RUB OFF SOME GOAT LUCK AT SINGAPORE ZOO AND NIGHT SAFARI THIS LUNAR NEW YEAR

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Eight auspicious goat kids born in Singapore Zoo and exotic goat species in Night Safari will greet visitors

Singapore Zoo keepers Mohd Hanafi and Amy Chandra show off three of the newest members of Singapore Zoo’s domestic goat herd which arrived just in time to usher in the Year of the Goat. Since 1 Jan 2015, Singapore Zoo has welcomed eight baby goats. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore Zoo keepers Mohd Hanafi and Amy Chandra show off three of the newest members of Singapore Zoo’s domestic goat herd which arrived just in time to usher in the Year of the Goat. Since 1 Jan 2015, Singapore Zoo has welcomed eight baby goats. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 11 February 2015 – Usher in the Year of the Goat at Singapore Zoo and Night Safari to marvel at the beauty and grace of this year’s zodiac animal, and learn all about the elegant species.

Singapore Zoo

Originating in Egypt, the domestic goat can now be found, either farmed or feral, in every continent except Antarctica. Goats are able to thrive in almost any habitat including savanna, deserts, scrub forests and mountains. This Chinese New Year, learn more about goats and their wild cousins at the Goat Awareness booth at Singapore Zoo. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Originating in Egypt, the domestic goat can now be found, either farmed or feral, in every continent except Antarctica. Goats are able to thrive in almost any habitat including savanna, deserts, scrub forests and mountains. This Chinese New Year, learn more about goats and their wild cousins at the Goat Awareness booth at Singapore Zoo. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore Zoo has welcomed the birth of eight goat kids in the last two months, an auspicious sign of a bountiful year to come. The gamboling goat kids are looking forward to charming visitors to Singapore Zoo this festive season as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Visitors looking to rub off some goat luck can capture some precious shots with this year’s zodiac animal, watch goat enrichment, or feed the goats. In addition, children can learn more about goats and their wild cousins at a specially curated Goat Awareness Booth. All goat-themed Chinese New Year activities will run from 18-22 February.

For activity details, visit Chinese New Year Celebrations at Singapore Zoo.

Night Safari

The ‘snake-horned’ markhor is named for their spiraling horns, which can grow up to 160cm, that adorn the males’ heads. This species are threatened by habitat loss in their native environments. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

The ‘snake-horned’ markhor is named for their spiraling horns, which can grow up to 160cm, that adorn the males’ heads. This species are threatened by habitat loss in their native environments. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Over at Night Safari, visitors can marvel at the wilder cousins of the domestic goats – the ‘snakehorned’ markhor, handsome Himalayan tahr, ‘blue’ bharal and rare mouflon.

The Himalayan tahr thrives on rugged alpine mountains from northern India to Bhutan, and male tahrs have a long shaggy mane in winter. This species are threatened by habitat loss in their native environments. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

The Himalayan tahr thrives on rugged alpine mountains from northern India to Bhutan, and male tahrs have a long shaggy mane in winter. This species are threatened by habitat loss in their native environments. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

While only the markhor and tahr are considered true goats, the bharal and mouflon are wild sheep that are no less nimble and sure-footed, making their homes in mountainous and rocky regions. These wild goats and sheep can be encountered along the Night Safari tram route.

For activity details, visit Chinese New Year Celebrations at Night Safari

The goats in Mandai enjoy the centre stage and look forward to welcoming visitors over the Lunar New Year holidays.

HUMAN RACE FOR ANIMALS ATTRACTS OVER 9,000 AT SAFARI ZOO RUN 2015

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Double the fun in seventh installment of popular run, with dedicated days for competitive and fun runners

(Centre, on stage) Guest-of-Honour Mrs Claire Nazar, Council Member, Families for Life, flags off the Safari Zoo Run Fastest Kid Race. Flanking her are Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore and Ms Isabel Cheng, CMO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore. Mrs Nazar and her family later joined the 6,000-strong crowd for the 6km Safari Zoo Fun Run, in a show of sporting fun and family bonding. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

(Centre, on stage) Guest-of-Honour Mrs Claire Nazar, Council Member, Families for Life, flags off the Safari Zoo Run Fastest Kid Race. Flanking her are Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore and Ms Isabel Cheng, CMO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore. Mrs Nazar and her family later joined the 6,000-strong crowd for the 6km Safari Zoo Fun Run, in a show of sporting fun and family bonding. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 9 February 2015 — A human herd of more than 9,000 dashed, loped and strode down Mandai’s lush corridors in this weekend’s Safari Zoo Run 2015, which was conceived seven years ago to commemorate Ah Meng, Singapore Zoo’s iconic Sumatran orang utan.

