JAZZY CELEBRATION AS MANATEE CANOLA TURNS THREE

Leave a comment

River Safari teams up with local jazz saxophonist Daniel Chia for a musical morning; Animal icon Canola is now 10 times heavier and one of the most affectionate manatees in Amazon Flooded Forest.

canola.PNG

Image 1: Born on 6 August 2014 to the largest manatee in the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit, River Safari’s animal icon Canola celebrated her third birthday in style, with ‘live’ music and a two-metre tall cabbage cake, topped off with a ‘C’ for Canola. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 26 July 2017 – The soulful sounds of jazz filled the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit at River Safari early this morning, as invited guests were whisked away into a surreal experience, serenaded by rising local jazz saxophonist, Daniel Chia.

Amidst the soulful tunes of Cali Style and Life’s A Beach, over 60 invited guests caught a glimpse of the beautiful bond between River Safari’s herd of manatees and their human carers, as the manatees and aquarists dived in for a morning swim together.

Born in Singapore, River Safari’s animal icon Canola enjoyed her birthday celebration kampung style, involving her extended family, made up of her human carers, manatee tank mates and invited friends. As a birthday treat, aquarists presented a two-metre tall cabbage cake to Canola, which was met with much curiosity and delight by the entire manatee herd.

Canola was born in River Safari on 6 August 2014 around noon, and is the offspring of Eva, the largest manatee within the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit. For unknown abandoned at birth and aquarists had to dive in to provide round-the-clock care for her, who required bottle-feeding every two to three hours during the first three months.

Despite a rough start to life, Canola has blossomed into a playful and affectionate manatee, often approaching aquarists to say hello when they go about their daily duties, or to ask for belly rubs. She has also developed a patient disposition, usually waiting for her turn to be fed high fibre biscuits – her favourite treat.

Canola weighed over 30kg at birth and today, she is 10 times heavier weighing in at around 300kg. Her best tank mates are Joella and Abel, and the trio can be often spotted having a friendly jostle for the aquarists’ affection.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore said, “We are happy that River Safari’s animal icon Canola has overcome her early challenges in life, and is growing up healthy and happy with the manatee herd. As we celebrate her third birthday, our hope is that Canola will continue to thrive and inspire the community at large to act responsibly to keep rivers liveable for people and wildlife.”

Manatees are listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species. There are currently five males and eight females in River Safari’s manatee herd.
*International Union for Conservation of Nature

canola2canola3canola4

SINGAPORE ZOO CELEBRATES 44 WILD YEARS WITH A DURIAN FEAST FOR AH MENG AND FRIENDS

Leave a comment

Image 1_SZ44_WRS

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

 

Image 3_SZ44_WRS

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

 

Image 5_SZ44_WRS

 

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