GIANT PANDA KAI KAI ACES ANNUAL HEALTH CHECK

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Preliminary results indicate that six-year-old male panda is healthy and fertile.

Singapore, 3 April 2014River Safari’s male panda, Kai Kai, underwent a thorough medical examination last Friday as part of a routine annual check-up, and the veterinary team is happy with the results.

The 1.5 hour-long examination comprised a full dental and body check, blood sample withdrawal, an X-ray and ultrasound scan. For the first time since he arrived in Singapore, Kai Kai’s health check also included electroejaculation — a technique commonly used for semen collection to evaluate the reproductive status of animals. While more data analysis is being conducted toassess the quality of the sperms, preliminary results indicate that six-year-old Kai Kai is a healthy, fertile male.

Vets and keepers are closely monitoring Kai Kai and his female partner, Jia Jia, for significant changes in behaviour that indicate their readiness to mate. When ready, male pandas will vocalise, perform handstands against trees, walls and rocks, scent-marking as high up as possible. Females will show signs such as scent-marking, restlessness and characteristic bleating sounds.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s veterinary team, led by Assistant Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Serena Oh (right), prepares an anaesthetised Kai Kai for a routine medical examination that includes a full dental and body check. Medical checks show that the six-year-old male panda is healthy and fertile. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s veterinary team, led by Assistant Director of Veterinary
Services, Dr. Serena Oh (right), prepares an anaesthetised Kai Kai for a routine medical
examination that includes a full dental and body check. Medical checks show that the six-year-old
male panda is healthy and fertile. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s veterinary team performs an ultrasound scan on an anaesthetised Kai Kai as part of a routine medical examination. Medical checks show that the sixyear- old male panda is healthy and fertile. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s veterinary team performs an ultrasound scan on an
anaesthetised Kai Kai as part of a routine medical examination. Medical checks show that the sixyear-
old male panda is healthy and fertile. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s veterinary team prepares an anaesthetised Kai Kai for an X-ray as part of a routine medical examination. Medical checks show that the six-year-old male panda is healthy and fertile. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s veterinary team prepares an anaesthetised Kai Kai for an
X-ray as part of a routine medical examination. Medical checks show that the six-year-old male
panda is healthy and fertile. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

EXPERTS AIM TO SAVE ONE OF SINGAPORE’S MOST THREATENED UNIQUE SPECIES AT INAUGURAL ROUNDTABLE ON FRESHWATER CRAB CONSERVATION

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NParks, NUS, IUCN, and WRS among agencies collaborating to save endemic crabs, including Johora singaporensis which is among the 100 most threatened species in the world.

Singapore, 29 March 2014Johora singaporensis, commonly called the Singapore freshwater crab, is arguably one of the most threatened unique species of Singapore. To discuss ways to develop an overall plan for conservation of this species, experts convened in the inaugural Roundtable on Freshwater Crab Conservation which began with a two-day closed-door panel discussion, and concluded with a public forum on 29 March 2014.

The critically endangered Singapore freshwater crab (Johora singaporensis), is among the 100 most threatened species in the world. Found only in Singapore, it grows up to 3cm across the carapace, or the shell, and up to 5cm with the legs stretched out. It performs an important role in the proper functioning of hill streams by helping in nutrient recycling, and is potentially an indicator of pollution and climate change. PHOTO CREDITS: DANIEL NG

The critically endangered Singapore freshwater crab (Johora singaporensis), is among the 100 most threatened species in the world. Found only in Singapore, it grows up to 3cm across the carapace, or the shell, and up to 5cm with the legs stretched out. It performs an important role in the proper functioning of hill streams by helping in nutrient recycling, and is potentially an
indicator of pollution and climate change. PHOTO CREDITS: DANIEL NG

The four organisations involved are National Parks Board (NParks), National University of Singapore (NUS), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS). The inaugural Roundtable on Freshwater Crab Conservation is funded by the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund.

First discovered and described in 1986, the Singapore freshwater crab (Johora singaporensis) is listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, and is among the 100 most threatened species in the world. This endemic species, only found in Singapore, grows up to 3cm across the carapace, or the shell, and up to 5cm with the legs stretched out. It performs an important role in the proper functioning of hill streams by helping in nutrient recycling, and is potentially an indicator of pollution and climate change.