For the first time ever, Safari Zoo Run was held over two days. Over 3,000 avid runners took on the 12km or 6km Safari Zoo Challenge on Saturday, while a 6,000 strong crowd of enthusiastic participants enjoyed the Fun Run route through Night Safari and Singapore Zoo at a more leisurely pace this morning.

Families taking part in the Safari Zoo Run Stroller Walk slowed their pace to get a closer look at Singapore Zoo’s giraffes during Safari Zoo Run 2015. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Families taking part in the Safari Zoo Run Stroller Walk slowed their pace to get a closer look at Singapore Zoo’s giraffes during Safari Zoo Run 2015. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Another new feature this year was the roaring finale that awaited Sunday’s runners — the family-friendly Safari Zoo Run Carnival, which brought together exciting stage acts, a bazaar, educational stations and animal photography with some of the parks’ animal stars.

Safari Zoo Run is dedicated to the memory of Ah Meng, the zoo’s iconic Sumatran orangutan, who died of old age in February 2008. A part of the proceeds from the event will benefit the endangered wildlife under the care of Night Safari and Singapore Zoo.

As participants of Safari Zoo Run’s Fun Run stopped to take photos of the orang utans, the cheeky primates had a vertical race of their own, to their treetop playground. Safari Zoo Run is dedicated to the memory of Ah Meng, the zoo’s iconic Sumatran orangutan, who died of old age in February 2008. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

As participants of Safari Zoo Run’s Fun Run stopped to take photos of the orang utans, the cheeky primates had a vertical race of their own, to their treetop playground. Safari Zoo Run is dedicated to the memory of Ah Meng, the zoo’s iconic Sumatran orangutan, who died of old age in February 2008. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

ANIMAL FRIENDS WISH ONE AND ALL A PROSPEROUS LUNAR NEW YEAR

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Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo usher in the Year of the Goat with festive activities from 18 to 22 Feb 2015

Take photos with Singapore Zoo’s new kids on the block at selected timings during the Lunar New Year.  Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Take photos with Singapore Zoo’s new kids on the block at selected timings during the Lunar New Year. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

4 February 2015, Singapore – This Lunar New Year, usher in the Year of the Goat with wild animal friends at Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo and take part in a herd of activities from 18 to 22 February.

Be greeted by an a-baa-ndance of surprises as the parks get decked out for the Lunar New Year with creative plant displays, festive animal enrichment and up-close encounters, and photo moments with adorable baby goats! Be sure to catch the acrobatic lion dance performances and meet the prosperity mascots.

Animal Encounters
Goat Kids Photography at Singapore Zoo: Be charmed by the boisterous and adorable herd of young goats at Singapore Zoo, and witness an entourage of six baby goats (called kids) prancing alongside their keepers against the scenic backdrop of Upper Seletar Reservoir. Be sure to snap a souvenir shot with this year’s zodiac animal!

Wings of Asia Tour at Jurong Bird Park: Tour the park’s latest attraction and discover threatened species such as the beautiful Bali mynah and Luzon bleeding-heart dove, in an aviary featuring one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Asian birds. Stand a chance to win ang pows during a Q&A session at the end of the 15-minute tour.

Festive High Flyers Show at Jurong Bird Park: Lucky visitors will receive red packets delivered by Sassy the sulphur-crested cockatoo, and well-wishes of ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’ from Amigo the yellow-naped Amazon.

