SINGAPORE ZOO INVITES YOU TO NAME A KOALA!

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Pick Singapore names for koalas ahead of SG50 celebrations;
Participants can win tickets to visit the marsupials in Singapore Zoo

PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Singapore, 16 July 2015Singapore Zoo’s koala quartet is looking to blend in fully with locals ahead of the SG50 Jubilee Weekend with new Singapore names befitting their individual characteristics.

Since their arrival on 13 April this year, the marsupials have settled in nicely in their exhibit in Singapore Zoo’s Australian zone and have effortlessly worked their way into the hearts of park visitors. The koalas are a gift from Australia to Singapore on the occasion of Singapore’s 50th anniversary of independence, and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and Singapore.

Members of the public are invited to gift the koalas with uniquely Singaporean names based on their characteristics and personalities. Singapore Zoo will conduct one round of short-listing, while the koalas will eventually pick their own names with a paw of approval in a ceremony in August. Details of the naming campaign can be found at http://www.zoo.com.sg/koala-mania.

WRS CALLS FOR CURBS IN ILLEGAL ANIMAL TRADE AFTER RESCUE OF 4000 CRITICALLY ENDGANGERED TURTLES

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Over 4,400 freshwater turtles, among them the critically endangered Palawan forest turtles, were bound to be sent from their native Palawan, in the Philippines, to markets in China when rescuers made the devastating discovery. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Over 4,400 freshwater turtles, among them the critically endangered Palawan forest turtles, were bound to be sent from their native Palawan, in the Philippines, to markets in China when rescuers made the devastating discovery. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Singapore, 8 July 2015 — Over 4,400 freshwater turtles, among them the critically endangered Palawan forest turtles, were bound to be sent from their native Palawan, in the Philippines, to markets in China when rescuers made the devastating discovery.

The animals – including 3,907 Palawan forest turtles, 168 Asian leaf turtles and 25 Southeast Asian box turtles – were handed over to Katala Foundation Inc (KFI), a Philippine wildlife NGO, for safekeeping and rehabilitation. Wildlife Reserves Singapore has for the last three years  provided on-going financial support to the KFI conservation efforts for the Philippine forest turtle, Palawan pangolin and Philippine cockatoo.

Many of the turtles were on the verge of death, or were in bad condition from months of neglect in captivity, showing major symptoms of dehydration as well as severe shell necrosis, ocular lesions and bite wounds. An urgent appeal to the global turtle community was issued to assist these threatened animals.

Among the first rescue team members to arrive in Palawan was Dr Sonja Luz, Director of Conservation and Research, Wildlife Reserves Singapore. Dr Luz, a trained vet, brought medical supplies with her, and collaborated with experts from Hong Kong Ocean Park, Turtle Conservancy and Turtle Survival Alliance in the first days of the crisis. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Among the first rescue team members to arrive in Palawan was Dr Sonja Luz, Director of Conservation and Research, Wildlife Reserves Singapore. Dr Luz, a trained vet, brought medical supplies with her, and collaborated with experts from Hong Kong Ocean Park, Turtle Conservancy and Turtle Survival Alliance in the first days of the crisis. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Among the first rescue team members to arrive in Palawan was Dr Sonja Luz, Director of Conservation and Research, Wildlife Reserves Singapore. WRS immediately committed help with medical supplies and equipment, and a donation of SGD15,000 to fund the rehabilitation process. Dr Luz, a trained vet, brought these supplies with her and, together with international veterinary colleagues from Hong Kong Ocean Park, Turtle Conservancy and Turtle Survival Alliance, attended to the  medical needs of the turtles.

She said, “It was overwhelming in the beginning to be on ground attending to the thousands of turtles struggling for their survival, but the good news is that because of the amazing local and international team efforts, most of these animals could be rehabilitated. To all of us involved, it is frustrating and devastating that the majority of people do not understand how the demand for wild animals and their body parts is driving countless species in this region to extinction. Only if we can stop the demand and stop people from buying products will we have a chance to beat illegal wildlife trade.”