The critically endangered Singapore freshwater crab (Johora singaporensis), is among the 100 most threatened species in the world. Found only in Singapore, it grows up to 3cm across the carapace, or the shell, and up to 5cm with the legs stretched out. It performs an important role in the proper functioning of hill streams by helping in nutrient recycling, and is potentially an indicator of pollution and climate change. PHOTO CREDITS: CAI YIXIONG

The critically endangered Singapore freshwater crab (Johora singaporensis), is among the 100 most threatened species in the world. Found only in Singapore, it grows up to 3cm across the carapace, or the shell, and up to 5cm with the legs stretched out. It performs an important role in the proper functioning of hill streams by helping in nutrient recycling, and is potentially an indicator of pollution and climate change. PHOTO CREDITS: CAI YIXIONG

“When I discovered and named this species in the 1980s, I had no idea that its future would be a matter of debate and concern some 25 years on,” said Professor Peter Ng of the Department of Biological Sciences at the NUS Faculty of Science. “It heartens me that so many people are now trying to save this ‘insignificant invertebrate’ from imminent extinction. It would indeed have been a dark tragedy if discovering the species all those years ago was merely a prelude to its extinction. I hope it is not.”

“Crabs such as Johora singaporensis are typically found in hill streams, which is a rare habitat in Singapore to begin with, being restricted to only the central part of the island,” added Assistant Professor Darren Yeo, who is also with the Department of Biological Sciences at the NUS Faculty of Science.

Decade-long monitoring of the populations of Johora singaporensis has revealed that these crabs have an environmental preference for relatively clean and fast-flowing streams in the highlands with a near neutral pH. Presently, the crab is found largely in Bukit Batok, Bukit Gombak and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. They can persist even in small fragmented habitats under the right conditions. Current conservation efforts include plans to establish a breeding programme, as well as an ongoing two-year research project launched in 2013 by NParks and NUS to study the conditions of the crabs’ existing habitats and possible remedial actions. As conservation efforts gain momentum, the next important milestone is to gather key stakeholders together to improve them.

The Roundtable on Freshwater Crab Conservation brings together key stakeholders involved in conservation of the iconic Johora singaporensis, for consolidation and dissemination of results of ongoing freshwater crab conservation efforts in Singapore. Foreign and local ecologists including researchers from the National University of Singapore and officers from the National Parks Board working on Johora singaporensis, as well as other members from Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Nature Society Singapore, Ministry of Defence, Singapore Land Authority, National Environment Agency, Public Utilities Board, and Urban Redevelopment Authority have all been invited to participate, brainstorm, contribute their unique perspectives, and help mould a future conservation plan for this species.

Dr Lena Chan, Director of National Biodiversity Centre, NParks, said, “NParks is committed to the conservation of our native freshwater organisms, particularly endemic species like the Singapore Freshwater Crab Johora singaporensis, Johnson’s Freshwater Crab Irmengardia johnsoni and Swamp Forest Crab Parathelphusa reticulata. We look forward to our usual amicable multi-agency co-operation which is crucial for the success of this conservation initiative.”

Dr Neil Cumberlidge, Chair of the IUCN SSC Freshwater Crab and Crayfish Specialist Group, and Dr Philip McGowan of the IUCN Species Survival Conservation Planning Sub-Committee will both participate in the Roundtable, adding valuable inputs to the design of the conservation plan. Dr McGowan said, “Effective conservation in today’s world has to balance the needs of species with those of people and their interests. Our approach has evolved to reflect that. The purpose of strategic planning is to understand what is driving the threats to the Singapore freshwater crab and then develop a holistic and realistic way forward that gives this iconic species the best chance of survival. Strategic planning on its own will not save the species, but the understanding and agreement that is part of the planning process, greatly improves its survival prospects.”

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore said, “Wildlife Reserves Singapore is continuously exploring ways we can work with field researchers, and contribute to the ex-situ conservation of Johora singaporensis. A possible method may be to establish a trial breeding project in River Safari for these native crabs, followed by the eventual reintroduction of the species into restored, rehabilitated streams.”

This Roundtable is also indicative of Singapore’s willingness and seriousness regarding the protection of its freshwater biodiversity and the ‘not-so-charismatic’ fauna.

WORLD’S RAREST TORTOISES TO LOSE FACE VALUE

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Tattooing the tortoise and keeping Ploughshares out of the Illegal Trade

Tattooing the tortoise and keeping Ploughshares out of the Illegal Trade

Singapore, 16th December 2013 – Conservation organizations fighting to save one of the world’s most threatened tortoises from poachers are resorting to a drastic measure—engraving identification codes onto the animals’ shells to reduce their black market value.