River Safari’s squirrel monkeys get into the festive mood with ang pows filled with treats this Lunar New Year. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

River Safari’s squirrel monkeys get into the festive mood with ang pows filled with treats this Lunar New Year. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Festive Animal Enrichment
Special treats for the animals serve as enrichment and encourage them to display their natural behaviours. If you’re lucky, you can catch them at their best as they chomp, dig, and crunch their way through their festive delights.

Jurong Bird Park: Fly in to the Breeding and Research Centre to watch ‘bird nannies’ giving young parrots enrichment such as ang pows filled with treats and oranges.

Night Safari: Look out for Asian elephants, Malayan tapirs and Indian rhinos enjoying festive goodies during the tram ride. Then trek the walking trails and peer at Himalayan tahrs, Malayan tigers, fishing cats, common palm civets and wallabies as they uncover hidden treats.

River Safari: Catch the cute antics of giant pandas, red pandas, crab-eating macaques and squirrel monkeys as they receive giant ang pows.

Southern Lion Dance
A pair of spectacular Southern lions will shimmy their way atop high poles in a high-octane performance at Jurong Bird Park, River Safari and Singapore Zoo. As the sun sets, a pair of dazzling LED-lit Southern lions will light up the sky at Night Safari. This traditional mix of martial art, acrobatic and stage performance was introduced to Southeast Asia more than a century ago, and remains a mainstay of Lunar New Year celebrations.

Prosperity Mascot Appearances
No Lunar New Year is complete without good fortune from the prosperity mascots! Fu Lu Shou and the God of Fortune will make appearances at the four wildlife parks. Visitors at River Safari can also look out for Kai Kai, Jia Jia, red panda and golden pheasant mascots in their festive finery, as they spread the joy with 88 lucky ang pows daily.

Spin the Wheel at River Safari
Don’t miss out on the chance to win attractive prizes at River Safari! Simply present your admission ticket for an opportunity to spin the wheel, with a total of 88 prizes to be won daily.

For more information on activity details, please visit Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo.

WHITE TIGER OMAR UNDERGOES BLOOD TEST

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Regular vet checks for Singapore Zoo’s 15-year-old white tiger to keep tabs on his health

Image 1: A team of three from the zoology and veterinary department of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (parent company of Singapore Zoo) preparing 15-year-old male white tiger Omar for a blood draw. Here, head vet Dr Serena Oh (right) prepares a syringe as junior keeper Hamidan Mislan holds steady the tail, while deputy head Keeper Kumar Vall (centre) distracts Omar on the other side of the conditioning chute with calming words and chunks of meat. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Image 1: A team of three from the zoology and veterinary department of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (parent company of Singapore Zoo) preparing 15-year-old male white tiger Omar for a blood draw. Here, head vet Dr Serena Oh (right) prepares a syringe as junior keeper Hamidan Mislan holds steady the tail, while deputy head Keeper Kumar Vall (centre) distracts Omar on the other side of the conditioning chute with calming words and chunks of meat. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Singapore, 29 January 2015 – The usually active white tiger Omar lay down quietly in his conditioning chute as deputy head keeper Kumar Vall spoke in calming tones and fed him meaty treats. On the other side of the chute, head vet Dr Serena Oh and junior keeper Hamidan Mislan quietly and quickly drew blood from the 15-year-old male tiger’s tail. The procedure, a blood draw to determine Omar’s health, was over in less than 10 minutes.

As Omar progresses into his senior years, keepers and vets are keeping a closer eye on the white tiger to ensure they stay on top of his healthcare needs. Blood test results showed that his liver and kidneys are functioning normally. He is also receiving treatment for keratisis in his left eye, a condition in which the cornea becomes inflamed or dry.

Image 2: About 3ml of blood was drawn from Omar through his tail. His blood test results revealed that he is generally in good health for a tiger well into his geriatric life stage. His liver and kidneys are found to be functioning normally. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Image 2: About 3ml of blood was drawn from Omar through his tail. His blood test results revealed that he is generally in good health for a tiger well into his geriatric life stage. His liver and kidneys are found to be functioning normally. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Unlike health checks for some of the zoo’s animals which require sedation, Omar’s was conducted through operant conditioning, a method that allows keepers to train and obtain desired behaviours from animals under their care. This technique is less stressful for the animal, keepers and vets when conducting veterinary and animal management procedures.