The turtles are believed to have been collected over several months from across their native range of northern Palawan, and were bound for markets in China. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

The turtles are believed to have been collected over several months from across their native range of northern Palawan, and were bound for markets in China. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

The turtles are believed to have been collected over several months from across their native range of northern Palawan, and were bound for markets in China.

Demand for animal skin, meat, and body parts as well as for pets is on the rise with growing affluence and purchasing power, and thousands of animal species like the Palawan freshwater turtle are being driven towards an accelerated extinction. Wildlife Reserves Singapore works closely with like-minded partners such as TRAFFIC to curb illegal wildlife trade, and launched the You Buy They Die campaign in March 2015.

According to reports in the Philippines, authorities have arrested the caretaker of the warehouse in which the turtles were found. The Palawan Council for Sustainable Development enforcers and members of the Provincial Law Enforcement Task Force were preparing to file charges against a Chinese national believed to be the owner of the warehouse.

When making future visits to Wildlife Reserves Singapore parks—Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo—look out for the You Buy They Die interpretive and learn more about what can be done to stop illegal wildlife trade.

WILD WAYS TO BEAT THE HEAT AT SINGAPORE ZOO

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Orang utans, hippos and other wild friends share tips on how to stay cool this summer

Singapore, 30 June 2015 — With temperatures soaring this summer, Singapore Zoo’s residents are taking every precaution to beat the heat, and engage in cool practices. Practical advice like wearing sunscreen and novel ways of staying heat-free are given a wild twist, courtesy of our animal friends.

Tip 1: Cover up!  If, like Satria, Singapore Zoo’s Sumatran orang utan, you just can’t bear to leave your coat at home, employ an equally fashionable gunny sack to seek refuge from the scorching sun. For human visitors, a scarf or an umbrella will work just as well. And don’t forget the sunglasses!  PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Tip 1: Cover up!
If, like Satria, Singapore Zoo’s Sumatran orang utan, you just can’t bear to leave your coat at home, employ an equally fashionable gunny sack to seek refuge from the scorching sun. For human visitors, a scarf or an umbrella will work just as well. And don’t forget the sunglasses!
PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Tip 2: Make a splash!  Omar, Singapore Zoo’s white tiger, does it the simplest way – by spending the day creating big splashes in his pool. Not only will sloshing about in the water keep you cool, we hear it’s rather therapeutic as well.  PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Tip 2: Make a splash!
Omar, Singapore Zoo’s white tiger, does it the simplest way – by spending the day creating big splashes in his pool. Not only will sloshing about in the water keep you cool, we hear it’s rather therapeutic as well.
PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Tip 3: Slather on sunscreen (like it’s free) Bora, our white rhinoceros, says there’s nothing better than sloshing in some glorious mud to stay cool and keep away sunburns (and parasites!). Human friends, even if the sun’s behind the clouds, apply generous amounts of sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays when exploring Singapore Zoo.  PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Tip 3: Slather on sunscreen (like it’s free)
Bora, our white rhinoceros, says there’s nothing better than sloshing in some glorious mud to stay cool and keep away sunburns (and parasites!). Human friends, even if the sun’s behind the clouds, apply generous amounts of sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays when exploring Singapore Zoo.
PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Tip 4: Share a popsicle  Singapore Zoo’s Asian elephant Jati’s got her trunk wrapped around a mammoth popsicle – a perfect and fun antidote for soaring temperatures. And it looks like Gambir wants a piece of the action too! Share an ice cream or icy slush with your friends today.  PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Tip 4: Share a popsicle
Singapore Zoo’s Asian elephant Jati’s got her trunk wrapped around a mammoth popsicle – a perfect and fun antidote for soaring temperatures. And it looks like Gambir wants a piece of the action too! Share an ice cream or icy slush with your friends today.
PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Tip 5: Keep your head under water Singapore Zoo’s pair of pygmy hippopotamus has the right idea; follow their lead and submerge yourself in a pool of cool water to escape the mugginess. Hippos have been known to stay underwater for up to six minutes!  PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Tip 5: Keep your head under water
Singapore Zoo’s pair of pygmy hippopotamus has the right idea; follow their lead and submerge yourself in a pool of cool water to escape the mugginess. Hippos have been known to stay underwater for up to six minutes!
PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Tip 6: If all else fails, wait it out (or move to Night Safari!) Instead of fighting the heat, Night Safari’s pride of Asiatic lions prefers to wait till twilight before indulging in their daily activities. In fact, 90 per cent of tropical species come out at night when it's cooler. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Tip 6: If all else fails, wait it out (or move to Night Safari!)
Instead of fighting the heat, Night Safari’s pride of Asiatic lions prefers to wait till twilight before indulging in their daily activities. In fact, 90 per cent of tropical species come out at night when it’s cooler.
PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

