JAZZY CELEBRATION AS MANATEE CANOLA TURNS THREE

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River Safari teams up with local jazz saxophonist Daniel Chia for a musical morning; Animal icon Canola is now 10 times heavier and one of the most affectionate manatees in Amazon Flooded Forest.

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Image 1: Born on 6 August 2014 to the largest manatee in the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit, River Safari’s animal icon Canola celebrated her third birthday in style, with ‘live’ music and a two-metre tall cabbage cake, topped off with a ‘C’ for Canola. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 26 July 2017 – The soulful sounds of jazz filled the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit at River Safari early this morning, as invited guests were whisked away into a surreal experience, serenaded by rising local jazz saxophonist, Daniel Chia.

Amidst the soulful tunes of Cali Style and Life’s A Beach, over 60 invited guests caught a glimpse of the beautiful bond between River Safari’s herd of manatees and their human carers, as the manatees and aquarists dived in for a morning swim together.

Born in Singapore, River Safari’s animal icon Canola enjoyed her birthday celebration kampung style, involving her extended family, made up of her human carers, manatee tank mates and invited friends. As a birthday treat, aquarists presented a two-metre tall cabbage cake to Canola, which was met with much curiosity and delight by the entire manatee herd.

Canola was born in River Safari on 6 August 2014 around noon, and is the offspring of Eva, the largest manatee within the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit. For unknown abandoned at birth and aquarists had to dive in to provide round-the-clock care for her, who required bottle-feeding every two to three hours during the first three months.

Despite a rough start to life, Canola has blossomed into a playful and affectionate manatee, often approaching aquarists to say hello when they go about their daily duties, or to ask for belly rubs. She has also developed a patient disposition, usually waiting for her turn to be fed high fibre biscuits – her favourite treat.

Canola weighed over 30kg at birth and today, she is 10 times heavier weighing in at around 300kg. Her best tank mates are Joella and Abel, and the trio can be often spotted having a friendly jostle for the aquarists’ affection.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore said, “We are happy that River Safari’s animal icon Canola has overcome her early challenges in life, and is growing up healthy and happy with the manatee herd. As we celebrate her third birthday, our hope is that Canola will continue to thrive and inspire the community at large to act responsibly to keep rivers liveable for people and wildlife.”

Manatees are listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species. There are currently five males and eight females in River Safari’s manatee herd.
*International Union for Conservation of Nature

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SINGAPORE ZOO CELEBRATES 44 WILD YEARS WITH A DURIAN FEAST FOR AH MENG AND FRIENDS

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Image 1: Singapore Zoo celebrated her 44th birthday with a durian fiesta for Ah Meng and friends. Orangutans (from left) Ah Meng, Chomel and Anita enthusiastically tear open their presents to get at the durian inside. As Singapore Zoo’s flagship species, the orangutans represented the park’s living collection in receiving the special gifts. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 27 June 2017Singapore Zoo celebrated 44 years of wild encounters today with a feast fit for kings—the king of fruits that is. Both orangutans and humans alike were specially treated to a scrumptious feast of the pungent fruit, durian.

Singapore Zoo was officially opened on 27 June 1973, in Singapore’s early years of nation building, and is among the world pioneers of “open concept” zoos. Over four decades, Singapore Zoo is well-loved as the place where Singapore families spent countless leisurely days together to discover the wonders of wildlife and nature. Beyond our shores, Singapore Zoo earned a place among the best zoos in the world, and has attained a strong reputation for its conservation initiatives and breeding programmes.

As Singapore Zoo’s flagship species and animal icon, Ah Meng and her orangutan friends represented the Zoo’s living collection in the 44th anniversary celebrations.
Joining invited guests from their treetop homes, orangutans Ah Meng, Chomel, Putra, Anita and her new baby, received gifts of their favourite durians. The apes made quick work of the hard thorny shells and husked the durians with their bare hands and teeth, a task that would stump many humans.

After the apes got first dibs, the humans were quick to follow as selected Friends of Singapore Zoo and Friends of Wildlife members were invited to join in on the feast of durians and other tropical fruit. Invited guests also got up close and personal photo opportunities with the charismatic apes. For fans at home or overseas, the celebration was streamed via Facebook Live on Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s page for online fans to join in on the festivities.

