– First polar bear born in the tropics celebrates with a popsicle of favourites.
Singapore, 26 December 2013 – Inuka, Singapore Zoo’s polar bear turned 23 years today, and celebrated with a three-tiered ice cake chock-full of his favourite food.
The first polar bear to be born in the tropics confidently strode to his colourful popsicle, embedded with salmon, herring, blueberries, apples and strawberries; and topped with a frozen watermelon, whipped cream and a salad of mulberry leaves.
As Inuka nonchalantly munched on his treat, scores of guests stayed glued to his every move, many trying to digitally capture the bear with their cameras. Inuka, the star attraction at Singapore Zoo’s Frozen Tundra exhibit, demolished his ice cake within half an hour, before diving into his pool for a swim in the rain.
Singapore, 16th December 2013 – Conservation organizations fighting to save one of the world’s most threatened tortoises from poachers are resorting to a drastic measure—engraving identification codes onto the animals’ shells to reduce their black market value.
Although fully protected, Ploughshare Tortoises are prized for their beautiful high domed shells, but are being pushed closer to the brink of extinction due to high demand as unique and exotic pets. Engraving a tortoise’s shell makes it less desirable to traffickers and easier for enforcement agencies to trace.
Found only in north‐western Madagascar, the tortoise is Critically Endangered and only an estimated 400 adults remain in the wild. Numbers have been devastated through illegal collection and export to meet the international demand for the pet trade, especially in South‐East Asia, where they are sold in markets particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
In March, two smugglers were arrested with 52 Ploughshare Tortoises in suitcases while attempting to enter Thailand, where traders redistribute the animals to dealers locally and abroad. This was the largest ever seizure of Ploughshare Tortoises in Southeast Asia. One of the smugglers, a Malagasy woman was jailed, while the other, a Thai man, was released on bail.
This case exemplifies the increased audacity of smugglers, the urgency of the situation and the need for enforcement agencies to take the illegal trade in this species far more seriously. Based on seizures reported in the media, at least 86 Ploughshare Tortoises have been seized since 2010. Over 60% of these seizures occurred in Thailand while remaining seizures took place in Madagascar and Malaysia; with at least one of the shipments destined for Indonesia.
Four organisations – Wildlife Reserves Singapore, TRAFFIC, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Turtle Conservancy – are joining forces to hold a “Tattoo the Tortoise” event on 16th December at Singapore Zoo to raise awareness of the plight of the Ploughshare and to build support to fight trafficking in the species.
Singapore Zoo currently houses two Ploughshare Tortoises which were confiscated by the Agri‐Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore in 2009. The pair will be used to establish an ‘assurance colony’ in Singapore. The top shell of each tortoise will be engraved during this event – a first for South‐East Asia.
The event will include presentations by experts working on the conservation of these tortoises and an exhibition open to the public. These activities provide an opportunity for the public, governments and other relevant bodies to learn about the dire situation these animals face, and what they can do to save the Ploughshare Tortoises.
For further information, please contact:
Dr. Chris R Shepherd, Regional Director, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia.
T: +6012 2340790, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Visitors on slow boat ride can enjoy up-close encounters with close to 30 animal species, including three that have never been seen in Singapore.
Singapore, 7 December 2013 – Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park River Safari achieves the final milestone with the opening of the Amazon River Quest boat ride today.
Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “The launch of the Amazon River Quest completes River Safari, and offers our visitors a new immersive channel into the world of animals that depend on the Amazon River for survival. We are thrilled to welcome visitors on this river expedition, and hope that they will gain a deeper appreciation of the interconnectedness of animals, plants and rivers, and be inspired to protect fragile freshwater habitats.”
Visitors can plunge into a thematic exploration at the mysterious rainforest of the Amazon and come face-to-face with close to 30 animal species living on the edges of the Amazon River. For the first time in Singapore, visitors will see the red-backed bearded saki monkey, collared peccary, and red howler monkey. Other animals along the ride include the capybara (world’s biggest rodent), giant anteater (world’s largest anteater), and jaguar (South America’s biggest wild cat).
