BOUNCY BABIES ABOUND AT SINGAPORE ZOO’S AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK

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– MARVELOUS MARSUPIALS FROM DOWN UNDER DOING WELL ON OUR SUNNY ISLAND
– VISITORS CAN NOW ENJOY THE ENDANGERED GOODFELLOW’S TREE KANGAROO IN THEIR NEW EXHIBIT

Singapore, 29 May 2012 – Recent visitors to Singapore Zoo may have noticed some tiny tots hopping around, their watchful mothers not far off. Like our human toddlers, these furry new additions to Australian Outback are active and quite adorable, but make a lot less noise!

We’re proud to announce the arrival of four new babies to our marsupial family– two Eastern grey kangaroos and two Agile wallabies.

Little Bella peeping out curiously from mum’s pouch

Bella now, comfortably and confidently exploring the exhibit on her own

Close to one-year-old now, Eastern grey juvenile Bella is coping well despite having lost her mother, Boo Boo, earlier this year. In the first few days after Boo Boo’s demise, Bella was observed to be showing signs of depression, as the pair had naturally been very close. However, she’s bounced out of it and is now having a great time exploring her large, naturalistic exhibit with her newfound friends – three other Eastern grey kangaroos.

Another Eastern grey, Tayla, gave birth on 28 December 2011 and is now nursing a joey in her pouch.

Proud mum Tayla poses for the camera with baby’s head and limbs peeking out of her pouch.

Unlike other mammals, kangaroos and wallabies give birth to undeveloped babies, called joeys. The baby uses its more developed forelegs to make its way through the thick fur on its mother’s abdomen into the pouch. This journey takes about three to five minutes. Once in the pouch, it fastens onto one of its mother’s four teats and starts to feed. After about 190 days, it is ready to make a full emergence from the pouch.

Our youngest baby girl is curious and just a little shy

Another two Agile wallaby babies have joined us at Australian Outback too, bringing the total collection to 10. These shy but curious creatures, also known as sandy wallabies, can be seen resting in their exhibit most of the time, but sometimes wander up to guests and their keepers. One has been fondly christened “Krookie” due to its crooked tail, while the other younger addition has yet to be named.

“While the Eastern Grey kangaroo and Agile wallaby are not endangered species, their presence in our Zoo allows our visitors to see animals not usually found in our climate and learn more about wildlife in general. In the long run, we hope to cultivate a love for the environment and all creatures, endangered or not,” said Mr Alagappasamy Chellaiyah, Assistant Director, Zoology, Singapore Zoo.

When visiting our adorable babies, remember to also stop by the new Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo exhibit. Native to Irian Jaya and Papua New Guinea, our pair of Goodfellows, Kimbe and Mava came from San Diego Zoo (United States) and Zoo Krefeld (Poland) respectively, and are just getting used to visitors (and each other) as they explore their new environment.

Though slow and clumsy on the ground, Goodfellow’s tree kangaroos are bold and agile in trees, and have been known to jump from heights of 9m to the ground with ease. Kimbe, one of two in our collection, has fun scaling the trees in her exhibit.

Goodfellow’s tree kangaroos are classified as endangered in the wild by the IUCN*, and are mainly threatened by human activities such as hunting and encroachment on their habitats. They are characterised by their striking chestnut to red-brown colour, long golden-brown tail and two golden stripes which run down their backs.

Come down to Australian Outback and marvel at other mysterious creatures from Down Under, such as the cassowary and carpet python. Our Feed-a-Roo sessions, where guests can feed and interact with our kangaroos and wallabies, take place at 11:00am and 4:00pm daily.

*International Union for the Conservation of Nature

RARE BLUE AND BLACK PARROT BEAUTIES MAKE THEIR DEBUT AND CALL JURONG BIRD PARK HOME

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Blue-throated macaw hatchling. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 21 May 2012 – Two critically endangered blue-throated macaws, three red-tailed black cockatoos and four endangered hyacinth macaws have hatched at the Jurong Bird Park’s Breeding & Research Centre (BRC). These nine breeding successes, ages ranging from three to nine months, are part of the Bird Park’s carefully managed breeding programme.