Image 2_SZ44_WRSImage 2: Singapore Zoo’s animal icon Ah Meng charmed invited guests with her adorable antics as she chowed her favourite food, durian. Ah Meng was crowned Singapore Zoo’s animal icon on February 2016 and turned six in March.
PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

 

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Image 3: Twenty-year-old orangutan Chomel cannot get enough of durian as she licks her fingers clean. Invited guests watched in awe as the orangutans opened durians with their bare hands and teeth.
PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

 

Singapore Downton Abbey

 

Image 4: Invited guests got the chance for up close and personal photo opportunities with not just the orangutans, but also their dedicated team of keepers.
PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

 

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Image 5: The orangutans weren’t the only ones who got to enjoy fruits. Invited guests also feasted on durian and other tropical fruit in the presence of the charismatic apes.
PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

RIVER SAFARI GEARS UP FOR POSSIBLE PANDA PREGNANCY

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While it is too early to tell, Jia Jia’s keepers leave nothing to chance; Daily cub retrieval and urine collection conditioning conducted in preparation for a possible pregnancy

Singapore, 23 June 2017 – Jia Jia’s keepers have been hard at work since this year’s mating season ended for River Safari’s pair of giant pandas.

Kai Kai and Jia Jia were put together for natural mating on 30 March, following which artificial insemination was carried out to maximise the chances of breeding under human care. Professor Ng Soon Chye, an obstetrics and gynaecology specialist internationally renowned for his expertise in reproductive medicine, assisted River Safari’s veterinary team during the insemination process.

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Since then, the team of keepers at River Safari’s Giant Panda Forest have been conducting daily cub retrieval and urine collection conditioning sessions for Jia Jia in preparation for the possible arrival of a baby panda. Urine collection conditioning allows keepers to collect fresh and uncontaminated urine samples from Jia Jia to monitor her hormonal levels. A gradual increase in progesterone levels indicates a possible pregnancy or pseudo pregnancy. Getting Jia Jia used to handing her cub to the keepers allow her carers to conduct health checks, and to provide supplementary or foster care for the cub if required.

Keepers also started Jia Jia on a daily dosage of folic acid, a pre-natal and pregnancy supplement. River Safari’s team of vets and keepers are holding their breaths on Jia Jia’s pregnancy status. Giant pandas have delayed implantation during pregnancy and as such, vets cannot confirm a pregnancy until the later part of the panda’s gestation period, which in Jia Jia’s case, falls between August to September.

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STATEMENT – PASSING OF OMAR THE WHITE TIGER

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Whether lounging stylishly on his rocky outcrop or leaping elegantly into the water, Omar left an indelible memory in the minds of all who were awed by his regal stature. We will miss Omar, and our thoughts and appreciation go especially to his caregivers, who for so many years took such great care of him. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 8 June 2017 — We are deeply saddened by the passing of our senior white tiger Omar yesterday. An icon of Singapore Zoo in his own right, he enthralled guests with his majestic presence. Omar leaves an indelible memory in the minds of all who were awed by his regal stature. His image is immortalised in waves of photographs capturing him in his finest moments—whether leaping elegantly into the water or lounging stylishly on his rocky outcrop.

Omar had been managed on our senior animal care programme, where healthcare and welfare of our senior age animals are customised to promote longevity and quality of life.

Over the last three years, his team of keepers and veterinarians had been monitoring him closely for a melanoma (a type of skin cancer) and degeneration of his joints. They had been providing supportive care to him for the past few months to ensure his quality of life was maintained. Recent reassessment had seen worsening of his health and the difficult decision was made to euthanase him to prevent further deterioration of his quality of life.

Born under human care in Taman Safari, Indonesia, Omar had charmed guests since arriving in Singapore Zoo as a 19-month-old juvenile tiger on 6 April 2001. He would have turned 18 years old in September—an impressive age for a large cat. In the wild, tigers have an average lifespan of between 10 to 15 years while those under human care live 16 to 20 years on average.

We will miss Omar, and our thoughts and appreciation go especially to his caregivers, who for so many years took such great care of him.

Singapore Zoo is now home to two white tigers—Pasha and Keysa. The 4-year-old brother-sister duo arrived from Batu Secret Zoo in Indonesia on 15 January 2015.

NIGHT SAFARI’S NEHA CELEBRATES FIRST BIRTHDAY WITH MAMMOTH MILESTONE

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Neha recognises 10 instructions after six months in elephant kindergarten;
Play sessions condition Neha to work with care team in case deadly elephant herpes virus strikes

Image 1 (left): Night Safari’s baby elephant Neha readily lifts her leg in response to senior keeper Rahimi Rashid’s request. As a reward, she gets an enjoyable brush down on her foot. Being able to work with a cooperative calf from a young age allows her caregivers to respond swiftly should the elephant herpes virus strike. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Image 2 (right): What’s a birthday without presents? After a session of hard work, Neha eagerly explores her boxed treats with gusto! The cardboard cartons contain a hay and fruit salad of chopped bananas and mangoes, which Night Safari’s littlest elephant delightfully scoffed. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 11 May 2017Night Safari’s baby elephant Neha has had a tremendously busy year, and her keepers can proudly boast that the little pachyderm, who turns one year old tomorrow, has mastered the art of responding to about 10 instructions as part of her ongoing conditioning sessions which began in November last year.