The slow boat ride, which lasts between 12 to 15 minutes, is the final attraction to open at River Safari, Singapore’s newest family lifestyle destination. The 483m-long ride is designed to simulate an open-top boat voyage down the Amazon River featuring land and arboreal animals in naturalistic habitats with lush vegetation. Visitors will see various species of monkeys swinging through tree tops, brightly-coloured birds fluttering in a flight aviary, and be transported into a dark cave which is home to South America’s largest wild cat – the jaguar.
The Amazon River Quest is part of the park’s Wild Amazonia zone which showcases the rich biodiversity in the Amazon basin. The two other habitats in this zone are the Squirrel Monkey Forest, a walk-through exhibit home to over 40 free-ranging squirrel monkeys, and the Amazon Flooded Forest which simulates the annual flooding of the Amazon rainforest with manatees and arapaimas swimming amongst giant trees.
Tickets will continue to be priced at a discounted rate of S$25 (adult), S$16 (child between 3-12 years) and $12.50 (local senior citizens 60 years and above). Park admission will eventually be priced at S$35 (adult), S$23 (child between 3-12 years), and $17.50 (local senior citizens 60 years and above).
– Kids live out dreams to be a reporter this December with multitude of holiday activities.
– Jurong Bird Park offers free admission for kids accompanied by a paying adult.
Singapore, 7 Nov 2013 – Jurong Bird Park’s Birdz of Play has been transformed into Penguin Playland, and all children are invited to join in the Penguin Party there!
What’s more, little ones can experience what it is like to be a Junior Wildlife Reporter and hone their observation and writing skills. They will receive their very own media pass and the ‘Penguin Times’ newsletter activity sheet as they go about exploring the Park.
The keepers will rope in the help of visiting children to feed the penguins, and a 30-minute Penguin-razzi Meet-and-Greet will be held so children will learn more about these graceful birds. What’s more, this holidays, the exclusive promotion ‘Kids Come In Free’, will entitle all kids to free admission* when accompanied by a paying adult. This offer will be available throughout the school holidays, and complements the host of egg-citing activities lined up for young ones.
Activity details 1. Be a Junior Wildlife Reporter
Kids will love being a Junior Wildlife Reporter for the day. Armed with multiple tools such as a newsletter which contains various activities for kids to complete and even a media pass, young ones are sure to enjoy their journey as they document their observations.
Dates: 7-29 Dec, weekends only Time: 8.30am – 6.00pm
2. Party with the penguins
Penguin Playland will be throwing a massive party and all are invited! Be prepared to get wet at this party as Senior Reporter Buddy has received first hand news about it and is getting an exclusive interview with penguin mascots Pengu and Pengy, before the party. Buddy will be teaching all budding reporters how they can be a great reporter. The party will be rollicking good fun, with costumes like a magician’s cloak, clown wig, giant glasses and an oversized musician’s tailcoat. After the party, kids can also participate in several exciting fringe activities lined up, like penguin face painting / hand painting by the winter fairy, learn more about penguins at an awareness booth, or even have a spot of fun with sand art. At Penguin Playland, budding reporters can even design their own notebook cover. No additional fee is required for any of these activities.
Dates: 7-29 Dec, weekends only Time: 12pm to 4pm, with the Party happening at 1.30pm Venue: Birdz of Play
3. Penguin-razzi Meet-and-Greet
Junior Wildlife Reporters need some expert knowledge in the subject matter, and the Penguin-razzi Meet-and-Greet will provide novice reporters with the information they need. Participants between the ages of 5-12 will be given a crash course by our friendly trainers on all things penguin in 15minutes. A special 15 minute treat is in store for all participants after that – Kids will get up close to Chocolate the celebrity African penguin!
Each session is limited to a maximum of 30 kids, and on-site registration closes 5 minutes before each session.
4. Upclose Encounter
Junior Wildlife Reporters will be a chance to go behind the scenes and experience what it is like to feed the penguins, in this exclusive activity. One lucky child stands a chance to stand toe to toe with our beloved penguins while feeding them their favorite food!
Dates: 7-29 Dec, weekends only Time: 10.30am and 3.30pm Venue: Penguin Coast
* ‘Kids Come In Free’ terms and conditions:
Offer includes one (1) complimentary single day child admission ticket with one (1) full-priced single day adult admission ticket to Jurong Bird Park.
Valid from 16 November 2013 to 31 December 2013.
Valid for all Singaporeans, PR & employment pass/study permit holders.