The blue-throated macaw siblings are the first ever hatchlings of this species at the Park. They hatched on 17 and 23 December last year after an incubation period of 26 days at the BRC, which is a dedicated area to ensure the welfare, breeding and promulgation of birdlife. Weighing in at 14 g and 15 g at hatching, blue-throated macaws are difficult to breed in captivity, as compatibility is an important requirement for them with regards to the environment and their breeding partner.

It took seven years of persistent research by the avicultural team at the BRC and the Avian Hospital before two fertile eggs were laid, and even more care went into ensuring that the chicks had a diet optimised for their species and their growth. When they hatched, they were fed with baby formula and were gradually introduced to a diet of various fruit such as apples, pears, papayas, and bananas, nuts such as walnuts, macadamia nuts and sunflower seeds at three months.

Although listed as Least Concern on the IUCN, the red-tailed black cockatoo is prohibited from export from Australia, making this species extremely rare in captivity. This is also the first time Jurong Bird Park has successfully bred them in captivity. The three siblings hatched in three different clutches last year, with one egg per clutch on 2 August, 9 September and 20 October.

Before fertile eggs could be laid, endoscopy was performed by the veterinarian to ensure that the breeding pair was healthy, and was ready for breeding. The BRC team also changed the nest for them by providing the birds with a log with a cavity, instead of a wooden nest box. The birds are now in the new Australian themed exhibit at Parrot Paradise, which houses seven cockatoo species endemic to Australia.

Hyacinth macaws were last bred in the Bird Park in May 2010. This breeding season, three clutches of four eggs produced four sibling chicks hatching between November 2011 and April 2012. Similarly with the red-tailed black cockatoo, endoscopy was also carried out prior to breeding. For the parents of these chicks, a veterinary check revealed that their fat intake needed to be increased to get the birds in prime breeding condition, so walnuts and macadamias were added to their diet during the breeding season.

“We are so thrilled to have a 100% success rate with the blue-throated macaw, red-tailed black cockatoo and the hyacinth macaw this breeding season. In particular, there are only about 100 – 150 blue throated macaws left in the wilds of north-central Bolivia, and we hope that they will be valuable additions to the global captive breeding population of blue-throated macaws,” noted Mr Raja Segran, General Manager, Jurong Bird Park.

ORCHARD’S 1.3M EGG-PIC MOMENT

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Shoppers to Orchard Road today were greeted with an egg-pic photo opportunity from Jurong Bird Park – a 1.3m tall giant egg in hot pink sunglasses with feet and wings in a deck chair under a beach umbrella.

A roving exhibit for today and tomorrow, the giant egg being egg-cellently pampered getting a pedicure and feathers being groomed was showcased at the areas outside H&M, Mandarin Gallery, Takashimaya and Paragon from 2pm to 6pm. A traffic-stopping moment, many gawking shoppers whipped out their cameras and phones for photographs.

This is a tongue-in-chick look at how the Breeding & Research Centre (BRC) in Jurong Bird Park takes eggs-treme care of the many eggs and chicks under their charge. Today, the BRC opened its’ doors to guests, to instill a deeper appreciation of wildlife. There are eight areas (incubation rooms, nurseries, weaning rooms and a kitchen) through which guests can take a peek at the eggs and chicks as they mature through life’s stages. Guests also get a chance to watch a live streaming feed of avian nest activities at the Breeding Blocks which are not publicly accessible.

Heads up! Looking chic in town.

Queenly carried across Orchard Road, the eggs-pert pampering knows no bounds!

As busy Orchard bustles by, the giant egg takes a chill pill in her deck chair whilst being combed and pedicured.

Oblivious to the glare of the afternoon sun, the giant egg basks comfortably while a passer-by shields herself.

A picture perfect moment as her partner snaps away.

Look mum! I can eggs-pertly pamper the egg too!

After an egg-cellent afternoon of being pampered, the giant egg gets escorted off into the sunset.

