of these misunderstood creatures.

Those bone on the wild side will love the after-dark experience at River Safari where they will get to observe the behaviours of river monsters such as the powerful arapaima and colossal giant freshwater stingray. Visitors can also find out more about creatures with blood-thirsty reputation such as the leech and tick, and even get a chance to feel the fangs of the vampire bat!

Safari Boo features daytime festivities where animals will indulge in special pumpkins filled with their favourite treats! Catch the cute antics of giant pandas, red pandas and squirrel monkeys as they chomp, dig and crunch their way through the festive treats as a form of enrichment. Visitors can also embark on a guided trail to learn freaky facts about the river monsters that roam in the park.

Squirrel monkeys indulging in pumpkin treats as part of Safari Boo

Safari Boo event tickets (6pm to 9pm) are priced at $15 for adults. Last admission is at 8pm. Children aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm*. Visitors with River Safari admission tickets can take part in Safari Boo activities for free.

For more information, refer to the Appendix below or visit www.riversafari.com.sg/safariboo

*Terms and conditions apply.

Appendix

1. ADMISSION

Safari Boo activity days:

  • 22 Oct (Wed, Deepavali)
  • 25 Oct (Sat)
  • 26 Oct (Sun)
  • 1 Nov (Sat)
  • 2 Nov 2014 (Sun)

admission

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

  • Activities are weather-permitting.
  • Safari Boo festivities take place from 6pm to 9pm. Last admission is at 8pm.
  • The Giant Panda Forest, Squirrel Monkey Forest and boat rides will be closed as per normal opening times at River Safari and will not be opened for Safari Boo.
  • River Safari and Park Hopper (with River Safari option) admission ticket holders can take part in Safari Boo activities for free.
  • Safari Boo ticket holders can only enter the park from 6pm.
  • River Safari & Park Hopper admission tickets and Safari Boo event tickets can be purchased at Singapore Zoo ticketing counters or at www.riversafari.com.sg/safariboo.
  • Sale of Safari Boo tickets at Singapore Zoo ticketing counters starts at 5pm.
  • Adult supervision is required for all kids participating in Safari Boo. Child is defined as individuals aged 12 years and below.
  • Complimentary tickets for kids to enter for free from 6pm can be collected by accompanying adults at Singapore Zoo ticketing counters from 5pm.
  • For online purchases, all complimentary child ticket redemptions must be accompanied by at least one paid adult event ticket per transaction.

2. ACTIVITIES AT A GLANCE

activities

PANDA PARTY AT RIVER SAFARI

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Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) and CapitaLand Limited (CapitaLand), the Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor of the Giant Panda Collaborative Programme, threw a big panda party for Kai Kai & Jia Jia at River Safari on Friday, 5 September 2014.

Kai Kai, who will turn seven on 14 September this year, enjoyed a colourful four-tiered birthday cake made of ice, bamboo, apples and carrots.  (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Kai Kai, who will turn seven on 14 September this year, enjoyed a colourful four-tiered birthday cake made of ice, bamboo, apples and carrots. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Female panda Jia Jia, turned six on 3 September. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Female panda Jia Jia, turned six on 3 September.
(PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

The party included a giant mooncake in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

From left: Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Ms Jennie Chua, Director, CapitaLand Hope Foundation; Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Guest-of- Honour Miss Sim Ann, Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Education; Mr S R Nathan, Sixth President of Singapore and Chairman, CapitaLand Hope Foundation; Mr Tan Seng Chai, Group Chief Corporate Officer, CapitaLand Limited; Mr Xiao Jianghua, Cultural Counsellor, Chinese Embassy. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

From left: Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Ms Jennie Chua, Director, CapitaLand Hope Foundation; Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Guest-of-
Honour Miss Sim Ann, Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Education; Mr S R Nathan, Sixth President of Singapore and Chairman, CapitaLand Hope Foundation; Mr Tan Seng Chai, Group Chief Corporate Officer, CapitaLand Limited; Mr Xiao Jianghua, Cultural Counsellor, Chinese Embassy.
(PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

A new book for preschool children was also launched at the panda party. Titled 凯凯嘉嘉儿歌 (Kai Kai Jia Jia Nursery Rhymes), it tells the adventures of the two pandas in Singapore and aims at engaging pre-schoolers in learning Chinese through the panda ambassadors.