Although fully protected, Ploughshare Tortoises are prized for their beautiful high domed shells, but are being pushed closer to the brink of extinction due to high demand as unique and exotic pets. Engraving a tortoise’s shell makes it less desirable to traffickers and easier for enforcement agencies to trace.

Found only in north‐western Madagascar, the tortoise is Critically Endangered and only an estimated 400 adults remain in the wild. Numbers have been devastated through illegal collection and export to meet the international demand for the pet trade, especially in South‐East Asia, where they are sold in markets particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

In March, two smugglers were arrested with 52 Ploughshare Tortoises in suitcases while attempting to enter Thailand, where traders redistribute the animals to dealers locally and abroad. This was the largest ever seizure of Ploughshare Tortoises in Southeast Asia. One of the smugglers, a Malagasy woman was jailed, while the other, a Thai man, was released on bail.

This case exemplifies the increased audacity of smugglers, the urgency of the situation and the need for enforcement agencies to take the illegal trade in this species far more seriously. Based on seizures reported in the media, at least 86 Ploughshare Tortoises have been seized since 2010. Over 60% of these seizures occurred in Thailand while remaining seizures took place in Madagascar and Malaysia; with at least one of the shipments destined for Indonesia.

Four organisations – Wildlife Reserves Singapore, TRAFFIC, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Turtle Conservancy – are joining forces to hold a “Tattoo the Tortoise” event on 16th December at Singapore Zoo to raise awareness of the plight of the Ploughshare and to build support to fight trafficking in the species.

Singapore Zoo currently houses two Ploughshare Tortoises which were confiscated by the Agri‐Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore in 2009. The pair will be used to establish an ‘assurance colony’ in Singapore. The top shell of each tortoise will be engraved during this event – a first for South‐East Asia.

The event will include presentations by experts working on the conservation of these tortoises and an exhibition open to the public. These activities provide an opportunity for the public, governments and other relevant bodies to learn about the dire situation these animals face, and what they can do to save the Ploughshare Tortoises.

For further information, please contact:

Dr. Chris R Shepherd, Regional Director, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia.
T: +6012 2340790, E: chris.shepherd@traffic.org

Ms Natt Haniff, Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications, Wildlife Reserve s Singapore
T: +65 6360 8659 / +65 9362 8115, E: natt.haniff@wrs.com.sg

Mr Richard Lewis, Madagascar Programme Director, Durrell Wildlife Conservati on Trust
E: Richard.Lewis@durrell.org

Ms Kaitlyn‐Elizabeth Foley, Program Officer and Grants Manager, Turtle Conserv ancy
T: +01 212 353‐5060, E: kaitlyn@turtleconservancy.org

TRIPLE THRILL FOR WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE AT SINGAPORE EXPERIENCE AWARDS 2013

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- Night Safari wins 11th honour for Best Visitor Attraction Experience category.
- Singapore Zoo’s ‘Wild Discoverer Tour’ joint winner for Best Travel Experience.
- ‘Pandamonium Hits Singapore’ wins Most Innovative Marketing Initiative.

Singapore, 21 October 2013Wildlife Reserves Singapore walked away with three accolades at the Singapore Experience Awards 2013: Night Safari, the world’s first wildlife park for nocturnal animals, was again recognised for providing the ‘Best Visitor Attraction Experience’, making this its 11th honour in this category; Singapore Zoo’s Wild Discoverer Tour was a joint winner for Best Travel Experience; Wildlife Reserves Singapore also won the Most Innovative Marketing Initiative with ‘Pandamonium Hits Singapore’.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore's winning team

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s winning team

Hosted and presented by the Singapore Tourism Board, the Singapore Experience Awards is Singapore tourism’s highest accolade; celebrating the luminaries who constantly innovate and create distinctive and compelling Singapore experiences.

World-famous Night Safari beat two other nominees; Singapore Zoo, which is also managed by parent company Wildlife Reserves Singapore, and Botanic Gardens to win the ‘Best Visitor Attraction Experience’ category.

Singapore Zoo’s Wild Discoverer Tour tied with ‘Changi WWIITM – A Changi Museum War Trail’ for the ‘Best Travel Experience’ award.

These two awards are among 11 that were given out in the ‘Experience’ category, which recognise organisations which package experiential elements to create a distinctive Singapore experience that encompasses product and service excellence, and is enjoyable and memorable to visitors. Finalists were also scored against factors such as the delivery of the experience, customer satisfaction and marketing initiatives undertaken to enhance overall guest experience. Another important criterion for the category was a mystery shopping experience at the shortlisted attraction by the judging panel.