Image 3: The white tiger has been conditioned to respond to certain commands which allow zoo keepers and vets to perform regular check-ups without putting him through the stressful process of sedation. Here, Omar responds to deputy head keeper Kumar Vall’s hand signal to open his mouth to check on the condition of his gums and teeth. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Image 3: The white tiger has been conditioned to respond to certain commands which allow zoo keepers and vets to perform regular check-ups without putting him through the stressful process of sedation. Here, Omar responds to deputy head keeper Kumar Vall’s hand signal to open his mouth to check on the condition of his gums and teeth. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Through this method, Omar was conditioned to respond to commands such as sitting and opening his mouth, allowing zoo staff to keep an eye on his health more regularly while strengthening the bond between him and his keepers.

Popular with visitors, Omar has charmed visitors since arriving in Singapore Zoo on 6 April 2001. Born in Indonesia’s Taman Safari, Omar and his two sisters Winnie and Jippie arrived in Singapore when they were 19 months old. Winnie and Jippie have since passed on.

In the wild, tigers have an average lifespan of between 10 to 15 years while those in zoological institutions live 16-20 years on average.

JURONG BIRD PARK UNVEILS WINGS OF ASIA AVIARY

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Rejuvenated aviary houses one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of rare Asian birds;
Park welcomes 11 threatened species for conservation breeding

Guest-of-Honour Mr Desmond Lee, Minister of State for National Development, receives a key to Jurong Bird Park’s rejuvenated Wings of Asia aviary from Sassy the cockatoo.

Guest-of-Honour Mr Desmond Lee, Minister of State for National Development, receives a key to Jurong Bird Park’s rejuvenated Wings of Asia aviary from Sassy the cockatoo. (Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore)

SINGAPORE, 21 January 2015 – Visitors to Jurong Bird Park can marvel at some of Asia’s rarest and most exotic birds with the unveiling of the Wings of Asia aviary today, in a ceremony officiated by Mr Desmond Lee, Minister of State for National Development.

With a collection of over 500 birds representing 135 species when complete, the rejuvenated aviary houses the largest diversity of birds in the park. It is home to one of the world’s most comprehensive and admired collections of Asian birds, including 24 threatened species such as the Bali mynah, Luzon bleeding-heart dove and black-winged starling. These species have been successfully hatched and raised as part of the park’s ongoing conservation breeding programmes.

Black-winged starling

Eleven of the 24 threatened species are new additions, with five being displayed for the first time in the park. These include the Javan green magpie, rufous-fronted laughingthrush and racquet-tailed parrot which are expected to arrive in the park soon. Plans are underway to kick-start a breeding programme for these birds whose numbers are declining rapidly in the wild due to habitat loss and degradation as well as excessive trapping for the cage-bird trade. Through conservation breeding, the park hopes to maintain and safeguard a sustainable population of these birds and eventually introduce selected species back into the wild, in their native lands.

Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Over the years, Jurong Bird Park has been actively involved in the conservation of Asia’s most precious birds, from boosting the numbers of threatened species to working with multiple agencies, to repopulating birds in their native habitats. The unveiling of Wings of Asia represents another feather in our conservation cap and we hope this crown jewel will inspire visitors to appreciate, understand and protect Asia’s winged wonders.”

Previously known as the Southeast Asian Birds Aviary, the 2,600 square-meter exhibit underwent a three-month makeover which included the expansion of its smaller aviaries, theming work, refreshed educational displays for visitors to learn about the different species of birds, and an overhaul of its aviary mesh for better viewing.

Visitors can look forward to special experiences such as feeding and chit-chat sessions with keepers to learn more about the feathered residents.

SINGAPORE ZOO’S POLAR BEAR INUKA SLURPS GIANT ICE KACHANG ON HIS 24TH BIRTHDAY

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First polar bear born in the tropics celebrates birthday in true Singapore style

Singapore, 26 December 2014 – Inuka, the first polar bear born in the tropics, turns 24 today at Singapore Zoo.

Inuka’s birthday celebration started bright and early as keepers presented him with a giant ice kachang* cake made of the bear’s favourite food like salmon, blueberries, watermelon and strawberries topped with whipped cream.