From left: Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Guest-of-Honour Miss Sim Ann, Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Education. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

From left: Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Guest-of-Honour Miss Sim Ann, Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Education.
(PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

More than 150 guests participated in a Panda Lantern Parade and shone lanterns of hope to light the way for the future of the endangered species.  (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

More than 150 guests participated in a Panda Lantern Parade and shone lanterns of hope to light the way for the future of the endangered species.
(PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

The birthday bash marks the start of week-long festivities at River Safari from 6 to 14 September to commemorate the pandas’ second year in Singapore and celebrate their birthdays.  (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

The birthday bash marks the start of week-long festivities at River Safari from 6 to 14 September to commemorate the pandas’ second year in Singapore and celebrate their birthdays.
(PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Rise and Shine with Kai Kai & Jia Jia at Panda Party Week 2014

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River Safari launches new behind-the-scenes experience
with exclusive opportunity to visit giant pandas at their den

Participants preparing Kai Kai & Jia Jia’s bamboo breakfast in River Safari’s new Panda Rise and Shine programme which will be launched during Panda Party week. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Participants preparing Kai Kai & Jia Jia’s bamboo breakfast in River Safari’s new Panda Rise and Shine programme which will be launched during Panda Party week.
PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Singapore, 27 August 2014 – Go behind-the-scenes with giant panda keepers for an exclusive opportunity to visit Kai Kai & Jia Jia at their dens with Panda Rise & Shine, a programme launched in celebration of River Safari’s Panda Party which commemorates the pandas’ birthdays and second year in Singapore.

During this learning journey, participants get to enter the park before it opens for some quality time with Kai Kai & Jia Jia. They will observe keepers serving the bears their pre-breakfast snack and the morning routine of physical checks, weighing and target training.

This premium programme is the first of its kind in River Safari that brings participants to the Giant Panda Forest back-of-house areas such as the pandas’ dens, kitchen and bamboo storage room. Participants of Panda Rise & Shine will assist keepers in preparing Kai Kai & Jia Jia’s bamboo breakfast and create enrichment toys for the furry duo. Through a personalised guided tour, participants will gain deeper insights into the bears, their diet and home in River Safari.

River Safari’s new Panda Rise and Shine programme, which will be launched during Panda Party week, provides participants with up-close encounters with Kai Kai & Jia Jia, including moments when they undergo target training with their keepers. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

River Safari’s new Panda Rise and Shine programme, which will be launched during Panda Party week, provides participants with up-close encounters with Kai Kai & Jia Jia, including moments when they undergo target training with their keepers.
PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Ms Lok May Kuen, Director, Education, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “As part of the upcoming Panda Party week that celebrates Kai Kai & Jia Jia’s birthdays and second anniversary in Singapore, we introduce Panda Rise & Shine, a new programme that offers an up-close encounter with the pandas. This programme allows participants to witness the special bond between keepers and pandas, as well as an opportunity to understand how we take care of this endangered species. We hope that participants will leave with a greater appreciation not just for giant pandas but all threatened wildlife. ”

The learning journey concludes with breakfast at Mama Panda Kitchen. In addition to an exclusive t-shirt and goodie bag, participants will get to bring home professionally taken photos to remember the special experience.

The Panda Rise & Shine programme is available at S$350, inclusive of River Safari admission*. This exclusive experience can accommodate a maximum of 6 people, and is suitable for participants aged 7 years and above. Participants below 13 years of age must be accompanied by a paying adult. More information can be found online at http://education.riversafari.com.sg/behindTheScenesTours.html.