INDIGENOUS ANIMALS FEATURED IN “BIODIVERSITY IS US” PROJECT

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WRS creates localised version of global biodiversity campaign; Sunda pangolin, oriental pied hornbill among animals featured

Wildlife Reserves Singapore head vet Dr Serena Oh gives her daughter Megan a piggy back ride, much like how mother pangolins cart their young around, in the local rendition of the “Biodiversity is Us” project with a series of photos that depicts how humans and animals are closely connected. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Wildlife Reserves Singapore head vet Dr Serena Oh gives her daughter Megan a piggy back ride, much like how mother pangolins cart their young around, in the local rendition of the “Biodiversity is Us” project with a series of photos that depicts how humans and animals are closely connected. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 27 June 2015 — Indigenous animals that live in the tropical rainforests, mangroves or coral ecosystems of Singapore take center stage in Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s rendition of the “Biodiversity is Us” project, with a series of photos that depicts how humans and animals are closely connected.

Featuring Singapore’s fauna like the critically endangered Sunda pangolin, oriental-pied hornbill, tokay gecko, crab-eating macaques and knobbly sea stars, the project serves to share knowledge of the environment and the amazing array of life on our planet, and the simple actions that individuals can do to protect it.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation & Research Manager Jessica Lee displays how humans and oriental pied hornbills are closely connected in the local rendition of the “Biodiversity is Us” project, which serves to share knowledge of the environment and the amazing array of life on our planet, and the simple actions individuals can do to protect it. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation & Research Manager Jessica Lee displays how humans and oriental pied hornbills are closely connected in the local rendition of the “Biodiversity is Us” project, which serves to share knowledge of the environment and the amazing array of life on our planet, and the simple actions individuals can do to protect it. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Visitors to the Festival of Biodiversity on 27 and 28 June at Vivocity can visit the Wildlife Reserves Singapore booth to learn more about Biodiversity is Us, and have their pictures taken for their own Biodiversity is Us e-poster. The public can also download the free Biodiversity is Us app to learn about 400 animal species, take part in games and quizzes, build animal checklists and more.

Singapore Zoo’s Deputy Head reptile keeper Jose Pedro Cairos displays how humans and tokay geckos are closely connected in the local rendition of the “Biodiversity is Us” project, which serves to share knowledge of the environment and the amazing array of life on our planet, and the simple actions individuals can do to protect it. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore Zoo’s Deputy Head reptile keeper Jose Pedro Cairos displays how humans and tokay geckos are closely connected in the local rendition of the “Biodiversity is Us” project, which serves to share knowledge of the environment and the amazing array of life on our planet, and the simple actions individuals can do to protect it. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Biodiversity is Us is initiated by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and supports the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011–2020 by providing tools for raising awareness about biodiversity.

TUTUS AND BIRDS FLOCK TOGETHER AT JURONG BIRD PARK

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St Petersburg Ballet meets feathered friends at Asia’s largest bird paradise

SINGAPORE, 28 May 2015Jurong Bird Park witnessed a harmony of feathered wonders today, as members of the internationally acclaimed St Petersburg Ballet flocked to the park ahead of their Swan Lake performance in Singapore. Decked out in white tutus and feathered headbands, the four ballerinas hand-fed colourful lories and lorikeets, and preened alongside a flamboyance of flamingos, wowing visitors in the park.

