ANIMAL RESIDENTS ENJOY FESTIVE TREATS TO USHER IN YEAR OF THE MONKEY

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Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo roll out enrichment goodies
for wild residents from 6 to 9 Feb 2016

SINGAPORE, 22 January 2016 – The wild residents at Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo are ready to swing into the Year of the Monkey with festive enrichment treats specially created by doting keepers. From 6 to 9 February 2016, guests at the four wildlife parks can catch the amusing antics of animals, including a singing parrot wishing everyone “Gong Xi Fa Cai” and giant pandas enjoying their favourite food from larger-than-life ang pows.

For some serious monkey business, head down to Singapore Zoo which is home to over 30 monkey species. Some of the world’s rarest monkeys like the cotton-top tamarin, Javan langur and golden-headed lion tamarin will receive festive enrichment treats that tease their curiosity and test their problem-solving skills. As the monkeys chomp, dig and crunch their way through festive delights such as oranges, nuts and seeds, guests can marvel at their nimble and agile movements, adore their stunning features, or just snap away for a photo memory.

Other festivities across the four wildlife parks include acrobatic lion dance performances, meet and greet sessions with God of Fortune and Fu Lu Shou mascots, and a Zoodiac trail for guests to discover their fortune forecast in the Year of the Monkey.

CNY Enrichment - Golden-headed lion tamarins @Singapore Zoo 1  CNY Enrichment - Golden-headed lion tamarins @Singapore Zoo 2
Images 1-2: This Lunar New Year, swing over to Singapore Zoo and catch the cute antics of palm-sized monkeys such as the endangered golden-headed lion tamarins as they chomp, dig and crunch their way through festive delights. All four wildlife parks – Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo – will roll out festive activities for guests from 6 to 9 February 2016. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

CNY Enrichment - Javan langurs @Singapore Zoo 1   CNY Enrichment - Javan langurs @Singapore Zoo 2
Images 3-4: This Lunar New Year, swing over to Singapore Zoo and catch the cute antics of monkeys such as the threatened Javan langur enjoying festive enrichment treats that tease their curiosity and test their problem-solving skills. All four wildlife parks – Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo – will roll out festive activities for guests from 6 to 9 February 2016. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

ACTIVITIES AT A GLANCECNY Table.jpg

 

For more information, visit wildcny.sg

 

PASSING OF RED PANDA AT RIVER SAFARI

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Female red panda Poonya at River Safari

SINGAPORE, 15 January 2016 – Wildlife Reserves Singapore is saddened by the passing of River Safari’s female red panda named Poonya.

Poonya had been suffering from gut infection and was under treatment since 7 January 2016. Despite keepers and vets providing 24-hour intensive care, her condition deteriorated. The red panda passed on at 1am on 13 January 2016. She was five years old.

Poonya arrived at River Safari in 2012, along with a male red panda named Puska from Johannesburg Zoo, South Africa.

River Safari is a member of the World Zoos and Aquariums Association’s Global Species Management Plan (GSMP) for red pandas. The park hopes to bring in another female panda.

The red panda shares similar diet and habitat as the giant panda, but is more closely related to raccoons and weasels instead of bears.

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.

BE WHISKED AWAY BY FAIRY TALE MAGIC AT SAFARI BOO

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River Safari’s trick or treat event returns with new live-action performances, free admission for kids and an enchanting night with fairy tale characters

SINGAPORE, 8 October 2015 – Dress up the kids in costume ball finery for the cutest trick or treat event in town, and be mesmerised as little ones dance and mingle with fairy tale characters at River Safari’s annual Safari Boo this October.

Back for the second year, Safari Boo 2015 will see River Safari transformed into a fantastical wonderland where kids can go trick-or-treating, discover river monsters at twilight and enjoy two specially themed presentations, among other festivities. Children aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm* on event nights.