In the awards category for marketing and media, ‘Pandamonium Hits Singapore’ won the Most Innovative Marketing Initiative, beating ‘A Classic GSS Affair @OC’ and ‘Singapore “Be A Star Kid” Children Enrichment Program’.

This award is one of four in the marketing and media category, which celebrates marketing and promotional efforts through creative campaigns and media that showcase the compelling sights and sounds of Singapore.

Results were unveiled at a gala presentation ceremony at the Marriot Hotel Singapore this evening. This year saw a total of 82 finalists vying for 27 awards. Finalists in each category were nominated by industry players and experts, with the final winner picked by a panel of judges.

Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “There is much to celebrate this evening. We are elated and honoured to receive this trio of awards, which are testament to our hard work and commitment to achieving, maintaining, and even surpassing the best international standards for our wildlife parks.

Being the world’s first nocturnal zoo, Night Safari’s unique offering and stellar reputation has made her a firm favourite and iconic attraction for both foreign and local visitors. Through the years, the team has worked hard to maintain this world class establishment. Winning this year is especially sweet as we look forward to celebrating her 20th anniversary in May 2014.

And with Singapore Zoo celebrating her 40th anniversary this year, having our Wild Discoverer Tour jointly win the Best Travel Experience is definitely the icing on the cake!

We are equally thrilled that ‘Pandamonium Hits Singapore’ has been chosen Most Innovative Marketing Initiative. It’s just been a year since we welcomed giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia to Singapore’s shores, and clearly Singaporeans have embraced them with open arms and continue to follow their every move.”

He added: “We will continue to set the bar higher for ourselves every year, to provide our guests with their most memorable experiences at Night Safari and Singapore Zoo, and our other attractions, Jurong Bird Park and River Safari.”

SINGAPORE ZOO INVITES FANS TO SHARE THEIR FAVOURITE ZOO MEMORIES

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“I ♥ Singapore Zoo” fan photo contest to be launched on 40th anniversary celebrations microsite.

Have such photos In your albums? Share them with us, for a chance to win a wild day out at Singapore Zoo.

Have such photos In your albums? Share them with us, for a chance to win a wild day out at Singapore Zoo.

Singapore, 28 March 2013 — Singapore Zoo’s 40th Anniversary celebrations continue, with the launch of an “I ♥ Singapore Zoo” fan photo contest.

From 29 March – 30 April 2013, Singapore Zoo invites all its Facebook fans to dust off their photo albums and share their favourite photo memory during a zoo outing to recount the zoo’s journey through the last 40 years.

Participants can enter the contest via the newly launched Singapore Zoo 40th anniversary celebrations microsite: zoo40.zoo.com.sg. It is open to everyone who is a Wildlife Reserves Singapore Facebook fan. Each fan may make unlimited submissions, but each photo can only be submitted once, and has to be accompanied by a caption to be eligible for a prize.* Winning photos will be unveiled on a photowall in June 2013.

Ten lucky winners will win a dining experience for two at Singapore Zoo’s Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife in June. Participants also stand to win Singapore Zoo admission tickets to re-live their memories in the park.

Singapore Zoo is one of four wildlife attractions managed by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, with the others being Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and the upcoming River Safari. The Zoo is also a designated rescued wildlife centre by the governing authority.

For more information and the latest updates on Singapore Zoo’s 40th anniversary celebrations, visit zoo40.zoo.com.sg, or www.facebook.com/wrs.sg.

*Terms and conditions are available at the Singapore Zoo’s 40th anniversary celebrations microsite and Wildlife Reserves Singapore Facebook page.

I ♥ Singapore Zoo

I ♥ Singapore Zoo

KAI KAI AND JIA JIA MAKE PUBLIC DEBUT AT THE GRAND OPENING OF GIANT PANDA FOREST

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Singapore, 28 November 2012 – In another milestone for Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), giant pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia will make their first public appearance on 29 November, as part of a special preview of River Safari, which is scheduled to open next year.

Following today’s opening ceremony of the Giant Panda Forest officiated by Mr S Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, members of the public will be able to meet the giant pandas in person with a Giant Panda Preview add-on ticket when they visit Singapore Zoo.

Visitors will have the opportunity to get up close to the giant pandas and see many creature comforts around their enclosure, including a man-made waterfall, dipping pools and bamboo gardens that simulate their natural habitat. Once visitors step inside the exhibit, they will be transported into the world of Kai Kai and Jia Jia via the raised boardwalk that takes them through the entire Giant Panda Forest. Visitors will also be immersed in the splendour of the giant panda’s natural habitat with the aid of soundscape, music and artefacts at the viewing gallery.

