RIVER SAFARI INVITES VISITORS TO GET TOUCHY WITH NEW EXHIBITS

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River Safari launches touch pool experience and new exhibits featuring the world’s smallest primates, sea stars and prehistoric critters;
Local residents enjoy complimentary boat ride and F&B vouchers in December

RS - Mary River - Touchpool

NEW EXHIBITS AND EXPERIENCES: This December, visitors to River Safari will get to have a feel of fascinating aquatic creatures such as the prehistoric horseshoe crab and chocolate chip sea star. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

SINGAPORE, 30 November 2015 – From marvelling at the prehistoric lungfish to touching some of the ocean’s most fascinating critters, visitors to River Safari can look forward to learning more about riverine and aquatic wildlife with the unveiling of two new exhibits. The exhibits, named River Wonders and Mary River, showcase birds, fishes, mammals and other wildlife found within and around freshwater and marine ecosystems.

Located near the entrance of the park, the new River Wonders aquarium profiles a cross-section of riverine habitats and introduces visitors to the diverse flora and fauna on land and underwater. Close to 30 animal species reside in this exhibit, depicting the rich biodiversity in river habitats. Visitors can spot the endangered golden-headed lion tamarin and admire jewel-coloured fishes such as the pearl gourami and celestial pearl danio. This exhibit is also home to the light-coloured silvery marmoset – one of the world’s smallest monkeys – displayed for the first time in River Safari.

RS - River Wonders - Silvery marmoset 1

NEW EXHIBITS AND EXPERIENCES: This December, visitors to River Safari will get to meet some of the world’s smallest monkeys such as the silvery marmoset (above) and the endangered golden-headed lion tamarin. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

The new Mary River zone provides an overview of a river’s journey as it empties itself into coastal mangrove forests and eventually into seas and oceans. With over 20 animal species, this zone is divided into three sections to showcase river, mangrove and marine ecosystems. This includes an interactive exhibit where visitors can dip their hands into a touch pool for a feel of aquatic creatures such as the sea star and the horseshoe crab – a living fossil that has existed since millions of years ago. Other unusual species in the Mary River zone include the air-breathing Australian lungfish that can survive for a few days out of water, as well as the sharp-shooting archerfish which squirts water from its mouth to attack its prey.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “The new attractions represent our commitment in creating immersive wildlife experiences by continually refreshing our animal collection and revamping existing exhibits. Through seeing, understanding and even touching some of these aquatic species, we hope visitors will appreciate the wonders of freshwater and marine ecosystems and be inspired to protect them for future generations.”

From 1 to 31 December, Singaporeans, permanent residents and employment pass holders enjoy one complimentary boat ride and a $5 F&B voucher with every purchase of a River Safari admission ticket*. Those who purchase tickets online can save up to 15%. Visitors can take part in various fun-filled activities including photo contests as well as meet and greet sessions with mascots (Saturdays and Sundays). Kids can go on an adventure trail to learn more about freshwater wildlife at different river zones.

In addition, park-goers can also join River Trails, a guided walk filled with up-close animal encounters and interesting information about the animal residents during feeding time. This trail is conducted twice daily at 10.15am and 2pm with no additional charge.

The touch pool experience is available between 10.30am to 6.30pm on weekends and public holidays. On weekdays, it is available between 10.30am to 1pm and 2.30pm to 6.30pm. River Safari opens daily from 10am to 7pm.

*Terms and conditions apply. More information can be found on theriveriscalling.sg.

COME AND BID THE KOALAS A WARM FURRY FAREWELL

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Last chance to see the fuzzy quartet from Down Under before their departure in January 2016

SZ Dec_Koala Farewell Party_Final KV2

The animal residents of Singapore Zoo are coming together to say goodbye to their koala friends this December. Enjoy a spectrum of koala-themed activities at Koalamania! – A Furry Farewell Party at Singapore Zoo every weekend from 5-27 December, and remember to pop by the Australian zone to say your personal farewells to the koalas. PHOTO CREDIT: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Singapore, 27 November 2015 – Koalas Cantik, Sayang, Nila and Manja, who have been guests of Singapore since April this year, will soon pack their bags and head back Down Under. Visitors have until 3 January 2016 to visit the koalas, after which they will be quarantined for a month prior to their departure.

To celebrate their last six months here, and wish them well, Singapore Zoo is throwing a furry farewell party every weekend this December for the lovely quartet previously known as Chan, Idalia, Paddle and Pellita.