Ms Isabel Cheng, Chief Marketing Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Safari Boo’s merry-not-scary proposition provides an opportunity for families and children to have trick or treat fun without the fright, and gives little ones and adults a chance to play make-believe and dress creatively. We are thrilled by the strong turnout during its launch last year, and look forward to welcoming more visitors this year with more characters, interactive discovery stations, performances and animal encounters for an educational and fun night.”

Safari Boo 2015 features two all-new shows titled Furry Tales and Be My Guests Royal Ball. Furry Tales puts a twist on familiar tales such as Snow White and Puss in Boots. Animal superstars will thrill audiences with their natural behaviours and friendly characters will showcase creatures such as the slithery snake and owl, and debunk the myths surrounding them. For fun fairy tale pageantry, join Fairy Godmother at Be My Guests Royal Ball where the best dressed will be crowned in this music-filled spectacle for kids.

More than 150 visitors, including costume-clad kids from Tao Nan School, Zhangde Primary School and Between Two Trees Preschool attended a special preview of River Safari’s annual Safari Boo on 7 October 2015. In addition to trick or treat trails and fairy tale characters such as Geppetto and Pinocchio (above), Safari Boo 2015 features interactive discovery stations and free admission for children aged 12 years and below from 6pm.

More than 150 visitors, including costume-clad kids from Tao Nan School, Zhangde Primary School and Between Two Trees Preschool attended a special preview of River Safari’s annual Safari Boo on 7 October 2015. In addition to trick or treat trails and fairy tale characters such as Geppetto and Pinocchio (above), Safari Boo 2015 features interactive discovery stations and free admission for children aged 12 years and below from 6pm. Photo by: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

As part of the Safari Boo festivities in October and November, visitors can come up-close with animals such as the ball python and great white pelican in a special animal presentation titled Furry Tales.  Photo by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

As part of the Safari Boo festivities in October and November, visitors can come up-close with animals such as the ball python and great white pelican in a special animal presentation titled Furry Tales. Photo by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Learn how animals navigate the woods at night in Hansel & Gretel’s House of Fun and have a scaly encounter with the green iguana (above) at the Friends of the Sea Trick or Treat Trail. Back for the second year, Safari Boo 2015 features a line-up of adorable fairy tale characters, two all-new shows and free admission for children aged 12 years and below from 6pm. Photo by: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Learn how animals navigate the woods at night in Hansel & Gretel’s House of Fun and have a scaly encounter with the green iguana (above) at the Friends of the Sea Trick or Treat Trail. Back for the second year, Safari Boo 2015 features a line-up of adorable fairy tale characters, two all-new shows and free admission for children aged 12 years and below from 6pm. Photo by: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

RIVER SAFARI SPRINGS SAFARI BOO CHILDREN’S DAY SURPRISE

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Safari Boo characters go to school to spread joy and trick-or-treat fun to over 60 kids from the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS)

More than 60 kids from the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) – Woodlands Gardens School were presented with an early trick-or-treat surprise in school on 1 October, with their school hall transformed with colourful livery and a burst of prancing fairy tale characters from River Safari’s Safari Boo. Held on the last two weekends in October, Safari Boo is River Safari’s merry-not-scary event for kids where families and kids can enjoy trick-or-treat trails, interactive discovery stations, special animal presentations and up-close encounters with river monsters at night. Photo by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

More than 60 kids from the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) – Woodlands Gardens School were presented with an early trick-or-treat surprise in school on 1 October, with their school hall transformed with colourful livery and a burst of prancing fairy tale characters from River Safari’s Safari Boo. Held on the last two weekends in October, Safari Boo is River Safari’s merry-not-scary event for kids where families and kids can enjoy trick-or-treat trails, interactive discovery stations, special animal presentations and up-close encounters with river monsters at night. Photo by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

SINGAPORE, 1 October 2015 – Ahead of Children’s Day, more than 60 kids from the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) – Woodlands Gardens School were presented with an early trick-or-treat surprise in school this morning. Instead of the usual school assembly, the kids entered a hall splashed with colourful livery and a burst of prancing fairy tale characters from River Safari’s Safari Boo.