The new behind-the-scenes experience is part of the activities visitors can look forward to at River Safari’s Panda Party, which aims to increase public awareness on the plight of giant pandas and the efforts to save them. Wildlife Reserves Singapore works closely with global experts in the area of conservation and research of giant pandas in China.

*Admission does not include boat rides in the park.

LIGHT THE WAY FOR GIANT PANDAS WITH RIVER SAFARI THIS SEPTEMBER

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Panda Party aims to increase conservation awareness through week-long interactive programmes and a new behind-the scenes tour

pandaparty

Singapore, 14 August 2014 – Plant pledges and ‘grow’ a bamboo forest for pandas, sign up for a new behind-the-scenes experience, read about Kai Kai and Jia Jia’s adventures in Singapore, and be part of a Panda Lantern Parade – these are some of the activities visitors can look forward to at River Safari’s Panda Party, which aims to increase public awareness on the plight of giant pandas and the efforts to save them.

Panda Party 2014 marks the second anniversary of giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia in Singapore, and celebrates Jia Jia turning six on 3 September and Kai Kai turning seven on 14 September. This year’s theme “Light The Way” highlights the threats that pandas face and encourages individuals to take actions to ensure a brighter future for this iconic animal.

Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “As ambassadors of one of the world’s most endangered species, giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia have brought joy to many visitors in the last two years. We hope the love for pandas can be transformed into initiatives to protect the species, and help light the way for their future. The Panda Party is an excellent occasion to invite the public to celebrate with a cause and be inspired to protect not just pandas, but threatened wildlife all around the world.”

Aside from the one million visitors who come to River Safari annually, the park aims to spread conservation messages beyond its gates. This year, giant panda mascots will be making special appearances at two CapitaMalls to spread the festive cheer and collect conservation pledges to spur the public into action.

To kickstart the festivities during the Panda Party week, River Safari will organise a private birthday bash for Kai Kai and Jia Jia on 5 September. This occasion will also mark the launch of a new children’s book that tells the adventures of the two pandas in Singapore. In addition to invited guests, 50 lucky members of the public will be able to partake in this event which includes a Panda Lantern Parade to shine lanterns of hope for the future of giant pandas.

During the Panda Party week from 6 to 14 September, visitors to River Safari can expect a line-up of festivities from free guided tours at the Giant Panda Forest to interactive show & tell sessions where they will get the opportunity to feel a panda skull replica and get a whiff of panda poop. Visitors can also plant pledges to help symbolically ‘grow’ a lush bamboo forest for the bears. Kids can enjoy panda art and craft, from face painting to clay modelling activities.

To commemorate this year’s Panda Party, River Safari will launch a new behind-the-scenes tour where participants can get up-close with pandas before the park opens and assist keepers in preparing breakfast for Kai Kai and Jia Jia. This premium experience brings participants to back-of-house areas such as the pandas’ dens, kitchen and bamboo storage room.

As part of the festivities during the Panda Party week, visitors can bring home a free panda lantern with purchases at River Safari’s retail and F&B outlets. In addition to this birthday treat, visitors can look forward to new panda-licious treats such as Panda Chocolate Mousse and wild discounts on panda merchandise.

1. Pandamonium at CapitaMalls (August)
Bask in the pre-party atmosphere this August as pandamonium hits selected CapitaMalls managed by CapitaMalls Asia, CapitaLand’s shopping mall business. CapitaLand is the Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor of the Giant Panda Collaborative Programme. Panda mascots Kai Kai and Jia Jia will be making public appearances to surprise panda fans with lots of birthday treats, including a chance to win instant tickets to the Panda Party in a lucky draw and a contest for the best-dressed panda outfit. Members of the public are invited to make conservation pledges, from conserving fuel by taking public transport to refraining from using products that may endanger animals. Shoppers can also take home free panda masks* and partake in a Panda Parade!

