NIGHT SAFARI CELEBRATES 18 YEARS OF CONSERVATION AND INNOVATION

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MONTH-LONG PROMOTIONS IN MAY TO MARK 18-YEAR ANNIVERSARY

27 April 2012 – To mark its 18th anniversary on May 26, the world’s first Night Safari will be rolling out various exciting promotions for visitors to visit the wildlife park. From 1 to 31 May, visitors can enjoy discounts on admission, dining and retail experiences as they get close to over 2,500 animals.

Free Admission and Discounts for 18-year-olds

As part of its 18th year celebrations, the park will be extending a month-long free admission for visitors born in May 1994*. This applies to Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, and those holding employment passes and study permits. To qualify for free admission, visitors will need to present original identification cards at Night Safari’s ticketing booths.

In addition to free admission, those born in May 1994 can also bring their families and loved ones and purchase up to 5 admission tickets at 20% discount.

Admission into Night Safari includes a 40-minute tram ride – one of the park’s highlights – that will bring visitors through seven geographic regions from the Himalayan foothills to the jungles of Southeast Asia. Those keen for more adventure can explore the four interlinked walking trails for closer encounters with threatened and endangered species such as the pangolin, clouded leopard and slow loris. Visitors can also catch the Creatures of the Night Show which showcases the predatory and survival instincts of otters, binturongs and hyenas.

*Terms & Conditions:
1. Valid for Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, employment pass and study permit holders born in May 1994.
2. Produce original identification cards at Night Safari’s ticketing booths to enjoy offer.
3. Valid for park visit from 1 – 31 May 2012.
4. Each identification card entitles one free admission and 20% discount for a maximum of 5 admission tickets.
5. Free admission and 20% discounts are not valid with any other credit card or in-park promotions.

$18 Food Galore

A visitor’s experience at Night Safari is not limited to animals but extends to experiential dining at Ulu Ulu Safari Restaurant, where they can soak in the rustic charm of the old kampong days, and indulge in the restaurant’s signature dish – Chili Crab – served in claypot for $18**.

Those looking for a quick bite before their safari adventure can also savour a variety of local tidbits for $1.80 at the snack kiosk located at Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop.

$18 Mini Chilli Crab Special served in Claypot

**Terms & Conditions:
1. Valid from 1 – 31 May 2012.
2. Valid only for dine-in only at Ulu Ulu Safari Restaurant.
3. Not valid with other credit card or in-park promotions.
4. Admission tickets are not required for entry to Ulu Ulu Safari Restaurant.

$18 Retail Surprises

For a perfect ending to the night, visitors can bring home a piece of the Night Safari experience with limited edition gifts that include t-shirts, mugs, caps and eco-friendly bags. These are available at $18.00 each *** at the park’s latest retail store at the new entrance that features a treasure trove of mementos to complete the Night Safari adventure.

$18 Retail Surprises

***Terms & Conditions:
1. Each item is available at $18.00, except for eco-friendly bags, where 2 bags are priced at $18.00.
2. Valid from 1 – 31 May 2012.
3. Not valid with other credit card or in-park promotions.
4. Admission tickets are not required for entry to retail store.

GIVE MUM A MOTHER’S DAY TO REMEMBER AT NIGHT SAFARI

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Treat mum to a sumptuous spread of local delights this Mother’s Day

Singapore, 25 April 2012 – Through rain or shine, she’s always been there to see you through your toughest times. This Mother’s Day, show Mum how much you appreciate her, by taking her to Night Safari for a delectable dinner at our very own Ulu Ulu Safari Restaurant.

Indulge in local dishes such as Chilli Crab with fried mantou while soaking in the old world charm of Ulu Ulu, as you reminisce the bygone era of the kampong days. Other local favourites include deep-fried prawns with crispy oats, as well as sambal squid, which will surely please everyone in the family.

After dinner, take the family on a tour of discovery around Night Safari where you can get up close and personal with our majestic animals. Then, end off the night on an unforgettable note by watching the Creatures of the Night show, where the family can continue to be enthralled by our talented nocturnal animals.

Items on the menu include crowd favourites like our Chilli Crab with fried mantou

A Mother’s Love Set Dinner
Date: 13 May 2012 (Sunday)
Venue: Night Safari – Ulu Court
Time: 7pm
Pricing: $550+ per table (10 persons)
Rates subject to prevailing Government Taxes and exclude admissions to Night Safari Singapore (Admission tickets can be purchased directly from the counters).
Advanced dining reservations of 3 working days is required; subject to availability. Not valid with other credit card or in-park promotions.