Photo by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Photo by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

The kids also got an opportunity to play make-believe and dress up in fancy costumes, with a little help from the Safari Boo crew. Photo by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Back for its second year after strong turnout in 2014, the merry-not-scary Safari Boo event will see River Safari transformed into a fantastical wonderland where kids will meet adorable fairy tale characters, go through a journey of wildlife discovery featuring trick-or-treat stations and enjoy two themed presentations, among other programmes.

Held on 23, 24, 25, 30, 31 Oct and 1 Nov, this year’s fairy tale theme will feature a line-up of fantastical characters from Pinocchio to the Little Mermaid. Children aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm. More information can be found on www.safariboo.sg

Children’s Day came early to the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) – Woodlands Gardens School when River Safari brought Safari Boo to the school with opportunities for students to dress up, get their faces painted, and a live performance by Safari Boo characters. Held on the last two weekends in October, Safari Boo is River Safari’s merry-not-scary event for kids where families and kids can enjoy trick-or-treat trails, interactive discovery stations, special animal presentations and up-close encounters with river monsters at night. Photo by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Children’s Day came early to the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) – Woodlands Gardens School when River Safari brought Safari Boo to the school with opportunities for students to dress up, get their faces painted, and a live performance by Safari Boo characters. Held on the last two weekends in October, Safari Boo is River Safari’s merry-not-scary event for kids where families and kids can enjoy trick-or-treat trails, interactive discovery stations, special animal presentations and up-close encounters with river monsters at night. Photo by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

NO BABY PANDA AT RIVER SAFARI…FOR NOW

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Vets and keepers confirm giant panda Jia Jia’s pseudopregnancy, a state common worldwide for pandas under human care

After multiple ultrasound scans and months of monitoring Jia Jia’s behaviours and hormone level, vets and keepers at River Safari concluded that the seven-year-old female is not pregnant and was undergoing pseudopregnancy.

After multiple ultrasound scans and months of monitoring Jia Jia’s behaviours and hormone level, vets and keepers at River Safari concluded that the seven-year-old female is not pregnant and was undergoing pseudopregnancy.

SINGAPORE, 23 September 2015 – Despite promising signs and after months of monitoring, River Safari’s female panda, Jia Jia, will not be delivering a cub this year. Based on scientific data gathered from her behaviours and hormone levels, the birthing window has now passed and panda caretakers concluded that the seven-year-old bear is not pregnant.

Jia Jia underwent artificial insemination on 18 April after an unsuccessful mating attempt with her male counterpart, Kai Kai. Since July, she was seen eating less bamboo, sleeping more and her hormone levels were increasing – all signs consistent with pregnancy or pseudopregnancy. Giant pandas commonly display pseudopregnancies and experts worldwide are often not able to determine pandas’ pregnancy status until a late stage.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Our team of vets and keepers were cautiously optimistic in welcoming a baby panda and while we cannot expect one this year, we are pleased and encouraged by the development of Kai Kai and Jia Jia. The past months have provided an invaluable learning experience for us in understanding the complex reproduction and biology of one of the world’s most charismatic species, and we hope for better results next year.”

Panda caretakers will review information and data collected in the last few months before the next breeding season for the bears begin around April. To get the pandas accustomed to physical contact with each other, keepers aim to bring the pandas together before the start of the mating season.

In addition, caretakers will continue to vary daylight hours and temperature in the Giant Panda Forest – a technique which successfully triggered the breeding cycles of the pandas in April this year. Pandas’ mating instincts are brought on by hormonal changes in response to seasonal variations such as temperature changes and increasing day length from winter to spring. To simulate this seasonal transition, the pandas will return to their dens earlier between October to March, and later between April to September.