PROWL INTO THE WILD WITH NIGHT SAFARI’S FANTASTIC FELINES

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Wild About Cats

16 May 2012 – This June school holidays, prowl into the wild and exciting world of cats as the world’s first Night Safari takes you on an incredible journey to learn about seven fantastic felines. From lounging leopards to the mighty king of beasts, explore the super senses of these magnificent creatures, many of which are endangered or threatened in the wild. Discover why some species are under threat – these feline tales will evoke your curiosity for more.

30% Discount on Admission
Enjoy 30% off admission in June* (Sundays to Thursdays only) when you snap and flash a picture of one of the following at our ticketing counters:

  • Night Safari’s discount coupon found on Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/wrs.sg). Discount coupon will be available from 28 May to 30 Jun 2012.
  • Night Safari’s June advertisement in The Straits Times, TODAY or I-WEEKLY

*Terms & Conditions:
–  Valid for Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, employment pass & study permit holders only.
–  Valid from 1 to 30 Jun 2012 from Sundays to Thursdays only.
–  Present snapshot of coupon or advertisement and produce original identification cards at Night Safari’s ticketing booths to enjoy offer.
–  Each identification card valid for one ticket purchase only.
–  Discount not valid with any other promotion.
–  Ticket is valid on day of purchase only.

Details:
Period: 1 to 23 June 2012, Activity dates on 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23 June, (Fridays and Saturdays only)
Venue: Night Safari, 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Time: Refer to activity timings below
Fee: Activities are free. Normal admission rates of $32.00 for adults and $21.00 for children between 3-12 years apply.

ACTIVITIES
The world’s first safari park for nocturnal animals is home to seven cat species. Hop onto a tram and take a wild ride into seven different geographical regions to view majestic cats such as the Asian lion and the Malayan tiger. Then, catch the popular Creatures of the Night show to see the fishing cat and serval in action, and explore the walking trails for close encounters with other feline friends.

1. Poacher’s Station
Ever wondered how a tiger’s fur feels or how a tiger penis looks like? Head down to the Poacher’s Station to see real artifacts of these cats as well as a life-size taxidermised tiger and lion, all in the company of Conservation Ambassadors who will share educational and conservation facts with you.

This year, the spotlight is on the tiger, whose population is rapidly declining due to human- animal encroachment. Find out more about the plight of the endangered tigers and what you can do to help prevent them and other wild cats from becoming extinct. At the same time, play an active role in conservation by donating to Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund that is dedicated to the conservation of endangered native wildlife.

Venue: Entrance of Night Safari (In front of retail store)
Time: 6.30pm to 9.30pm

2. Big Cat Feeding Session
Renowned for their power and strength, tigers and lions are specially adapted for their hunting and predatory way of life. Marvel at how these big wild cats devour their meat during these token feeding sessions:

Asian Lion
Venue: Asian Lion exhibit along Leopard Trail
Time: 8.00pm & 9.00pm

Malayan Tiger
Venue: Malayan Tiger exhibit along East Lodge Trail
Time: 8.30pm & 9.30pm

3. Kitty Meet and Greet
Meet the park’s latest kitty cats: a pair of fishing cats and bearcats. Born on January 13 this year, the young fishing cats are ready to meet you. The two other bearcat cubs – born on January 26 – are also known as binturongs, which are members of the civet family.

Venue: Entrance of Night Safari
Time: 7pm & 8pm

Fishing Cats

Bearcats

4. Guided Walking Trail Tour
Embark on an exclusive guided tour at the Leopard Trail and learn more about the cats and other nocturnal animals that roam these trails. Highlights include meeting the park’s first successful litter of clouded leopards as well as the leopard and golden cat.

Venue: Leopard Trail
Time: 8.30pm
Fee: Free of charge
No of pax per tour: Maximum 10 pax
Registration: Assemble at Poacher’s Station at park’s entrance on activity night. Tour participation is based on a first-come-first serve basis.
Note: Tour is conducted in English only.