There is a practical reason for starting elephant lessons early. Neha has reached the at-risk age of contracting the Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV), and her team of caregivers is taking every precaution to ensure they are ready to combat the disease should it strike.

EEHV can result in severe haemorrhagic disease in elephants, and is the leading cause of death for juvenile Asian elephants under human care. Calves of between 1-8 years of age are at the highest risk of contracting this often-fatal disease. Currently there is no vaccination available, and medication only serves to suppress the growth of the virus. Death frequently occurs within 1-2 days of the first visible signs, and early diagnosis and treatment are critical to survival.

Neha’s older brother Nila Utama succumbed to EEHV in 2013, when he was two years old. He had shown signs of contracting the disease just two days before he passed.

Conditioning Neha from an early age through protected contact makes it easier for her vets and keepers to monitor her closely, and ensure early diagnosis, which is crucial in the management of this disease. Protected contact means that Neha’s conditioning sessions take place with barriers in between her and her keepers. This allows for higher quality care and welfare while ensuring a greater degree of safety for the humans working with her.

Neha’s daily conditioning sessions are designed as play dates with her keepers, in which she can choose whether to participate. Aside from responding to instructions such as lifting her leg and opening her mouth, Neha already allows her temperature and weight to be taken daily. She is also learning to be comfortable with vets drawing blood from her ear, and to accepting oral and rectal administration of medication. These processes will allow for regular monitoring of her health, and ensure that the team can act swiftly should Neha display any signs of the disease.

Night Safari is committed to providing the required resources to manage this disease risk, and has set aside funding for routine testing and treatment procedures on Neha.

Neha tugged at heartstrings when she bounded into the cyber limelight at a mere 19 days old last May. Currently weighing in at 527kg, she has more than tripled her birth weight of 149kg, and continues to be doted on by her elephantine mum and aunties, and a bevy of human caregivers.

Neha is the offspring of Chawang and Sri Nandong, and is adopted by JTB Pte Ltd. She is the youngest of six Asian elephants—two males and four females—which call Night Safari home.

Asian elephants are listed as endangered on the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species, more so than their African counterparts. Threats include habitat loss and human-elephant conflicts. The native homes of the Asian elephants are often being logged and cleared for urban and agricultural development.

There are only an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 Asian elephants left in the wild today. To support the conservation of this majestic species, WRS plays an active role on the steering committee of the Asian Captive Elephant Working Group, and was instrumental in setting up the Asian Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus Working Group. In addition, WRS has funded field projects for Management and Ecology of Malaysian Elephants (MEME) in Malaysia and ElefantAsia in Laos, and currently supports the work of the Elephant Response Unit in Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra.

*IUCN: International Union for the Conservation of Nature

 

MEMBERS’ EXTRAVAGANZA AT JURONG BIRD PARK THIS JUNE

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From 3 – 26 June 2017, fly down to Asia’s largest bird paradise for a full day of fun in the sun; New and existing Friends of Bird Park and Friends of Wildlife members get to enjoy member-exclusive treats and activities.

So Wow Time Flies

Bring the whole brood to Jurong Bird Park this June holidays and indulge in your love for all things birds. Friends of Bird Park and Friends of Wildlife members can enjoy member-exclusive treats and activities from 3 to 26 June 2017. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 3 MAY 2017 — Sign up for a one-year Friends of Bird Park membership at the price of a one-day full priced ticket, and enjoy a members’ extravaganza over the June holidays with a series of specially curated treats and activities!

Start off a lovely day out in the Bird Park going up close to our adorable African penguins and feed them their favourite treat – fish! Just for the month of June, Friends of Bird Park and Friends of Wildlife members can sign up for an exclusive behind-the-scenes opportunity with our Be-A-Parrot-Keeper programme and experience a day in the life of our avian keepers; where they will learn different aspects of caring for parrots, from preparing food and enrichment to understanding how our avian veterinarians conduct health checks.

Ignite that childlike imagination with a puppet show, or get crafty with bird-themed mementos which you can take home. Don’t forget to grab a photo with Sunny the hornbill and his friends during our mascot appearance sessions as well.