Picture1

*While stocks last

2. Exclusive Panda Party Launch Event (5 September)
Light up with us as we launch Panda Party week with an evening of exclusive celebration at River Safari. 50 lucky visitors will get to share a special moment with our VIPs (Very Important Pandas) with giant birthday cakes and exciting performances. The highlight of the evening is a festive Panda Lantern Parade where visitors will shine lanterns of hope for the future of giant pandas.

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3. Panda Party Week at River Safari (6-14 September)

All About Pandas

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All New Panda-Themed Bites

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Wild Discounts on Panda Merchandise

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For more information, visit pandas.riversafari.com.sg 

BE A JUNIOR BIRDWATCHER AT JURONG BIRD PARK

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- Kids hone their skills in birding this June with multitude of holiday activities. Jurong Bird Park offers free admission for kids accompanied by a paying adult.

Singapore, 19 May 2014
– Enthrall young minds with the fascinating world of birds this June with Jurong Bird Park’s Be A Junior Birdwatcher programme.

Created with the aim of making learning journeys both fun and educational, Be A Junior Birdwatcher will take children through the Junior Birdwatcher Academy where they will hone their skills in birdwatching, go on a birding expedition, and experience feeding and up close encounters with birds!

What’s more, this holidays, the ‘Kids Come In Free’ promotion, entitles all kids to free admission* when accompanied by a paying adult. This offer will be available throughout the school holidays, and complements the host of egg-citing activities lined up for young ones.

Birds Gone Wild!

Birds Gone Wild!

Activity details

1. Be a Junior Birdwatcher
Kids will love being a Junior Birdwatcher for the day. Armed with multiple tools such as a logbook and binoculars, young ones are sure to enjoy their journey as they document their observations.

Dates: 7-29 June, weekends only
Time: 8.30am – 6.00pm

2. Junior Birdwatcher Academy
Young and aspiring visitors have a chance to be certified as a Junior Birdwatcher at Jurong Bird Park! All they have to do is to complete the tasks in the birdwatcher logbook, receive a stamp and they will be presented with a Junior Birdwatcher Certificate at the end of their mission.

Dates: 7-29 June, weekends only
Time: 12.00pm – 4.00pm

3. The Curious Adventures of Rico
Everyone knows that the Kaka bird is extinct except Rico, a passionate birdwatcher, who believes that it still exists. No one has seen the Kaka bird since 1851. Based on his research, it was last ‘seen’ in a remote waterfall in Waterfall Aviary. His journey starts at the Penguin Coast where he looks for other bird watcher enthusiasts to join him on his search. Featuring a puppet show and tell, kids will assist Rico in identifying various bird species.

Dates: 7-29 June, weekends only
Time: 1.30pm
Venue: Waterfall Aviary Terrace
4. Let’s Go Birdwatching
Our veteran birdwatcher will bring junior birdwatchers on a hiking trail to Waterfall Aviary to start their journey and explain the types of birds found there and their favourite resting spots. This interactive session will allow kids to have fun while learning as they match the birds they have seen against their bird ID card. Junior birdwatchers who have matched their findings accordingly will win a prize!

Dates: 7-29 June, weekends only
Time: 1.00pm, 2.00pm
Venue: Waterfall Aviary

5. Birds Go Wild!
One of the senior birdwatchers has found a special spot thriving with amazing birds. He will meet the young birdwatchers there and they will then get a first-hand experience in feeding and getting up close and personal with the birds.