5. Food & Retail Galore
Enjoy dining under the stars at Bongo Burgers restaurant while being entertained by fire- blowing performances by the Thumbuakar tribal dancers.

Promotion*: Fish & Chips + Jumbo Fish Burger Combo with 2 soft drinks @ $28.00 (u.p. $34.70)

Venue: Bongo Burgers restaurant
Period: 1 to 23 Jun 2012 (Fridays and Saturdays only)

Fish & Chips

Jumbo Fish Burger Combo

*Terms and Conditions:
– Not valid with any other discount or promotion.
– Admission fee not required for dining at restaurant.

Complete your jungle experience and take home a piece from the wild side with you. Pop by the newly opened retail store and bring one of these adorable little feline plushes home.

Retail plushies – cats

EGGS AND CHICKS EGGS-PERTLY PAMPERED AT JURONG BIRD PARK

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BREEDING AND RESEARCH CENTRE MAKES PUBLIC DEBUT

Scarlet macaw hatchling in a temperature and humidity-monitored brooder (left) and a five day old greater flamingo being fed at the Breeding and Research Centre. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 14 May 2012 – The Breeding and Research Centre (BRC) at Jurong Bird Park is where life begins for some of the Park’s resident birds. The moment eggs arrive at the BRC up to the time chicks hatch and are weaned, they receive eggs-pert tender loving care and literally, pampering, from the Centre’s officers.

This is also the first time in 24 years that the Centre is open for walk-in public viewing. Previously, the BRC was only accessible via organised tours through the Education or Operations teams.

“By showcasing to guests what goes on behind-the-scenes at the BRC, we hope to inculcate in them a deeper appreciation of avian wildlife, and for guests to have a better understanding of our conservation efforts. We are very proud of the successes the BRC has had. We have bred some critically endangered species like the Bali starling and blue- throated macaw and other very significant species such as the black palm cockatoo, hyacinth macaw, red-fronted macaw and the red-tailed black cockatoo, all of which certainly enhance the off-site conservation population of these magnificent birds,” said Mr Raja Segran, General Manager, Jurong Bird Park.

Two incubation rooms, two nursery rooms, three weaning rooms, one each for parrots, aquatic birds and other species, and a kitchen are the eight areas through which guests can take a peek at the eggs and chicks as they mature through life’s stages.

Each of the incubation rooms contain three incubators. At maximum capacity, each room can accomodate up to 180 eggs, each awaiting their turn to hatch. The nursery rooms are where the chicks go immediately after hatching. Chicks are placed in temperature and humidity-controlled brooders, and this is where guests can see how these absurdly cute little helpless juveniles are fed.

When they are fully grown, chicks are transferred to the weaning room, where they are placed in cages to allow them to acclimatise to the area and each other. Here, they are taken care of until they are mature to join the rest of their family in the respective exhibits. The duckery and pheasant room, as their names suggest, are areas where water birds’ young and soft-billed young are placed until they are moved to the rest of the Park.

Guests to the BRC also get a chance to watch live streaming of avian nest activities at the breeding blocks, which are not publicly accessible. The Breeding and Research Centre opens to the public from 19 May, between 8.30am – 6pm daily. There is no additional charge to visit the Centre, but normal Park admission charges apply (Adult: $18 / Child: $12).

OUR PLAYFUL PRIMATES ARE HAVING AN AFFAIR THIS SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

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SINGAPORE ZOO CELEBRATES MAN’S CLOSEST COUSINS WITH ACTIVITIES SHOWCASING OUR COLLECTION OF 39 PRIMATES, ALMOST HALF OF WHICH ARE ENDANGERED.

FROM LEFT: Pic 1: Meet Sumatran Supermom Chomel with her babies during a Primate Affair at Singapore Zoo. Pic 2: Watch the cheeky brown capuchins battle with macadamia nuts during Primate Kingdom Adventure! Pic 3: Call of the Gibbon Trail will allow you to listen to the mesmerising calls of our white handed gibbons

FROM LEFT:
Pic 1: Meet Sumatran Supermom Chomel with her babies during a Primate Affair at Singapore Zoo.
Pic 2: Watch the cheeky brown capuchins battle with macadamia nuts during Primate Kingdom Adventure! Pic 3: Call of the Gibbon Trail will allow you to listen to the mesmerising calls of our white handed gibbons

10 May 2012 – Go bananas at Singapore Zoo’s aptly named Primate Affair this May and June. More than just monkey business, it’ll also have our apes and prosimians elbowing their way into the spotlight at the biggest party to hit this side of Singapore.