In addition, over five weekends in December, visitors will learn about the importance of conservation through a special exhibition at Singapore Zoo featuring the life of giant pandas in China. There will also be interactive activities like panda face-painting for children, and panda origami making. The booths will be manned by Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s youth Conservation Ambassadors. Separately, the ‘Rolling with Pandas’ talk is available at a fee for group bookings with a minimum of 20 participants.

Mr S Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, said, “The River Safari joins Singapore’s stable of award-winning nature attractions that have impressed many visitors, many of whom do not expect such rich and diverse nature-based attractions in a small, highly-urbanised city like Singapore. These new and refreshing nature-based experiences reinforce Singapore’s appeal as a top leisure destination, and add to our reputation as a City in a Garden.”

Also in attendance at the grand opening were representatives from Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Singapore, State Forestry Administration of China, China Wildlife Conservation Association, Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor CapitaLand and Airline Sponsor Singapore Airlines.

“The wait is finally over. Visitors can now meet giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia here at the Giant Panda Forest and we hope to spread the message of wildlife conservation through this beautiful and endangered species,” said Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Ms Chiang added, “Over the past month, Kai Kai and Jia Jia have settled comfortably in their new home, having a daily intake of 20 kg of locally-grown bamboo and spending much time playing in the Giant Panda Forest. We now look forward to the both of them meeting their fans in Singapore and from around the world.”

On behalf of CapitaLand Limited, Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and CEO of CapitaLand Group, and Director of CapitaLand Hope Foundation, said, “With CapitaLand’s strong presence in China over the past 18 years, we are honoured to be part of this meaningful effort towards giant panda conservation, a milestone that is symbolic of the strong bilateral ties between Singapore and China. CapitaLand’s conservation donation is our gift to Singapore. As the Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor of the Giant Panda Collaborative Programme, we hope that our contribution will allow visitors at the Giant Panda Forest and River Safari to learn more about these endangered species and what they can do to protect their ecosystem.”

The Giant Panda Forest is one of the key highlights of River Safari, Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park. Visitors can also look forward to seeing other wildlife from China such as the golden pheasant and the red panda at the Giant Panda Forest.

River Safari is expected to open to public in Q1 2013 but visitors can visit the giant pandas from a specially-created access point in Singapore Zoo. Top-up fees of $5.00 per adult or $3.00 per child (3 to 12 years old) are applicable to visitors of Singapore Zoo* for entry into the Giant Panda Forest.

More information on admission to the Giant Panda Forest can be found on http://pandas.riversafari.com.sg

*Current admission prices to Singapore Zoo are at S$20 per adult and S$13 per child (3 to 12 years).

Pic 1: River Safari Giant Panda Forest Grand Opening ribbon-cutting ceremony (from left): Mr Stephen Lee Ching Yen, Chairman, Singapore Airlines; H E Wei Wei, Ambassador, Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Republic of Singapore; Mr Zhao Shucong, Administrator, State Forestry Administration of the People’s Republic of China; Mr S Iswaran, Minister in Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry; Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Mr S R Nathan, former President of Singapore; and Chairman, CapitaLand Hope Foundation; Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and CEO, CapitaLand Limited; Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Pic 1: River Safari Giant Panda Forest Grand Opening ribbon-cutting ceremony (from left): Mr Stephen Lee Ching Yen, Chairman, Singapore Airlines; H E Wei Wei,
Ambassador, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of
Singapore; Mr Zhao Shucong, Administrator, State Forestry Administration of the People’s Republic of China; Mr S Iswaran, Minister in Prime Minister’s Office and
Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry; Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Mr S R Nathan, former President of Singapore; and Chairman, CapitaLand Hope Foundation; Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and CEO,
CapitaLand Limited; Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Pic 2: Wildlife Reserves Singapore Chairman Ms Claire Chiang and Minister S Iswaran present a cheque of $20,000 to Asian Women’s Welfare Association Welfare Fund. The contribution came from profits of special corporate events that were held for WRS partners and sponsors at River Safari’s Giant Panda Forest before the public debut of Kai Kia and Jia Jia.

Pic 2: Wildlife Reserves Singapore Chairman Ms Claire Chiang and Minister S Iswaran present a cheque of $20,000 to Asian Women’s Welfare Association Welfare
Fund. The contribution came from profits of special corporate events that were held for WRS partners and sponsors at River Safari’s Giant Panda Forest before the public debut of Kai Kia and Jia Jia.

