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.

LOVING BIRDS THE FUN WAY

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JURONG BIRD PARK HOLDS SPECIAL TOURS AND A CAMP FOR THE YOUNG TO NURTURE INTEREST IN AVIAN LIFE

SINGAPORE, 17 August 2010 – The Jurong Bird Park, the largest bird park in the world, will be conducting a series of exciting and educational activities in the next few months to promote appreciation and conservation of bird life among the young.

From a rapturous encounter with birds of prey to a behind-the-scenes look at Asia Pacific’s only dedicated bird hospital, pre-schoolers to pre-teens and their families can look forward to an interesting day out with the park’s feathered friends.

The Bird Park is not only a wildlife sanctuary for 8,000 birds representing 600 of earth’s avian species, but also home to a world-class avian hospital. And now, the public can learn how park veterinarians keep the birds in the pink of health in a special tour of the hospital on 12 September. Facilities that will be open to visitors include the treatment room, X-ray facility, surgery room, avian recovery room, and pharmacy.

To celebrate Children’s Day, the Bird Park will conduct a special GO, GLOW, GROW, Challenge for pre-schoolers and primary school students from 27 September to 1 October. The two-hour programme will teach the little ones different diets of birds by allowing them to observe, smell and touch seeds and other food at the feeding stations at various locations within the park, such as the World of Darkness, Lory Loft, and Pelican Cove. There will also be an amusing magic show featuring a ventriloquist with her larger than life bird puppet every day at 10.30am at the Pools Amphitheatre to tickle their little funny bones.

In November, the Bird Park will hold its two-day Bird Quest Camp, which features two full days of activities (without a sleep over) for kids aged 6-11 years. The interactive nature of the camp will allow kids to embark on an expedition for some up close avian encounters, such as the opportunity to be trained in the ancient art of falconry. Participants will tour the newly-opened Bird Discovery Centre, and unearth the secrets of nest-making, egg-laying, and the art of taking flight. They will also find out what solitary and nocturnal birds like owls hunt for dinner under the cover of darkness. At the Breeding and Research Centre, participants will meet new hatchlings and understand how the park takes care of these feathered bundles of joy.

To register and for more information, please email amberly@birdpark.com.sg / maggieang@birdpark.com.sg or call tel: 6661 7809.

Details
Avian Hospital Behind-The-Scenes Tour
Date: Sunday, 12 September 2010
Time: Session 1 – 10.00am, Session 2 – 11.45am
Duration: 45 mins per tour
Fee: $16.00 per participant (exclusive of park admission)*
Capacity: 20 pax per session

GO, GLOW, GROW Challenge
Date: 27 September – 1 October 2010 (school bookings only), 1 October 2010 – (also open to the public)
Time: 9.00am – 3.00pm
Cost: Free (park admission charges apply)*
Age: Pre-schoolers and primary schools (bookings by schools only)

Magic Show
Date: 27 September – 1 October 2010
Time: 10.30am
Venue: Pools Amphitheatre
Cost: Free (park admission charges apply)*

Two-Day Bird Quest Camp
Date: 25 – 26 November 2010 (Thursday & Friday)
Time: 9.00 – 5.00pm
Age: 6 – 11 yrs
Cost: $120.00 per child (excludes 7% GST). 5% off for Feather Friends, Friends of the Zoo or Wildlife Unlimited / Plus Family Membership

Please note that the registration cost for the Bird Quest Camp includes admission to the park, panorail rides, conducted tours, all meals stated and materials for art and craft.

*Park admission charges:
Adult: $18.00 per person
Child (3-12yrs): $12.00 per person

Avian Hospital Behind-The-Scenes Tour

Two-Day Bird Quest Camp

Learn the ancient art of falconry

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