Known for their intelligence and dexterity, primates have always fascinated man due to the many similarities we share. Watch as they exhibit some of their skills through various trails and enrichment activities, or get starstruck at our meet and greet session with what we consider royalty at Singapore Zoo. Tumble headlong into the fun and learn about the differences among the various primates along the way! Especially for kids, don’t forget to pick up your binocular freebie on the way in to complete your primate adventure (while stocks last).

Details:
Date: 26, 27 May, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17 June
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:

Primate Enrichment Trails and Token Feeding sessions
Like humans, our primate friends need constant stimulation to keep boredom at bay. These innovative enrichment trails were invented by our creative zoology team to keep the creatures’ minds and fingers busy. Visitors will surely be enthralled by the varied skills and amusing behaviour of these amazing animals.

1. Treetops Trail Treats
Start at the cotton top tamarins at the Rainforest Courtyard (just after the entrance) and then venture deeper into the trail to visit our unique saki monkeys. Watch as our frisky critters figure out how to get to their delicious treats.

Venue: Rainforest Courtyard/Treetops Trail
Time: 10:15am (30 min)

2. Orang Utan Playtime
Singapore Zoo’s flagship species are always enthralling to watch. Spend some time discovering the man of the forest as our keepers share some insights into working with these magnificent creatures. Then, continue to be mesmerised by these gorgeous apes as they have a giggle with gunny sacks.

Venue: Bornean Orang Utan Island and Free-ranging Areas
Time: 11:00am (20 min)

3. Call Of The Gibbon Trail
The primates along Gibbon Island are vocalists extraordinaires! Come listen to their cacophony of cries, in response to pre-recorded calls. There are the black howler monkeys, with their deep throaty cries, gibbons with their territorial whoops and red-ruffed lemurs with their signature ‘barks’!

Venue: Gibbon Island
Time: 1:40pm (20 min)

4. Primate Kingdom Adventure
Want to watch the baboons get ‘tyred’ out? Their enrichment tyre, filled with nuts, sunflower seeds and other treats will get them all hyped up so stay for the action as they passionately pry the goodies out. Our capuchin monkeys get to battle with macadamia nuts instead. Also not to be missed are the Sulawesi crested macaques, spider monkeys and all the other residents at Primate Kingdom!

Venue: Primate Kingdom and Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia
Time: 2:00pm (Primate Kingdom) (30 min), 2:30pm (Hamadryas baboon) (20 min)

5. Fragile Forest Fun and Friends
Meet the lemurs, mandrills and chimpanzees in this trail as they curiously unravel the enrichment surprises thought up by their keepers!

Venue: Fragile Forest, chimpanzee and mandrill exhibit
Time: Starts at Fragile Forest at 4:15pm and ends at chimpanzee at 4.45pm (30 min)

Sumatran Supermom – Meet Chomel and her babies
Proud Sumatran orang utan mother Chomel is following in her famed grandmother Ah Meng’s footsteps, by caring for a baby that is not her own.

Although a first time mother, Chomel has always shown nurturing qualities. In her younger days, she would often be seen helping the younger orang utans navigate the free-ranging areas with ease, teaching them how to test their weight on the branches before moving ahead. When Chomel’s aunt, Sayang, fell gravely ill, she rose to the occasion, taking little cousin Ishta under her nurturing wing, despite already having a baby of her own to care for!

Come say hello to Chomel and her babies, Bino and Ishta, and witness history repeating itself. Ah Meng would’ve been proud!

Venue: Free-ranging Orang Utan (Island)
Time: 1.30pm (10 min)