Pic 3: Mr S Iswaran, Minister in Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry and Mr Zhao Shucong, Administrator, State Forestry Administration of the People’s Republic of China in River Safari’s Giant Panda Forest where giant panda Jia Jia contentedly munches on Singapore-grown bamboo in the background.

Pic 3: Mr S Iswaran, Minister in Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for
Home Affairs and Trade & Industry and Mr Zhao Shucong, Administrator, State Forestry Administration of the People’s Republic of China in River Safari’s Giant
Panda Forest where giant panda Jia Jia contentedly munches on Singapore-grown bamboo in the background.

Pic 4: Minister S Iswaran gets in on the action at River Safari’s Giant Panda Forest, and takes a photo of giant panda Jia Jia with his mobile phone.

Pic 4: Minister S Iswaran gets in on the action at River Safari’s Giant Panda Forest,
and takes a photo of giant panda Jia Jia with his mobile phone.

MOU PAVES THE WAY FOR DEVELOPMENT OF JOINT PROJECTS IN WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AND ECOLOGY EDUCATION

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- WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE JOINS FORCES WITH REPUBLIC POLYTECHNIC
- YOUTHS TO GET HANDS-ON CONSERVATION EXPERIENCE WITH INKING OF AGREEMENT

Singapore, 9 November 2012Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) and Republic Polytechnic (RP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding today, paving the way for RP students to hone their technical and service skills at some of Singapore’s finest attractions – Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, Singapore Zoo and the upcoming River Safari.

The three-year partnership will provide training and work opportunities at WRS’ parks for RP students in applied science for environmental, conservation, veterinary and animal husbandry fields, information and communications technology, hospitality and health and leisure.

RP will also work with WRS on continual learning programmes for WRS employees through knowledge-based training, professional development and qualifications upgrading opportunities at the polytechnic.

Both parties will also explore the possibility of involving the students as ambassadors and facilitators for public learning and enrichment activities such as talks and workshops on environmental and conservation awareness.

The MOU formalises the professional relationship between the two institutions that have been collaborating on a series of projects since 2009. These include the production of educational documentary videos on the year of the bats, common palm civets, and rainforest conservation; as well as developing of interactive flash games and quiz kiosk in Jurong Bird Park to enhance visitors’ experience and knowledge to the exhibits and subject matters.

In the conservation effort of endangered animals, RP students had previously assisted in analysis work relating to mating habits and estruses cycles of the red-shanked Douc langur and sunda pangolin in captivity through internships and final year projects with WRS.

“The signing of the MOU strengthens the close partnership between WRS and RP; and is part of Republic Polytechnic’s continued efforts to enhance students’ overall learning with industry attachments. The two organisations will enhance cooperation in areas such as developing manpower for themed-attraction and hospitality management, joint projects in wildlife conservation, and ecology education. Republic Polytechnic students will have a chance to be deployed as interns for various roles at the four WRS attractions,” said Mr Yeo Li Pheow, Principal/CEO, Republic Polytechnic.

Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “As one of the leading wildlife institutions in the world, we seek to continually inspire an appreciation of nature through exciting and meaningful wildlife experiences. The collaboration with RP allows us to engage youths in conservation efforts, and through this we hope they will in turn spread the message. In addition, we are confident that the practical, hands-on working experience in our parks will better prepare participating RP students for their future career paths.”

DREAMFOREST FIESTA AT NIGHT SAFARI THIS DECEMBER

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Mystica @ Night Safari 2011

Singapore, 23 October 2012 – Transport yourself into a fiesta of dreams and mingle with larger-than-life forest creatures at Night Safari’s Mystica this December. The event happens on Fridays and Saturdays, and Christmas Eve and Day, between 7-25 December.

Be dazzled by whimsical lights that speak of magic, mystery and drama! Track down the quirky, illuminated characters that jump out of your dreams and be spellbound by their playful antics.

Held for the second time running, this year’s instalment beckons you into an enchanted wildlife wonderland inspired by our latest attraction – Wallaby Trail, which brings visitors through a fascinating discovery of flora and fauna in the Australasian region of Australia, New Guinea and New Zealand.

Catch the parma
wallaby at Wallaby Trail

Expect close encounters with a range of marsupials, including the parma and Bennett’s wallabies in a walk-through exhibit designed to let visitors get as close as possible to its residents. Other animals include Australia’s native bird, the tawny frogmouth, and the white-lipped python from Papua New Guinea.