Ballerinas from St Petersburg Ballet feeding lories and lorikeets at Jurong Bird Park’s Lory Loft – the world’s largest lory flight aviary. The nine-storey high exhibit is one of the park’s popular attractions and is home to over 200 free-flying birds found in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia. Visitors can expect bright colours of red, yellow, green and blue fluttering above their heads as they feed the birds with a nectar mix. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Ballerinas from St Petersburg Ballet feeding lories and lorikeets at Jurong Bird Park’s Lory Loft – the world’s largest lory flight aviary. Visitors can expect bright colours of red, yellow, green and blue fluttering above their heads as they feed the birds with a nectar mix. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Ballerinas from St Petersburg Ballet feeding lories and lorikeets on a suspension bridge at Jurong Bird Park’s Lory Loft – the world’s largest lory flight aviary. The nine-storey high exhibit is one of the park’s popular attractions and is home to over 200 free-flying birds found in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia. Visitors can expect bright colours of red, yellow, green and blue fluttering above their heads as they feed the birds with a nectar mix. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Ballerinas from St Petersburg Ballet feeding lories and lorikeets on a suspension bridge at Jurong Bird Park’s Lory Loft – the world’s largest lory flight aviary. The nine-storey high exhibit is one of the park’s popular attractions and is home to over 200 free-flying birds found in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Ballerinas from St Petersburg Ballet posing on pointe against a flamboyance of flamingoes at Jurong Bird Park’s Flamingo Lake where hundreds of pink-hued greater and lesser flamingoes reside. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Ballerinas from St Petersburg Ballet posing on pointe against a flamboyance of flamingoes at Jurong Bird Park’s Flamingo Lake where hundreds of pink-hued greater and lesser flamingoes reside. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

VETS AND KEEPERS GIVE PELICANS A CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH

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More than 30 pouched giants at Jurong Bird Park underwent annual health check to safeguard against avian influenza

IMAGE 1: Veterinarian Dr. Chiharu Okumura administers a dewormer to a great white pelican during Jurong Bird Park’s annual health check on 20 May to ensure the birds are free of parasites. The annual operation lasted about three hours and involved 12 staff who caught, carried and weighed each of the 34 giant water birds.

IMAGE 1: Veterinarian Dr. Chiharu Okumura administers a dewormer to a great white pelican during Jurong Bird Park’s annual health check on 20 May to ensure the birds are free of parasites. The annual operation lasted about three hours and involved 12 staff who caught, carried and weighed each of the 34 giant water birds.

SINGAPORE, 26 May 2015Jurong Bird Park was a flurry of feathers last Wednesday as more than 30 pelicans underwent a health check that included weight-taking, blood sample collection, deworming and vaccination against avian influenza. The operation lasted about three hours and involved 12 Jurong Bird Park staff, including three veterinarians and four vet assistants, who restrained and weighed each of the 34 giant water birds. The annual check ensures the birds are healthy, and facilitates early detection and treatment of illnesses.

IMAGE 2: Veterinarian Dr. Neo Pei Ci administers a vaccine against avian influenza on a Dalmatian pelican – the largest pelican species – as part of an annual health check at Jurong Bird Park on 20 May. The operation lasted about three hours and involved 12 staff who caught, carried and weighed each of the 34 giant water birds.

IMAGE 2: Veterinarian Dr. Neo Pei Ci administers a vaccine against avian influenza on a Dalmatian pelican – the largest pelican species – as part of an annual health check at Jurong Bird Park on 20 May. The operation lasted about three hours and involved 12 staff who caught, carried and weighed each of the 34 giant water birds.

Pelicans are among the heaviest flying birds and are characterised by their long beaks and famous elastic throat pouches that assist them in catching fish. Jurong Bird Park is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of pelicans with all eight species represented. These are the American white, great white, brown, pink-backed, Peruvian, Australian, Dalmatian and spot-billed pelicans. Visitors at the park can find the Peruvian pelicans basking in the sun alongside cormorants and herons at the Shore Birds exhibit. All other seven species can be found diving for fish at Pelican Cove which features the world’s first underwater viewing gallery for these birds.

IMAGE 3: Veterinarian Dr. Chiharu Okumura (left) conducts a physical check on a Dalmatian pelican as part of an annual health check at Jurong Bird Park on 20 May. The operation lasted about three hours and involved 12 staff who caught, carried and weighed each of the 34 giant water birds.