For reservations, please call 6360 8560 during office hours or email event.sales@wrs.com.sg.

Menu
Night Safari’s Hot & Cold Platter
Sweet Corn Soup with Crabmeat
Chilli Crab with Fried Mantou (Signature Dish)
Deep-Fried Prawn with Crispy Oats
Sambal Squid
Baby Kai-Lan with Oyster Sauce
Seafood Fried Rice
Tropical Fruits Platter
Free Flow of Chinese Tea

KITTY CATS GALORE AT NIGHT SAFARI

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DOUBLE SURPRISE AS WORLD’S FIRST SAFARI PARK FOR NOCTURNAL ANIMALS WELCOMES BIRTH OF FISHING CATS AND BEARCATS

A pair of fishing cat kittens (left) and a pair of bearcat cubs (right) PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

24 April 2012 – The world’s first Night Safari recently celebrated the birth of a pair of fishing cats and bearcats. The fishing cats were born on January 13 while the bearcat litter joined approximately two weeks later, on January 26.

The young fishing cats, one male and one female, are currently being hand-raised to increase the kittens’ chances of survival, as their four-year-old mother is relatively inexperienced. At three-months-old, the kittens weigh approximately 3kg and are growing strong and healthy.

The two other cubs – both currently weighing 2.5kg – are binturongs, also known as bearcats. Over the years, the park has successfully bred 60 bearcats. This secretive animal has a face like a cat’s and a body like a bear’s. Despite its name, the bearcat is neither a bear nor a cat. It is actually a member of the civet family. Found primarily on treetops in the rainforest of south and southeast Asia, bearcats have a mixed diet of fruits, leaves, birds, carrion, fish and eggs.

Due to habitat destruction, the numbers of fishing cats and bearcats are declining in the wild. In addition to habitat loss, over-exploitation of local fish stocks threatens the survival of fishing cats. Bearcats are captured for the pet trade, and their skins and body parts are traded for traditional medicine in some Asian countries. Fishing cats are listed as endangered on the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species while bearcats are classified as vulnerable.

Night Safari displays the bearcats and fishing cats in the Fishing Cat Trail.

Being one of the few cats that love water, fishing cats eat primarily fish but will also prey on crustaceans, frogs and snakes. The cat attracts fish by lightly tapping the water's surface with its paw, mimicking insect movements. It then dives into the water to catch the fish.

A curious fishing cat kitten explores its area. Fishing cats are commonly found near densely vegetated areas near the marshes, mangrove swamps and rivers of Asia.

In Malay, the bearcat is also known as “musang manis” – the word “manis” means sweet and this relates to the animal’s pleasant scent, which is said to smell like pandan leaves or popcorn. The bearcat is actually a civet, which is characterised by an elongated body and anal scent glands that produce secretions for scent marking.

A bearcat cub demonstrates its ability to hang upside down with its long, prehensile tail to grip on the tree branch. The tail is also equipped with a leathery patch at the end for extra grip.

EARTH DAY COMMEMORATED AT JURONG BIRD PARK

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Earth Day took on special meaning for some students and parents from Greenridge Primary School today.

A group of 15 students, two teachers and five parents spent the day at Jurong Bird Park assembling and painting 40 bird houses, which will be used in the Park’s African Waterfall Aviary, Jungle Jewels and Southeast Asian Birds Aviary. These nest boxes will facilitate nesting of small birds such as love birds, starlings, magpie robins, fairy blue-birds, white-rumped shamas and zebra doves at the aviaries.

They also spent some time creating awareness about Earth Day and avian conservation amongst guests who visited the Park, teaching visitors how they could, in a few easy steps, create a bird feeder out of recycled drink cartons. Visitors took home these bird feeders, which are to be placed outdoors to attract birds like the common sparrows, mynahs, and maybe even the orioles and munias.

Muhd Ariffin (left) and schoolmate Atif, both 11 years of age, screw two bird houses together at the Bird Discovery Centre.

Loh Ying Xuan (left) and Nur Syafiqah, both 11 years of age, working together to assemble a bird house at the Bird Discovery Centre.

A young guest cuts open a drink carton to make the bird feeder after receiving instructions from Madam Chai Mee Yong and her seven year old daughter, Loh Ying Jie.

Mabel Ang, 12, assists a young guest who is starting to cut open a drink carton.

Young guests enjoying the Earth Day bird feeder handicraft session.