Dates: 7-29 June, weekends only
Time: 10.30am, 2.30pm
Venue: Waterfall Aviary

* ‘Kids Come In Free’ terms and conditions:

  • Offer includes one (1) complimentary single day child admission ticket with one (1) full-priced single day adult admission ticket to Jurong Bird Park.
  • Valid from 31 May 2014 to 29 June 2014.
  • Valid for all Singaporeans, PR & employment pass/study permit holders.
  • Flash coupon, found on www.birdpark.com.sg and proof of identity to enjoy offer. Excludes tram rides.
  • Child defined as 3 to 12 years old.
  • Not valid with other discounts, promotions or rebates.
  • Not valid for tour groups, travel agents, school groups, online and SISTIC bookings.
  • Promotion is only valid for tickets bought over the Jurong Bird Park ticketing counters.
  • Offer applies to admission on day of ticket purchase.
  • Admission ticket purchased is not refundable or exchangeable for cash or kind.
  • No claims will be entertained for any lost, torn, defaced or expired ticket.
  • Jurong Bird Park reserves the right to amend the terms & conditions without any prior notice.

RIVER SAFARI LAUNCHES INAUGURAL BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS FOR VISITORS

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- Two exclusive programmes launched in June to take visitors on learning journeys.

Singapore, 14 May 2014 – For the first time, visitors can have a glimpse of the inner workings of River Safari with the launch of two new behind-the-scenes programmes. Titled Fishy Business and Be a Panda Researcher, these programmes are packed with hands-on experiences that present a unique perspective on Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park and its animal residents.

Participants exploring behind-the-scenes for a first-hand look at the life support system of the world’s largest freshwater aquarium at River Safari. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Participants exploring behind-the-scenes for a first-hand look at the life support system of the world’s largest freshwater aquarium at River Safari. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Panda fans can learn more about the park’s famous residents, giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia, as well as their wild cousins in Be a Panda Researcher. Through a series of investigative tasks at various activity stations, participants will get down and dirty to ‘dissect’ panda poo and appreciate the hard work that goes into meeting Kai Kai and Jia Jia’s special dietary needs. By examining paw prints and other markings, they will also gain insights into how researchers track pandas in the wild and implement conservation measures to save these endangered bears from extinction.

Participants preparing food for the park’s aquatic residents as part of the Fishy Business programme, one of the two inaugural behind-the-scenes tours launched at River Safari. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Participants preparing food for the park’s aquatic residents as part of the Fishy Business programme, one of the two inaugural behind-the-scenes tours launched at River Safari. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Those game for some Fishy Business can venture deep into the underbelly of the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit and discover what the aquarists do to keep the animal residents in the pink of health. Participants will explore the massive life support system of the world’s largest freshwater aquarium, conduct water tests and prepare food and enrichment for river giants such as the manatees and arapaimas. The finale to the programme is a visual spectacle of the silver arowana, also known as the water monkey, leaping out of the water to strike at its prey during special feeding sessions.

Ms May Lok, Director, Education, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Many a times visitors are curious about our work, and our team is also eager to share the passion and joy in the day-to-day care for our 6000 animals. Be a Panda Researcher and Fishy Business are the first behind-the-scenes tours in River Safari we have curated for the public. We hope visitors who participate in these programmes will walk away with a deeper understanding on the park and its animal residents, and a greater appreciation of freshwater ecosystems.”

Be a Panda Researcher and Fishy Business programmes are each available at S$39 for adults and S$29 for children, inclusive of River Safari admission*. Be a Panda Researcher can accommodate a maximum of 60 people while Fishy Business can accommodate a maximum of 30. Both tours are recommended for children 9 years and above. Reservations can be made online at http://education.riversafari.com.sg/whatshap.html. The two programmes are launched in commemoration of 50 years of tourism development and promotions in Singapore.

*Admission does not include Amazon River Quest boat ride.

LOVE IS IN THE AIR AS GROUND DOVES BOOST BREEDING PROGRAMME IN JURONG BIRD PARK

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- Ground doves, known for their faithfulness to their partners until death, hatched as a result of careful diet and husbandry planning; Luzon and Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons among rare species.

A Luzon bleeding heart pigeon in Jurong Bird Park’s South East Asian Aviary. After a successful breeding programme, 10 progenies will be sent back to the Philippines this year to increase the wild population on Polillo Islands.