Be enchanted by our tantalising treats such as Forest Mushroom Sandwiches, Fantasy Macaroon Lolly, Magical Cookie Ball and Fairy’s Elixir at the Mystical Yummy Treats Corner.

Details
Dates: 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 24 and 25 December 2012 (Fri and Sat, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Venue: Night Safari entrance and Wallaby Trail
Cost: Entrance festivities are free but usual admission of $32 per adult and $21 per child between 3-12 years applies for those entering the park

Mystica 2012: Dreamforest Fiesta will make your wildest dreams come true!

WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE HOSTS 4TH INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON ZOOKEEPING

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GLOBAL CONGRESS TO BE HELD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ASIA

Singapore, 10 September 2012 – This week, more than 240 zookeepers from 32 countries will descend on Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s parks for the 4th International Congress on Zookeeping. This is the first time the global congress, organised in conjunction with the International Congress of Zookeepers (ICZ)*, will be held in Asia.

Themed “Many Voices, One Calling”, the thrice-yearly conference, brings together zoo professionals from around the world to enhance the professionalism of zookeepers and the welfare of the wild animals in their care, and promote awareness and actions that will contribute to the preservation of wildlife everywhere.

Held from 9-13 September this year, most of the conference proceedings will take place in Jurong Bird Park. However, workshops will be held in Night Safari and Singapore Zoo and take delegates behind the scenes for more practical hands on sessions with some of the parks’ residents such as the Malayan tapirs, primates, amphibians and reptiles.

“Organising an international global conference of this scale for zookeepers is a significant milestone for Wildlife Reserves Singapore, and is in line with our vision to be the leading wildlife conservation, education and recreation institution in the world. This congress is an excellent platform for keepers from all over the world to brainstorm, explore and eventually pursue other avenues to bring the art of zookeeping to an even more pronounced level,” said Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Ms Liz Romer of the ICZ Steering Committee, said: “The idea of holding the conference in Singapore surfaced at the second instalment on the Gold Coast in 2006. We knew we made the right decision to hold it here as the three Wildlife Reserves Singapore parks offer many opportunities for practical sharing of best practices in a conducive environment. All the participants are eagerly waiting for this conference to start!”

In recent years, Wildlife Reserves Singapore has organised various conferences and workshops such as the first Asian Primate Conservation Workshop, Amphibian Conservation Workshop, regional workshop on turtle conservation and the 1st Southeast Asian Animal Enrichment and Training Workshop.

* ICZ is run by a steering committee that consists 18 members representing the world’s nine professional keeper associations. They have met once a year since 2000 to coordinate the development of an international association that will promote professional animal care throughout the world. More information is available at http://www.iczoo.org

GIANT PANDAS ARRIVE SAFELY IN SINGAPORE

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Singapore, 6 September 2012 – Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) today announced that the two giant pandas from China have arrived safely. The giant pandas, Kai Kai (凯凯) and Jia Jia (嘉嘉), touched down at Changi Airport on board a Singapore Airlines Cargo Boeing 747 freighter at 8.20am after a five-hour flight.

“We are delighted that Kai Kai and Jia Jia have reached Singapore safe and sound. It is an honour to be entrusted with two of China’s national treasures and their arrival symbolises the strong ties and deep friendship between Singapore and China. It is an exciting time for tourism in Singapore, with the opening of new attractions like the River Safari. Kai Kai and Jia Jia will certainly generate great interest and excitement for visitors and Singaporeans alike. We will continue to strengthen our tourism value proposition with new and diversified tourism offerings to grow the tourism sector,” says Mr Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry.

“With this captivating species as one of the main attractions at River Safari, we are anticipating at least 850,000 visitors annually. Through this collaborative programme with China Wildlife Conservation Association, WRS now has another opportunity to boost greater interest in the area of wildlife conservation by bringing visitors up close to the two giant pandas and hopefully inspiring them to care for threatened wildlife ecosystems around the world”, said Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman of WRS.

CapitaLand Limited, one of Asia’s largest real estate companies with a strong presence in China for over 15 years, has pledged a conservation donation to support the 10-year collaborative programme.

Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and CEO of CapitaLand Group, and Director of CapitaLand Hope Foundation, said: “CapitaLand’s role as the Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor of the Giant Panda Collaborative Programme resonates with the Group’s core values of ‘People’ and ‘Community’. The programme provides an excellent platform to enhance cultural exchange and understanding between Singapore and China, and promote wildlife conservation education, CapitaLand is committed to sustainability in all our development projects in the geographies we operate and we are pleased to be part of this meaningful effort to conserve and share the beauty of wildlife with our future generations.”