HEARTS BLEED FOR THE BLEEDING HEART AT JURONG BIRD PARK

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A Luzon bleeding heart pigeon in the South East Asia Aviary, characterised by the splash of vivid red in the centre of the white breast. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 17 April 2012 – Two pairs of Luzon bleeding heart pigeons flew into Jurong Bird Park a month ago, as part of an agreement signed with Avilon Zoo (Philippines) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Part of an ex-situ conservation and breeding programme instituted by the Bird Park, progenies will be released to the wild on the Polillo Islands in Philippines.

After the mandatory month long quarantine, the release of one pair of pigeons to the South-East Asia Aviary today will be witnessed by the Philippine Ambassador to Singapore, Ambassador Minda Calaguian-Cruz, and they will join the Park’s individual Luzon bleeding heart pigeon. The other pair of pigeons will be housed in a secluded, off-site breeding aviary where they will have the necessary privacy and attention of the officers at the Breeding and Research Centre (BRC).

“The Philippines deeply appreciates the commitment of Jurong Bird Park to assist in saving one of the country’s endangered species of wild birds. This collaborative project between the Philippines and Singapore is the first conservation breeding programme for the bleeding heart pigeons outside the Philippines and since the passage of the Philippines’ Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001. It is also the first ex-situ conservation project involving Philippine endemic species in the ASEAN region. We look with great interest towards the progress of this project, which aims to contribute towards the recovery and perpetuation of bleeding heart population in the Philippines and hopefully, the start of more conservation partnerships for nationally and regionally important wildlife resources. Hopefully, we can also share with the public a view of this wild bird species,” said Her Excellency, Ambassador Minda Calaguian-Cruz.

“We were concerned to hear that the wild population of the Luzon bleeding heart pigeons is under some threat. This is the first agreement the Bird Park has signed with an institution in Philippines, and we are excited to have more bleeding heart pigeons here. We currently have 16 species of pigeons in our collection, and have been breeding them successfully via parental natural incubation and artificial incubation. With our proven expertise in avian life, we are quietly confident that we will be able to release the progenies to Polillo Island in the future, helping to increase their numbers in the wild,” said Mr Raja Segran, General Manager, Jurong Bird Park.

The Luzon bleeding heart pigeons get their name from a splash of vivid red right in the centre of their white breast, with a reddish hue extending all the way down to their belly. A quiet and shy ground dweller from the primary and secondary rainforests of the central and southern parts of Luzon, and on the neighboring Polillo Islands in Philippines, this species is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN. Their numbers in the wild are under threat from the locals, who trap them for their meat, while their unique appearance also make them a prime target for the pet trade.

Her Excellency, Philippine’s Ambassador Minda Calaguian-Cruz looks on as a Luzon bleeding heart pigeon steps out into its’ new home at the South East Asia Aviary.

Her Excellency and Ms Isabella Loh, Chief Executive Officer, WRS, peer intently as the Luzon bleeding heart pigeons are released.

SINGAPORE ZOO HELPING TO MOBILISE THE EARTH FOR THE FUTURE

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FOCUS THIS EARTH DAY WILL BE ON ENCOURAGING VISITORS TO TAKE ON MORE ACTIVE ROLES TO CONSERVE THE ENVIRONMENT, IN LINE WITH THIS YEAR’S THEME

Singapore, 5 April 2012 – You’ve heard it all before – use less water, recycle plastic bags, turn off the lights when you leave the room… but how about a way to get even more actively involved as a soldier for the Earth’s cause?

This year, Singapore Zoo invites you to “Mobilise the Earth” with us. Also the theme of Earth Day this year, the focus will be on getting people to stand up, take notice and make a difference in environmental conservation in a way that’s fun for the entire family!

Learn how to transform recycled materials into innovative ornamental pieces or make a specially designed badge to mark your Earth Day pledge. Meet Moby, our recycled orang utan and join the Facebook contest to guess how many bottles he’s made of. And even get into a green groove with the Zhenghua Secondary School Drums Ensemble!

Details:
Date: 21 and 22 April (Sat and Sun) Venue: Singapore Zoo (various locations), 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Time: Activity times are detailed below
Fee: Activities are free
Note: Normal admission rates of $20.00 for adults and $13.00 for children between 3-12 years apply

Activities:
Get Creative. Go Green
Our Earth day partners, Christian Outreach to the Handicapped, will demonstrate how to transform recycled materials into innovative ornamental pieces. Guests are welcome to try their hand at creating beautiful lamps from plastic bottles, or simply marvel at the intricate art pieces that can bloom from simple materials.