The four furry ladies arrived in April this year, and are a precious gift from Australia to Singapore on the occasion of Singapore’s 50th anniversary of independence, and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and Singapore.

Be part of the celebrations at Singapore Zoo and enjoy koala-themed activities including mascot appearances, game challenges, party crafts, magic shows and an interactive story trail. And don’t forget to pop by the Australian Zone to bid your personal farewells to the koalas!

Koalamania! – A Furry Farewell Party
Date: 5-27 December 2015 (weekends only)
Venue: Singapore Zoo
80 Mandai Lake Road
Singapore 729826
Fee: Activities are free of charge but Singapore Zoo admission rates of $32.00 (adult) and $21.00 (child aged 3 to 12 years) apply
Note: Purchase tickets online to skip the queue and enjoy up to 30% discount on admission

Further details are available at http://www.zoo.com.sg/koala-mania

FLOCK OVER FOR BIG ADVENTURES AT JURONG BIRD PARK THIS DECEMBER

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Discover the amazing abilities of giants and kings of the avian world

JBP - Andean condor 1

The Andean condor – the world’s heaviest bird of prey – will debut for the first time in 10 years at Jurong Bird Park’s Kings of the Skies show which showcases the agility and might of these feathered wonders. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

SINGAPORE, 25 November 2015 – This December school holidays, Jurong Bird Park invites visitors for an adventure of epic proportions to discover the amazing giants and kings of the avian world. Come up-close with the world’s largest bird and witness the flight of the heaviest bird of prey swooping down with its breathtaking wingspan – all at Asia’s largest bird paradise.

Held on the weekends from 5 to 27 December, visitors can expect a flock of activities, from a giant puppet parade, hands-on arts and crafts, and a special feeding session with the world’s largest bird – the ostrich. Kids can go on a trail and track down ‘big’ birds such as the Australian pelican (largest bill), hyacinth macaw (largest flying parrot), and take part in educational game stations to learn about the special features of birds.

JBP - Pelican Cove - Keeper feeding pelicans

Catch a flock of pelicans, including the Australian pelican with the world’s largest bill, during feeding time at Jurong Bird Park’s Pelican Cove. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Get ready to be swept away by the descent of the park’s latest ‘king’ – the Andean condor. This impressive vulture will debut for the first time in the park in 10 years. Holding the titles of the heaviest bird of prey and one of the world’s largest flying birds, this species can weigh up to 15kg with a wingspan measuring up to 3.2 metres. The Andean condor will wow visitors with its display of might and intelligence during the weekend editions of the Kings of the Skies Show at 10am and 4pm. Visitors can also take a photo with a life-size replica of the condor’s wings to see how remarkably wide they are.

Local residents can enjoy huge savings with the Feather Friends membership promotion. For the price of a one day admission ticket, local residents can sign up for a special Feather Friends membership and enjoy unlimited year-round entry to Jurong Bird Park. This special membership is available at S$28 for adults and S$18 for children (aged 3 – 12 years) and senior citizens (aged 60 years and above). Those interested can sign up at the entrance of Jurong Bird Park, or online to skip queues.

More information is available at http://www.birdpark.com.sg/

TALLEST SG50 BABY SPOTTED IN SINGAPORE ZOO

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First giraffe calf in 28 years officially debuts at Wild Africa zone

Singapore Zoo’s first giraffe calf in 28 years looks curiously around his exhibit. The male calf, born on 31 August this year, is the first for mom Roni, and dad Growie, which arrived in Singapore Zoo in 2005, from Israel and the Netherlands respectively.  PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore Zoo’s first giraffe calf in 28 years looks curiously around his exhibit. The male calf, born on 31 August this year, is the first for mom Roni, and dad Growie, which arrived in Singapore Zoo in 2005, from Israel and the Netherlands respectively.
PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 12 November 2015 — Singapore Zoo proudly welcomed its first giraffe calf in 28 years on 31 August this year. At a statuesque 1.9 metres, he is the tallest SG50 baby, and is a symbol of Singapore soaring to new heights in the years following its Jubilee celebration.

The calf is the first offspring of both mom Roni and dad Growie, which arrived in Singapore Zoo in 2005, from Israel and the Netherlands respectively. The unnamed calf has since grown 40cm, and now stands at 2.3 metres.

During the calf’s first month, zookeepers kept them separated from the rest of the giraffe herd to allow mother and baby to bond, and to ensure the calf was nursing properly. Keepers also needed time to baby-proof the exhibit as a safety precaution before allowing the calf to explore its new surroundings. Existing barriers had to be modified to ensure the baby can explore the exhibit safely.

