FOUR CAPTIVE-BRED BIRDS TO MOVE TO CHINA AS PART OF CONSERVATION PROGRAMME WITH PANYU XIANGJIANG SAFARI PARK

Singapore, 05 August 2011 – Four king penguins from Jurong Bird Park, the world’s largest avian park, will soon be flown to China as part of an exchange programme between Jurong Bird Park, an award winning park under Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) and Panyu Xiangjiang Safari Park in Guangzhou, China.

The exchange is part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between both parties to improve conservation efforts through the sharing of resources and knowledge. “We are the only institution in South East Asia to successfully breed king penguins in captivity, and we are happy to share our breeding expertise with Panyu Xiangjiang Safari Park,” said Mr Raja Segran, General Manager, Jurong Bird Park. “The successful breeding of animals in captivity will ensure the survival of endangered species in the wild and also serves the purpose of educating visitors about the wildlife we have on our planet.”

The king penguins, two male and two females aged about four years old each, were first identified based on suitable age and sexual maturity. Subsequently, the captive-bred penguins were isolated prior to export to allow daily observations of their health status prior to departure.

They will undergo a routine veterinary check today, which is an important step in getting them ready for their trip on 16 August. Vets will conduct physical examinations and blood tests to ensure the birds have a clean bill of health.

Easily identified by their striking ear patches of golden-orange feathers, king penguins are the second largest species of penguin after the Emperor penguins, and one of the six species that can be found at the Jurong Bird Park’s Penguin Coast. This latest attraction features a total of 96 penguins of six different species, including the Humboldt, Rockhopper, Macaroni, Fairy and the African penguin, a recent addition that is adaptable to tropical climate. This exhibit features two 15-minute feeding sessions daily at 10.30am and 3.30pm where visitors can learn more about the different breeds and their feeding habits.

Frost, a 4 year old king penguin at Jurong Bird Park being restrained by his keeper, Angelin.

Dr Melodiya Magno conducting a physical check up on Frost.

Dr Melodiya about to collect a blood sample from Frost to run blood tests to check his health status.

Taking a blood sample from Frost’s neck for laboratory testing.