These art pieces also serve a dual function – they can be used as lamps for a functional and environmentally-friendly way of beautifying your home. Also known as upcycling, this workshop showcases a practical way of turning worthless old items into new products of a higher value.

Venue: Opposite retail store at the entrance
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm

Pledge-a-badge
Wear your heart on your sleeve… or your chest, when you make a badge to mark your Earth Day pledge. Take home one of our specially designed Earth Day badges and wear it proudly to remind yourself of your promise to Mother Earth, hopefully one you’ll keep for always!

Venue: Opposite retail store at the entrance
Time: 10.00am – 5.00pm

Friends of the Green Forest
A very special friend is coming to the Zoo this Earth Day – meet Moby the orang utan made entirely from recycled bottles! Don’t miss a chance to take a photo with this unique sculpture done by students from Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media. You also stand to win attractive prizes when you enter our Facebook contest to guess the number of recycled bottles that Moby is made of.

Venue: Rainforest Courtyard (near bird photography)
Time: 8.30am – 6.00pm

Green Grooves
Did you know that you can make music from recycled materials? Join our student musicians from Zhenghua Secondary School Drums Ensemble for a fun-filled performance and check out some of their funky moves.

Venue: Shaw Foundation Amphitheatre
Time: 12.20pm and 2.20pm

A beautiful chandelier made from recycled material

SINGAPORE ZOO’S GRANDMA MANATEE GIVES BIRTH TO TWINS

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– EVA THE CARIBBEAN MANATEE IS PROUD MOTHER OF SEVEN AND GRANDMOTHER OR TWO
– BABY, NINTH TO BE BORN HERE, JOINS LARGEST COLLECTION OF MANATEES AMONG ISIS* INSTITUTIONS

The newborn, christened Valentine, can already be seen comfortably gliding the waters of the Caribbean manatee exhibit in Singapore Zoo. PHOTO CREDITS: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Singapore, 3 April 2012Singapore Zoo celebrated the latest addition to the family on 13 February 2012 when one of our grand dames, Eva the 20-year-old Caribbean or West Indian manatee, gave birth to male twins.

Unfortunately only one of her offspring survived. The other died soon after birth and was found to have a heart defect. Twin births are extremely rare for manatees, which are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN# Red List of Threatened Species

Female manatees reach sexual maturity as young as three years, and typically give birth to a single calf every two years, after a gestation of 12 months. It takes a further 12-18 months to wean the calf. With seven children and two grandchildren to her name, Eva is truly a star. Singapore Zoo now boasts nine of these fascinating creatures, the largest collection among the world’s ISIS institutions.

Valentine, the Caribbean manatee poses next to a bigger family member. PHOTO CREDITS: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Although manatee babies seldom stray from their mothers for the first one to two years of their lives, Valentine is comfortable exploring the safe haven of his habitat by himself. PHOTO CREDITS: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

The newborn has been christened Valentine, and can already be seen independently exploring the pool although calves usually do not stray from their mothers for the first one to two years of their lives. The last manatee birth was in 2010, a male named Junior that is often seen playing with his baby brother.

“This birth represents another feather in our conservation cap and is the result of the hard work of our keepers and vets, who ensure the highest standard of husbandry and care for all our animals. Although we mourn the loss of his twin, we hope this young one will play an important role in the global captive breeding programme for manatees in years to come,” said Alagappasamy Chellaiyah, Assistant Director, Zoology, Singapore Zoo.

The manatee is a fully aquatic marine mammal that can grow up to four metres and weigh 590kg. Although resembling a cross between a hippopotamus and a seal, it is actually most closely related to the elephant. Manatees spend six to eight hours a day grazing aquatic plants, which is why they are also known as sea cows. Adults can consume 50-100kg a day (equivalent to 10-15 per cent of their body weight).

West Indian manatees like the ones in the Zoo inhabit the shallow, marshy coastal areas and rivers of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Though bulky in size, they are able to hit up to 30 km/h in short bursts of swimming.

In the wild, manatees are particularly threatened by human activity due to dense coastal development in their habitats, which has led to the entry of propeller-driven boats and ships. These propellers can scar, maim, or even kill manatees. Those that are not killed instantly may die of infections from their wounds. Scientists however, have found that the situation can be improved when boats in the area have higher frequencies that will alert the manatees to danger and allow them to swim away. Other human-related threats include entrapment in floodgates, canal locks and fishing lines.

Guests to Singapore Zoo can already see the baby in its habitat, and also come up close to these amiable animals during the daily feeding session at 1.30pm.

*ISIS: International Species Information System
#IUCN: International Union for the Conservation of Nature

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