Singapore, 10 September 2012 – This week, more than 240 zookeepers from 32 countries will descend on Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s parks for the 4th International Congress on Zookeeping. This is the first time the global congress, organised in conjunction with the International Congress of Zookeepers (ICZ)*, will be held in Asia.

Themed “Many Voices, One Calling”, the thrice-yearly conference, brings together zoo professionals from around the world to enhance the professionalism of zookeepers and the welfare of the wild animals in their care, and promote awareness and actions that will contribute to the preservation of wildlife everywhere.

Held from 9-13 September this year, most of the conference proceedings will take place in Jurong Bird Park. However, workshops will be held in Night Safari and Singapore Zoo and take delegates behind the scenes for more practical hands on sessions with some of the parks’ residents such as the Malayan tapirs, primates, amphibians and reptiles.

“Organising an international global conference of this scale for zookeepers is a significant milestone for Wildlife Reserves Singapore, and is in line with our vision to be the leading wildlife conservation, education and recreation institution in the world. This congress is an excellent platform for keepers from all over the world to brainstorm, explore and eventually pursue other avenues to bring the art of zookeeping to an even more pronounced level,” said Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Ms Liz Romer of the ICZ Steering Committee, said: “The idea of holding the conference in Singapore surfaced at the second instalment on the Gold Coast in 2006. We knew we made the right decision to hold it here as the three Wildlife Reserves Singapore parks offer many opportunities for practical sharing of best practices in a conducive environment. All the participants are eagerly waiting for this conference to start!”

In recent years, Wildlife Reserves Singapore has organised various conferences and workshops such as the first Asian Primate Conservation Workshop, Amphibian Conservation Workshop, regional workshop on turtle conservation and the 1st Southeast Asian Animal Enrichment and Training Workshop.

* ICZ is run by a steering committee that consists 18 members representing the world’s nine professional keeper associations. They have met once a year since 2000 to coordinate the development of an international association that will promote professional animal care throughout the world. More information is available at http://www.iczoo.org

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