Singapore Airlines, Official Airline Sponsor, has provided transportation for the pandas as well as air tickets for training and exchange programmes involving the team of panda caretakers’ from both Singapore and China.

“Singapore Airlines is pleased to have transported Kai Kai and Jia Jia comfortably to Singapore. We warmly welcome them to their new home at the River Safari, and are privileged to be playing our part in this significant conservation initiative,” said Mr Goh Choon Phong, CEO, Singapore Airlines.

Upon landing, the giant pandas were received by Mr Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry and representatives* from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Singapore; State Forestry Administration of the People’s Republic of China; CapitaLand Limited; CapitaLand Hope Foundation; Singapore Airlines; Temasek Holdings; Singapore Tourism Board; and Wildlife Reserves Singapore, who gathered at the cargo area to welcome the bears. Subsequently, the giant pandas were whisked away in a temperature-controlled truck to their quarantine enclosure in River Safari while the guests continued with the welcome ceremony at the Jet Quay CIP facility at Changi Airport.

During the ceremony, WRS Chairman Ms Claire Chiang presented VIP (Very Important Panda) passes to representatives from the State Forestry Administration of the People’s Republic of China, symbolic of the pandas’ new status as residents of River Safari.

Over at the entrance of River Safari, a crowd of close to 1000 guests and WRS staff were waiting expectantly at the driveway. They cheered enthusiastically as the truck containing the precious pandas approached, led by an escort jeep, six lion dancers and two panda mascots in the likeness of Kai Kai and Jia Jia.

Within 3 hours of landing in Singapore, Kai Kai and Jia Jia were smoothly transferred into their quarantine dens with careful coordination by the Chinese giant panda specialists and WRS zoology and veterinary teams. The team shared that the pair were calm and relaxed throughout the operation.

The giant pandas will be quarantined for a month before being released into their exhibit to explore and familiarise themselves with their new surroundings. Visitors can look forward to visiting Kai Kai and Jia Jia at the giant panda exhibit this December.

Kai Kai and Jia Jia will be in Singapore for 10 years as part of a joint collaboration between China Wildlife Conservation Association and WRS to raise public awareness on wildlife conservation and develop a breeding programme for these endangered animals. There are fewer than 1,600 giant pandas left in the wild. The pair of giant pandas also emphasises the close diplomatic relations between Singapore and China.

Singapore is the ninth country to receive giant pandas from China since 1994.

SQ7168 reveals the precious cargo it’s carrying, two crates containing Kai Kai and Jia Jia, the giant pandas

Panda welcoming party (from left): Mr Ng Chin Hwee, Executive Vice President Human Resources & Operations, Singapore Airlines Chairman SIA Cargo; Ms Zhang Hong Yan, Deputy Director, State Forestry Administration of the People’s Republic of China; Mr Lionel Yeo, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board; Mr David Heng, Senior Managing Director, Investment, Temasek Holdings; Mr Goh Choon Phong, CEO, Singapore Airlines; Mr Liu Yawen, Deputy Director, State Forestry Administration of the People’s Republic of China; Mr Dai Bing, Charge D’affairs, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Singapore; Mr Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry; Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Mr S R Nathan, former President of Singapore; and Chairman, CapitaLand Hope Foundation; Mr Ng Kee Choe, Chairman, CapitaLand Limited; Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and CEO, CapitaLand Limited; Ms Jennie Chua, Director, CapitaLand Hope Foundation; Mr Xiao Jiang Hua, Cultural Counsellor, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Singapore; Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore are all smiles as they welcome Kai Kai and Jia Jia to Singapore.

Giant key for the giants’ exhibit: Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and CEO, CapitaLand Limited presents a key to Mr Liu Yawen, Deputy Director, State Forestry Administration of the People’s Republic of China. CapitaLand Limited, as the Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor of the Giant Panda collaborative programme, has pledged a conservation donation to support the 10-year collaborative programme.

Kai Kai and Jia Jia, the giant panda mascots, lapping up the adoration of the public as they wait for the giant pandas’ arrival at the entrance of River Safari.

Safe and sound: River Safari keepers watch as Kai Kai, one of the pair of giant pandas from China, indulges in his first taste of bamboo after being moved into his den. The two giant pandas will undergo a month long quarantine and will be conditioned to their new habitat before going on public display in December this year.

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