IMAGE 3: Veterinarian Dr. Chiharu Okumura (left) conducts a physical check on a Dalmatian pelican as part of an annual health check at Jurong Bird Park on 20 May. The operation lasted about three hours and involved 12 staff who caught, carried and weighed each of the 34 giant water birds.

IMAGE 4: A keeper weighs a Dalmatian pelican by holding the bird while standing on the scale. All birds are individually weighed to monitor any significant weight loss or gain which could indicate potential health problems.

IMAGE 4: A keeper weighs a Dalmatian pelican by holding the bird while standing on the scale. All birds are individually weighed to monitor any significant weight loss or gain which could indicate potential health problems.

In celebration of SG50, local residents can sign up for a special Feather Friends membership and enjoy unlimited year-round entry to the park – all for the price of a one day admission ticket. More information can be found at http://members.wrs.com.sg/

KOALAS READY TO WELCOME VISITORS AT SINGAPORE ZOO

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Singapore Zoo - Koalas Chan (R) and Idalia (L)

Four koalas received as gifts from Australia to Singapore ready to meet visitors;
Singapore Zoo celebrates Koalamania with a host of activities during June school holidays

SINGAPORE, 20 May 2015 – Four furry envoys from Australia – koalas Chan, Idalia, Paddle and Pellita – are set to welcome visitors at Singapore Zoo with the opening of their new exhibit today, in a ceremony officiated by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law, Singapore, and The Honourable Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Australia.

The quartet is a precious gift from Australia to Singapore on the occasion of Singapore’s 50th anniversary of independence, and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and Singapore.

Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said,“The four koalas are living emblems of the strong and longstanding friendship between Australia and Singapore. Their stay in Singapore Zoo presents an excellent opportunity for visitors to have a peek at these fascinating animals that stand among the biggest icons of endemic Australian wildlife.”

Originating from Brisbane’s Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the four koalas landed safely in Singapore onboard Qantas Airways on 13 April 2015, and underwent a one-month quarantine period. They will stay at Singapore Zoo until January 2016 before returning to Australia. During the koalas’ time in Singapore, Qantas Airways will fly in eucalypt leaves – the koalas’ primary diet – twice weekly from Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

In the home state of Queensland where the four koalas hail from, marsupials are considered ‘vulnerable’ and are threatened by habitat loss and encroachment, motor vehicle accidents, diseases, bush fires and even attack by suburban dogs. Wildlife Reserves Singapore (parent company of Singapore Zoo) is currently supporting the Bob Irwin Wildlife & Conservation Foundation Inc. in their efforts to produce a series of short education films to raise awareness of the threats koalas face in the wild.

Prior to the koalas’ arrival, Singapore Zoo took two months to design and build a special 210 square metre climate-controlled exhibit. The koala exhibit is an addition to the Australian zone, a dedicated section in Singapore Zoo that showcases Australian wildlife. ANZ Singapore is the proud adopter of the Australian zone.

During the opening of the koala exhibit, the Australian High Commission presented two street art murals to Singapore Zoo, created by graffiti and stencil artist Regan Tamanul.

Ms Chiang said, “As proud custodian of the four koalas, Singapore Zoo has planned a month-long Koalamania celebration in honour of the marsupials, and we invite everybody to join us for the festivities.”

In celebration of SG50, local residents visiting Singapore Zoo can visit River Safari on the same day and enjoy 50% off River Safari admission tickets. Singaporeans and permanent residents aged 60 years and above enjoy free admission to Singapore Zoo from 30 May to 30 June 2015.*

Singapore Zoo has planned a series of Koalamania activities for the June holidays in tandem with the opening of the koala exhibit. On weekends between 30 May to 28 June, visitors can look forward to aboriginal dance performances, mascot meet and greet sessions, and Australian arts and crafts stations. In addition, visitors can enjoy animal-themed Zoolympix educational activities with game-stations and awareness booths.

*Terms and conditions for promotions apply. Visit http://zoo.com.sg/events-promos/events-promos.html for details.

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