A Luzon bleeding heart pigeon in Jurong Bird Park’s South East Asian Aviary. After a successful breeding programme, 10 progenies will be sent back to the Philippines this year to increase the wild population on Polillo Islands.

Singapore, 13 February 2014 – With Valentine’s Day happening tomorrow, Jurong Bird Park is a-flutter with successful hatchings of ground dove pigeons, known for their faithfulness to their partners until death. Amongst them are Luzon and Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons, both of which can only be found in the Philippines.

A Mindanao bleeding heart pigeon in Jurong Bird Park, seen here at Heliconia Walk.

A Mindanao bleeding heart pigeon in Jurong Bird Park, seen here at Heliconia Walk.

After a successful two-year breeding programme, Jurong Bird Park now has ten Luzon bleeding heart pigeon progenies ready to be sent back to the Philippines this year to be released to the wild on Polillo Islands. Luzon bleeding heart pigeons are a threatened species of bird, with declining numbers in the wild due to deforestation and the illegal pet trade.

The project is Jurong Bird Park’s first off-site conservation project involving an endemic species from the Philippines in the ASEAN region. Recognising Jurong Bird Park’s expertise in conservation and breeding, two pairs of Luzon bleeding heart pigeons arrived in the park two years ago as part of an agreement signed with Avilon Zoo (Philippines) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Philippines. These birds started breeding from October 2012 and continued through January 2014 to produce 10 progenies.

All bleeding heart pigeons and golden heart doves are part of a group of Australasian pigeons known as ground doves, known to be very faithful to their partners until death. If one dies, the other will look for another to pair up with. Upon becoming parents, both males and females will take turns to incubate the eggs. For the first few days of a chick’s life, the chick is fed crop milk produced by both genders. Once the chick is older, both parents will forage for food for the young. Ground doves are very caring, often preening each other and their chicks. They will also sun bathe together, strengthening the bond communally.

“To have 10 Luzon bleeding heart pigeon progenies available for release over a short span of two years is a remarkable achievement. This project was initiated with the aim of contributing to the recovery of this species in its natural habitat, and we look forward to developing more conservation projects for other endemic Philippine species. The success and the knowledge gained paves the way for Jurong Bird Park to engage in other similar regional conservation projects.” said Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Science Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

A pair of Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons arrived in the Bird Park from San Diego Zoo in September 2013, as part of an exchange programme. Although this pair was not known to be prolific breeders, they adjusted well to their new home and that a few weeks after their arrival, they laid one fertile egg, which hatched after an 18-day incubation period. Another fertile egg was laid just before Christmas last year, which also yielded a chick.

A first-ever breeding of Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons in Jurong Bird Park, seen here at Heliconia Walk with a three month old chick.

A first-ever breeding of Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons in Jurong Bird Park, seen here at Heliconia Walk with a three month old chick.

A two-pronged scientific approach involving husbandry and diet was taken towards the successful breeding of the Luzon and Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons. The Luzon bleeding heart pigeons were placed in an off-site aviary with minimal human contact, while a specialised diet with increased protein levels was provided for added nutrients during breeding season. Although the Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons were placed in a visible public enclosure, the aviary was properly landscaped, which provided the birds with a heightened sense of security necessary for breeding. Similarly, they were also given a protein-rich diet during breeding season.

In addition to the successful hatchings, Jurong Bird Park will welcome two pairs of golden heart doves from Germany for breeding and conservation purposes. Endemic to Papua New Guinea, these birds are uncommon in institutions as it is a challenge obtaining birds from New Guinea due to governmental restrictions.

Come to Jurong Bird Park this February to see the Luzon bleeding heart pigeons at the South East Asian Exhibit, and the Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons at Heliconia Walk. Two pairs of golden heart doves will be on display from April at Window on Paradise. For more information, please visit www.birdpark.com.sg

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