In the wee hours of 26 December 1990, Inuka was born in his mother’s den at Singapore Zoo and keepers have referred to him since as their ‘best Christmas present ever’. At 24, Inuka is well into his senior years and lives comfortably in his Frozen Tundra home which features climate-controlled resting areas and a large pool for him to swim in.

*Ice kachang is a dessert popular in Singapore, traditionally comprising ice shavings, syrup, and sweet treats like red beans, sweet corn and jelly.

Singapore Zoo’s beloved Inuka, the first polar bear born in the tropics, was presented a giant ice kachang cake embedded with his favourite food as he celebrated his 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore Zoo’s beloved Inuka, the first polar bear born in the tropics, was presented a giant ice kachang cake embedded with his favourite food as he celebrated his 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

In the wee hours of 26 Dec 1990, Inuka was born in his mother’s den at Singapore Zoo, and keepers have referred to him since as their ‘best Christmas present ever’. The bear turned 24 on 26 Dec 2014. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

In the wee hours of 26 Dec 1990, Inuka was born in his mother’s den at Singapore Zoo, and keepers have referred to him since as their ‘best Christmas present ever’. The bear turned 24 on 26 Dec 2014. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Polar bear Inuka weighed only 400 grams at birth and he is currently over 500 kilograms. Singapore Zoo celebrated Inuka’s 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014 with a giant ice kachang containing some of his favourite food like salmon, blueberries, watermelon and strawberries. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Polar bear Inuka weighed only 400 grams at birth and he is currently over 500 kilograms. Singapore Zoo celebrated Inuka’s 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014 with a giant ice kachang containing some of his favourite food like salmon, blueberries, watermelon and strawberries. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Singapore Zoo celebrated Inuka’s 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014 with a giant ice kachang cake containing some of the bear’s favourite food. At 24, Inuka is well into his senior years and lives comfortably in his Frozen Tundra home which features climate-controlled resting areas and a large pool for him to swim in. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore Zoo celebrated Inuka’s 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014 with a giant ice kachang cake containing some of the bear’s favourite food. At 24, Inuka is well into his senior years and lives comfortably in his Frozen Tundra home which features climate-controlled resting areas and a large pool for him to swim in. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE TO ADOPT NEW ELEPHANT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

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New system deemed to provide higher degree of safety; Overhaul to be implemented in phases

Singapore, 15 December 2014 – Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) will be phasing in the protected contact elephant management system for all elephants in Night Safari and Singapore Zoo over the next few years.

When fully in place, all staff training and interaction with elephants under the protected contact system will be conducted through a physical safety barrier. The protected contact management system is based on positive reinforcement where animals are motivated by rewards such as food.

The two parks will be among the first zoological institutions in Asia to implement the protected contact management system for all elephants in its collection. Among the modern zoo community, this method is currently deemed to be the safest way to manage elephants while ensuring proper animal care and welfare.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, WRS, said, “The decision to adopt the protected contact management system was made after an internal review by our elephant managers and healthcare experts, who found that this system of management offers a safer work environment for the elephant keepers. Importantly, the new system will continue to allow our keepers access to the elephants for their daily care, although separated by a safety barrier.”

The complete implementation of the protected contact system will take three to five years as it will involve major redesign and construction of the elephant exhibits, back-of-house facilities as well as re-training of our elephants and elephant keepers.

The first phase of moving towards the protected contact system will be the cessation of programmes involving direct visitor contact with the elephants. From 5 January 2015, elephant rides and other activities where elephants are taken out of their exhibits will cease at the zoo. This is to allow the elephants to spend more time in the exhibits and to socialise among themselves.

Visitors to Singapore Zoo will still be able to enjoy the Elephants at Work and Play show (available twice daily at 11.30am and 3.30pm), and take part in elephant feeding sessions which happens after each show.

Dr Cheng continued, “Providing meaningful interactive opportunities with our animals is one of the most valuable services we bring to our visitors. Our new elephant exhibits will be designed to enable up-close encounters, and give us the chance to offer new behind-the-scenes experiences.”

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