Membership comes with benefits – from 1 to 30 June 2017, Friends of Bird Park and Friends of Wildlife members will enjoy an exclusive 20 per cent off the western menu at Hawk Café and Birdz of Play. They will also receive a free plush keychain with a minimum spend of $30 or more at Jurong Bird Park’s retail outlet Feathers. New Friends of Bird Park members will receive a complimentary iced drink in a souvenir cup.

Guests who fancy visiting Jurong Bird Park more than once a year can now sign up for a one-year membership at the price of a one-day full priced ticket, and enjoy complimentary tram rides on weekdays and 10 per cent discount off food and beverage and retail purchases. Terms and conditions apply.

ACTIVITIES AT A GLANCE
For more information, please visit www.birdpark.com.sg/events-promos/wow.html

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SCALY SURPRISES AWAIT AT REPTOPIA AT RIVER SAFARI AND SINGAPORE ZOO

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Join the reptile revolution over weekends of 27 May – 26 June;
Signature Zoolympix event and first-ever Camp Fest add pizzazz to holiday festivities

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Image 1: Love them or hate them, reptiles are fascinating creatures. Discover the scaly denizens of Singapore Zoo’s new RepTopia exhibit this June holidays. Make a date with the panther chameleon, Gaboon viper and other equally amazing reptilian friends, and learn more about them through engaging activities. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 27 April 2017 – An array of remarkable reptiles is set to make their debut at Singapore Zoo this June, with the launch of the aptly-named new reptile exhibit – RepTopia. Over the weekends of 27 May – 26 June, guests are in for a reptile revolution with a spectrum of engaging activities. Discover and appreciate reptiles through a diverse range of activities, including enlightening animal enrichment sessions, reptile-inspired craft activities and costumed charm-eleon meet and greet sessions.

As part of the RepTopia experience, the ever popular Zoolympix returns for the 13th year. This year’s edition—Zoolympix 2017: Reptile Revolution—invites you to turn your ewws to awws! Embark on the trail to change your perception of these awesome and charismatic animals. Discover reptile-y skills, defensive moves and more cool facts through games and rep-tivities.

For those who can’t get enough of wildlife, consider joining us for the first ever Camp Fest 2017! Make a date with our animal friends over the weekend of 27-28 May at Night Safari, River Safari or Singapore Zoo with one of three camping options. Fall asleep under the stars to the gentle roar of the lion, or snooze in the depths of the flooded forest of the Amazon.

RepTopia – Eww’ll love it

Dates: 27, 28 May, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25 June (weekends only)
Time: Various (refer to onsite activity signage for details)
Fee: Activities are free but normal admission rates to both parks apply
River Safari: $30.00 (adult) and $20.00 (child 3 to 12 years)
Singapore Zoo: $33.00 (adult) and $22.00 (child 3 to 12 years)
Note: Local residents’ exclusive: Get $20 off the 2-park River Safari and Singapore Zoo Combo.
Valid from 27 May to 24 June 2017. Terms and conditions apply.

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Zoolympix

Learn about the fascinating and weird abilities that reptiles have at various stations in RepTopia and Reptile Garden. From super speeds to colour changing abilities and eyes that see in different directions, you’ll be amazed!

Date: 27 May – 2 June, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25, 26 June
Time: 10am – 4pm
Venue: Singapore Zoo (various – check onsite for details)
Fee: $3 to participate (RepTopia quest map included!)
RepTopia quest map available at Awareness Booth (opposite Zoo Retail Shop) and welcome booth at sun bear exhibit
Registration closes at 3.30pm.
Notes: Normal admission rates of $33.00 (adult) and $22.00 (child 3 to 12 years) apply
Activities are recommended for children from 4 years old

More information on the June holiday activities at http://www.zoo.com.sg/events-promos/reptopia.html

Camp Fest

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Image 2: Enjoy an evening campfire at Safari Snooze at Singapore Zoo and be serenaded by the symphony of wildlife

Image 3: Drift off to sleep in the company of manatees at River Safari’s RiverBed and Breakfast

PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

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Registration closes 13 May 2017. For more information about Camp Fest, visit http://education.zoo.com.sg/campfest.html

Fancy visiting our award-winning parks year-round? Enjoy annual access into all four of Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s parks with our Friends of Wildlife membership for just S$119 for an individual membership. Terms and conditions apply.

The Mandai Express daily shuttle is available from Khatib MRT to Singapore Zoo between 8.30am to 7.00pm at 30 minute intervals. Children below 3 years old ride for free. Fares are $1 each way, and only payable by EZ-link card.

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