Gradually, mother and baby were reintroduced to the other two giraffes in the herd—Growie, the father, and Lucy, an unrelated female, which arrived in Singapore together with Roni. The conditioning process took close to three weeks, as keepers wanted to ensure the calf was accepted by the herd. All four are now comfortably sharing the exhibit and can regularly be seen grooming each other to strengthen their bonds.

Aside from the mother’s milk, the calf can now be seen nibbling on leaves and chopped vegetables such as carrots. He now spends his days exploring and running around in the exhibit at the Zoo’s Wild Africa zone. While he’s starting to get used to passing trams and visitors, he will still race back to the safety of mom’s towering presence when faced with something unfamiliar.

Roni the giraffe bonds with her new male calf, born on 31 August this year. The baby, the first in 28 years, is the tallest SG50 Jubilee baby and can now be seen with the rest of the giraffe herd in Singapore Zoo’s Wild Africa zone. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Roni the giraffe bonds with her new male calf, born on 31 August this year. The baby, the first in 28 years, is the tallest SG50 Jubilee baby and can now be seen with the rest of the giraffe herd in Singapore Zoo’s Wild Africa zone.
PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

“Animal babies are always a cause for celebration as they are a good indication that the animals under our care feel comfortable and secure enough to breed in the environment that we’ve created for them. We hope the calf will tug at visitors’ heartstrings and inspire them to find out more about giraffes, and other animals that thrive in the same environment as these majestic creatures,” said Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Although listed as least concern on the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species, habitat destruction and fragmentation are threats to giraffe populations. To a lesser degree, they are hunted for their meat, coat and tails. The tail is prized for good luck bracelets, fly whisks and string for sewing beads, while the coat is used for shield coverings.

The baby giraffe is adopted by GROW growing-up milk from Abbott Laboratories (Singapore) Pte Ltd. There are plans to conduct a naming contest to find a suitable name for the little one in coming months.

Those visiting Singapore Zoo are encouraged to take photos of the new addition and upload them with the hashtag #sg50babygiraffe. Visitors can follow updates on the baby giraffe’s development at www.zoo.com.sg/sg50babygiraffe.

*IUCN: International Union for the Conservation of Nature

WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE HOSTS 23RD SOUTH EAST ASIAN ZOOS ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE

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Zoo experts from 18 countries unite to work towards
sustainable captive population of Southeast Asian species

SINGAPORE, 2 November 2015 – Over 200 specialists from the region’s zoos and wildlife institutions have come together this week for the 23rd South East Asian Zoos Association (SEAZA) conference to achieve a common goal of a sustainable captive population of Southeast Asian species. Hosted by Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), the four-day conference was officiated this morning by Mr S Dhanabalan, Chairman, Mandai Safari Park Holdings Pte Ltd, the holding company of WRS.

Held from 1 to 4 November, the conference calls for a coordinated approach in animal management to ensure desirable outcomes for species requiring conservation attention. It brings together over 200 zoo professionals from 18 countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Experts will discuss conservation action plans for sustainable populations, breeding strategies, best practices in healthcare, animal welfare and ethics as well as conservation efforts for threatened species.

Dr Phan Viet Lam, President of SEAZA, said: “This conference is another milestone for SEAZA in the conservation and management of sustainable populations in Southeast Asia. Zoos in this region have an important role in this context and we hope to develop strategic action plans for species conservation and visitor education.”

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, WRS and Vice President of SEAZA said: “The annual SEAZA conference is a significant event in the calendar for zoos in our region and we are proud to be the host this year. It brings together zoo and aquarium professionals from Southeast Asia and beyond to share best practices and ideas in achieving our common missions of wildlife conservation and education.”

One of the primary objectives of the conference is to identify key Southeast Asian species for conservation and regional studbook development—a first in the region. The studbook tracks the relatedness of animals in zoo collections and allow managers to coordinate and regulate breeding programmes to achieve long-term genetic and demographic sustainability.

In addition, delegates will share findings and experiences, such as acupuncture in birds and avian surrogacy in hatchlings from WRS’ aviculturists. The conference will be complemented by workshops in Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo, where delegates will go behind the scenes for practical hands-on sessions to learn more about the incubation of bird eggs and creating a master plan for conservation education.

In recent years, WRS has organised various conferences and workshops for capacity building and conservation strategy planning, such as the International Congress on Zookeeping and the recent Songbird Crisis Summit.