BIRTHDAY SUSPENSE FOR GIANT PANDAS AT RIVER SAFARI

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Giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia celebrate birthdays and third anniversary in Singapore; Changes in Jia Jia’s hormones and behaviours keep caretakers on toes over possible pregnancy

Female panda Jia Jia, who was late for her birthday party, turns seven today. She enjoyed a colourful birthday cake made of ice, bamboo, apples and carrots at River Safari’s Panda Party. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Female panda Jia Jia, who was late for her birthday party, turns seven today. She enjoyed a colourful birthday cake made of ice, bamboo, apples and carrots at River Safari’s Panda Party. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

SINGAPORE, 3 September 2015 – As she quietly celebrated her 7th birthday this morning, River Safari’s female panda Jia Jia continues to keep a little secret which has been keeping vets and keepers on their toes over changes in her behaviours.

In the past two months, panda caretakers have been playing a guessing game on whether the bear is pregnant or going through pseudopregnancy, a common state in which pandas exhibit hormonal and behavioural changes that indicate they are pregnant when they are not.

After the panda underwent artificial insemination on 18 April, caretakers, including a panda specialist from China, have been closely monitoring her behaviours and hormone levels, watching for signs of pregnancy. Since July, Jia Jia has been eating less bamboo, sleeping more, spending more time in her den and her hormone levels are increasing – all signs consistent with pregnancy or pseudopregnancy. Giant pandas commonly display pseudopregnancies and experts worldwide are often not able to determine pandas’ pregnancy status until a late stage.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Under the watchful eyes of our vets and keepers, both Kai Kai and Jia Jia continue to develop well in their Singapore home. Both reached sexual maturity for the first time this year and we are now tracking Jia Jia closely. We hope the data and knowledge gathered from the study of Kai Kai and Jia Jia will add to the global understanding of this endangered species, and contribute to the conservation of giant pandas.”

Vets and keepers have been conducting weekly ultrasound scans to detect a foetus but the results have been inconclusive. Panda caretakers could not detect any foetus based on a recent ultrasound scan on 31 August. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Vets and keepers have been conducting weekly ultrasound scans to detect a foetus but the results have been inconclusive. Panda caretakers could not detect any foetus based on a recent ultrasound scan on 31 August.
PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Since 23 July, vets and keepers have been conducting weekly ultrasound scans in an attempt to detect a foetus but the results have been inconclusive. The gestation period for a giant panda is typically five months, and the foetus only starts to develop a few weeks before birth.

Dr Serena Oh, Assistant Director of Veterinary Services, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Her behaviours are in line with a rise in progesterone but it is not easy to confirm her pregnancy because the gestation period varies for each panda. Giant pandas have delayed implantation and it is difficult to see the small foetus during ultrasound scans. We can only definitively conclude she is not pregnant once her hormone levels return to normal and she has not delivered, but for now, it is still a guessing game.”

Classified as “endangered” with only 1,600 left in the wild, giant pandas are notoriously difficult to breed. River Safari’s pandas were brought together to mate in April, after vets and keepers had successfully triggered breeding behaviours through controlled lighting and temperature in Giant Panda Forest. As the mating session appeared unsuccessful, Jia Jia was artificially inseminated.

Vets and keepers will continue monitoring Jia Jia’s hormone levels and conduct ultrasound scans. The public can follow Jia Jia’s development via Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s Twitter account (@tweetWRS) with the hashtag #SGPanda.

Jia Jia’s mate, Kai Kai, was also presented with a cake today where he enjoyed the birthday treat in the company of 30 pre-school kids from PCF Zhenghua. The male panda will turn eight on 14 September.

The pandas’ birthdays will be marked with a Panda Party Week from 5 to 13 September, where both bears will receive daily treats as a form of enrichment. In addition, visitors can look forward to interactive booths to learn more about giant pandas, and get hands-on with arts and crafts. Visitors can also enjoy one-for-one promotions on exclusive panda merchandise, as well as panda-licious treats. To mark the pandas’ coming of age, children born in 2007 and 2008 enter River Safari for free in September. Free admission is extended to Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term visit pass holders.

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