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Image 1: Singapore Zoo celebrated her 44th birthday with a durian fiesta for Ah Meng and friends. Orangutans (from left) Ah Meng, Chomel and Anita enthusiastically tear open their presents to get at the durian inside. As Singapore Zoo’s flagship species, the orangutans represented the park’s living collection in receiving the special gifts. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 27 June 2017Singapore Zoo celebrated 44 years of wild encounters today with a feast fit for kings—the king of fruits that is. Both orangutans and humans alike were specially treated to a scrumptious feast of the pungent fruit, durian.

Singapore Zoo was officially opened on 27 June 1973, in Singapore’s early years of nation building, and is among the world pioneers of “open concept” zoos. Over four decades, Singapore Zoo is well-loved as the place where Singapore families spent countless leisurely days together to discover the wonders of wildlife and nature. Beyond our shores, Singapore Zoo earned a place among the best zoos in the world, and has attained a strong reputation for its conservation initiatives and breeding programmes.

As Singapore Zoo’s flagship species and animal icon, Ah Meng and her orangutan friends represented the Zoo’s living collection in the 44th anniversary celebrations.
Joining invited guests from their treetop homes, orangutans Ah Meng, Chomel, Putra, Anita and her new baby, received gifts of their favourite durians. The apes made quick work of the hard thorny shells and husked the durians with their bare hands and teeth, a task that would stump many humans.

After the apes got first dibs, the humans were quick to follow as selected Friends of Singapore Zoo and Friends of Wildlife members were invited to join in on the feast of durians and other tropical fruit. Invited guests also got up close and personal photo opportunities with the charismatic apes. For fans at home or overseas, the celebration was streamed via Facebook Live on Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s page for online fans to join in on the festivities.

Image 2_SZ44_WRSImage 2: Singapore Zoo’s animal icon Ah Meng charmed invited guests with her adorable antics as she chowed her favourite food, durian. Ah Meng was crowned Singapore Zoo’s animal icon on February 2016 and turned six in March.
PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

 

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Image 3: Twenty-year-old orangutan Chomel cannot get enough of durian as she licks her fingers clean. Invited guests watched in awe as the orangutans opened durians with their bare hands and teeth.
PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

 

Singapore Downton Abbey

 

Image 4: Invited guests got the chance for up close and personal photo opportunities with not just the orangutans, but also their dedicated team of keepers.
PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

 

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Image 5: The orangutans weren’t the only ones who got to enjoy fruits. Invited guests also feasted on durian and other tropical fruit in the presence of the charismatic apes.
PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE