SINGAPORE ZOO RECEIVES BOOST TO ALDABRA GIANT TORTOISE CONSERVATION BREEDING PLAN

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Tortoises a precious gift from Mauritius to Singapore to mark
new air corridor between the two countries

Images 1 and 2: Casela (left) and Coco (right), two Aldabra giant tortoises, are a valuable addition to the Singapore Zoo’s living collection, and will boost the park’s breeding programme to increase the species’ captive numbers. The pair was presented as a gift from Mauritius to Singapore, to mark the new air corridor that opened between the two republic states late last year.
PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 17 March 2016Singapore Zoo is looking forward to making headway on its conservation breeding programme for Aldabra giant tortoises with the addition of two valuable specimens on 12 March 2016. The female tortoises were a gift from Mauritius to Singapore to mark the new air corridor that opened between the two republic states late last year.

Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam received a painting of the Aldabra giant tortoises from Mauritius Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism and External Communications Charles Gaëtan Xavier-Luc Duval to mark the occasion.

Originating from Casela World of Adventures in Mauritius, the tortoises, named Casela and Coco, are currently housed in Singapore Zoo’s quarantine facility where they will remain for a month. They will then be moved to the Aldabra giant tortoise exhibit permanently to join their fellow species, and prepare for future breeding opportunities.

Casela was named after Casela World of Adventures, while Coco draws her name from coconuts, a prominent feature of Mauritian beaches.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Aldabra giant tortoises are among the longest-lived animals on the planet, individuals can live to well over 100 years but sadly the species is threatened with extinction in the wild. We warmly welcome the addition of Casela and Coco to our existing herd of six giant tortoises as they will be a great boost to our breeding programme for this charismatic gentle giants.”

Aldabra giant tortoises are listed as vulnerable under the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species. These giants are characterised by a thick dome-shaped carapace and feed on vegetables. One of the largest giant tortoise species in the world, a fully-grown specimen can weigh up to 250kg. The two newly-arrived ladies weigh approximately 110kg each.

The Aldabra giant tortoise, which originates from the island of Seychelles, is the only remnant of some 18 species of tortoises that once thrived in the Indian Ocean region. They were introduced to Mauritius after a recommendation from eminent naturalist Charles Darwin in the late 19th century.

* IUCN stands for International Union for Conservation of Nature

Images 1 and 2: Casela (left) and Coco (right), two Aldabra giant tortoises, are a valuable addition to the Singapore Zoo’s living collection, and will boost the park’s breeding programme to increase the species’ captive numbers. The pair was presented as a gift from Mauritius to Singapore, to mark the new air corridor that opened between the two republic states late last year.
PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

OVER 8,500-STRONG CROWD GO APE OVER NEW AH MENG AT SAFARI ZOO RUN 2016

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Ah Meng’s legacy lives on in granddaughter and annual run at Night Safari and Singapore Zoo; Safari Zoo Run 2016 marks public debut of newly crowned Ah Meng

Singapore, 27 February 2016 — Over 8,500 participants will pay homage to Singapore Zoo’s newly crowned animal ambassador Ah Meng over the weekend of 27 and 28 February 2016 as they race through the lush forested trails of Mandai in the eighth instalment of Safari Zoo Run, a race conceptualised to celebrate the life of the first Ah Meng.

Guest of Honour, Mr S Dhanabalan, Chairman of Mandai Safari Park Holdings, flagged off the first race before meeting with Ah Meng, who was officially crowned only one day earlier in a private event. Lucky runners also got a closer glimpse of the new queen of the jungle as she descended from her treetop throne.

Mr Mike Barclay, CEO of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, joined the action and ran alongside runners in the 10km competitive category. Families could enjoy the more manageable 5.5km run. Races on Day 2 include the 5.5km competitive and family runs, and 2.5km kids and family dashes. Participants over both days also get to enjoy appearances by animal mascots, educational show and tell sessions and animal photography opportunities after their races.

Safari Zoo Run was conceived eight years ago and celebrates the life of Ah Meng, Singapore Zoo’s iconic Sumatran orangutan, who died of old age in February 2008. Her popularity was so great that to many Singaporeans, the name Ah Meng is synonymous with orangutans. Singapore Zoo introduced a new Ah Meng, eight years after the first passed on, in hopes that her legacy will live on and her descendants can continue to be animal ambassadors to inspire people to care for orangutans and other threatened species.

A part of the proceeds from Safari Zoo Run 2016 will go towards aiding the conservation efforts of Singapore Zoo and Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Image 1 - Safari Zoo Run 2016_WRSImage 1: Guest-of-Honour Mr S Dhanabalan, Chairman of Mandai Safari Park Holdings (extreme left), flags off Safari Zoo Run’s first run of the day – the 10km competitive race. He is accompanied by Ms Isabel Cheng, Chief Marketing Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (third from left) and the Ah Meng mascot.

PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Image 2 - Safari Zoo Run 2016_WRSImage 2: Mr S Dhanabalan, Chairman of Mandai Safari Park Holdings (extreme right), meets Singapore Zoo’s freshly minted royalty, Ah Meng (second orangutan from left), who will carry on the legacy of her grandmother and be an ambassador for the park and her species. Looking on are Alagappasamy Chellaiyah, primate specialist, Singapore Zoo (second from right), and Kumaran Sesshe, head keeper, great apes, Singapore Zoo (third from right).

PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Image 3 - Safari Zoo Run 2016_WRSImage 3: Kumaran Sesshe, head keeper, great apes, Singapore Zoo, points out the new Ah Meng to excited participants who were taking a breather from their 10km race in this year’s instalment of the wildly popular Safari Zoo Run.

PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

NEW AH MENG MAKES HER MARK AT SINGAPORE ZOO

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Singapore Zoo’s well-known orangutan lives on as her granddaughter steps into her footprints; New icon said to resemble grandmother in her younger days, exhibits traits of a matriarch

Image 1 [LEFT] Formerly known as Ishta, the new Ah Meng steps boldly into her grandmother’s footprints to continue the legacy left behind by the original icon.

Image 2 [RIGHT] Ah Meng’s first role as the newly crowned ambassador of Singapore Zoo was to cast a handprint in clay for posterity. Mr Alagappasamy Chellaiyah, Primate Specialist, Singapore Zoo (left), Mr Mike Barclay, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (centre) and Mr Kumaran Sesshe, head keeper, great apes, Singapore Zoo proudly show off Ah Meng’s handprint. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 26 February 2016 – Ah Meng lives on at Singapore Zoo, as the much-awaited animal icon was revealed today ahead of Safari Zoo Run 2016, a race originally conceptualised to honour Singapore’s favourite orangutan. Formerly known as Ishta, the new queen of the jungle will officially begin her reign as Singapore Zoo’s animal ambassador.

The first Ah Meng was Singapore Zoo’s famous matriarch and one of Singapore’s most adored personalities. As a critically endangered Sumatran orangutan and one of the most iconic in the Zoo’s collection, Ah Meng was an excellent ambassador for her species and all threatened animals. Her role as Singapore’s first non-human tourism ambassador brought fame to Singapore Zoo and in turn, helped open people’s eyes to the plight of orangutans in the wild.

Although she passed on in 2008, she left behind many legacies, in the form of her offspring and their kin, and the passing on of her nurturing qualities as a super mom to the younger orangutans. She is survived by six family members in Singapore Zoo

Ishta is the natural choice and the perfect candidate to carry on Ah Meng’s name. Aside from having a strong resemblance to her famous grandmother, she exhibits the makings of a matriarch—patience, tolerance towards the other orangutans, and a friendly personality.

Born on 8 March 2011, she is the first offspring of Ah Meng’s late daughter Sayang and Galdikas, a male orangutan from Frankfurt Zoo. When Sayang fell ill, Ishta was fostered by her cousin Chomel who was then raising Bino, her biological son. Ishta also has a biological sister, Endah.

Like her grandmother, she savours durians and is a sociable and affectionate orangutan, both towards her kind and her keepers. Her best friend is Bino, and the pair is often seen wildly traversing the vines and branches of the free-ranging orangutan habitat together. She takes after her grandmother not just in appearance but has the same appreciation for cleanliness.

Mr Mike Barclay, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “Orangutans have been synonymous with Singapore Zoo from the day our gates opened. No story about Singapore Zoo is complete without a mention of these charismatic apes, with Ah Meng being the greatest of them all. It is fitting that her legacy endures through her kin, so we can continue talking to people about the threats facing Asia’s only great ape and seek to inspire them to take action to help conserve our orangutans’ wild cousins.”

Mr Alagappasamy Chellaiyah, former Zoology Assistant Director and lifelong caretaker of Ah Meng, said, “Many Singaporeans shared a special love story with Ah Meng for over three decades, and I’m privileged to have been her keeper since the day she arrived. Till today, people come up to me and say they remember Ah Meng, not just locals but tourists as well. It is hard to believe that she had such a great impact on so many people. I’m thrilled that Ah Meng’s name, and legacy, will live on through Ishta.”

While the new Ah Meng may have big footprints to fill, she seems to be taking it all in her stride. Although still young, she is already accustomed to engaging guests during Singapore Zoo’s signature dining programme—Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife, and looks set to swing into the hearts of Singaporeans in years to come.

To celebrate the crowning of the new queen, a series of illustrations which captures the various facets of her personality has been developed. These depict her in various poses and should further endear the new Ah Meng to people of all ages.

Singapore Zoo is home to 27 orangutans, eight of which are Sumatran while the rest are of the Bornean species. The population of Sumatran orangutans in the wild is estimated at fewer than 7,000, making this species critically endangered. Borneans number about 50,000 in the wild and are listed as endangered

The park’s highly successful global conservation breeding programme has seen more than 40 births in the past 42 years. Of these, some have been sent to various zoos in Malaysia, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Sri Lanka as part of a global exchange programme.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore, which manages Singapore Zoo, supports several in-situ orangutan conservation projects in Kalimantan—either through funding, staff expertise, or provision of much-needed veterinary supplies and equipment. To help further preserve orangutan habitats in the wild, all food and beverage outlets in Wildlife Reserves Singapore parks use only sustainable palm oil.

Ah Meng will meet visitors four times weekly at Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife, and also at selected photography sessions. Outside these activities, Ah Meng can be spotted swinging about or chilling in the free-ranging orangutan habitat.

Image 3 [LEFT]: Ah Meng shares a tender moment with Mr Kumaran Sesshe, Head Keeper of great apes, Singapore Zoo. She will turn five years old this March, and is the granddaughter of the first Ah Meng, who died of old age in February 2008.

Image 4 [RIGHT]: The newly crowned Ah Meng will meet visitors four times weekly at Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife and at selected photography sessions. Outside these activities, she can be spotted swinging about or chilling in the free-ranging orangutan habitat. The critically endangered Sumatran orangutan is the new animal ambassador of Singapore Zoo. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

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

 

SAFARI ZOO RUN 2016 TO MARK DEBUT OF NEW AH MENG AT SINGAPORE ZOO

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New icon is closely related to Singapore Zoo’s well-known orangutan; Eighth instalment of popular run will span weekend of 27 and 28 February 2016

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Safari Zoo Run 2016 participants will be able to catch a glimpse of the new Ah Meng when they take part in this year’s instalment of the wildly popular run on 27 and 28 February. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 8 January 2016 – A new queen of the wild will look upon the human race at Safari Zoo Run 2016 in Singapore Zoo and reign as the much-awaited animal icon.

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Ah Meng, Singapore Zoo’s beloved Sumatran orangutan who passed away in February 2008, left behind six descendants, one of whom has been identified as the new Singapore Zoo icon. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

The passing of Ah Meng, Singapore Zoo’s famous matriarch and one of Singapore’s most adored personalities, in 2008 left a void in the hearts of many animal lovers and regular zoo visitors. All orangutans in Singapore are commonly referred to as “Ah Meng”. In her memory, the Safari Zoo Run was conceived in 2009.

Ahead of the Safari Zoo Run 2016, Singapore Zoo has identified the orangutan that reign and continue Ah Meng’s legacy.

The upcoming icon is said to share some similarities with her famous predecessor, like a penchant for durians, a big heart for her family, and endearing eyes.  More nuggets about her personality will be shared when the date for Safari Zoo Run draws near.

Safari Zoo Run, Singapore’s wildest race, returns with competitive and family-oriented runs during the weekend of 27 and 28 February 2016. Avid runners can look forward to 10km and 5.5km races while families looking to bond over a healthy walk amidst nature can enjoy a more leisurely pace with the 5.5km or 2.5km family dashes.

The races will transport runners past animal exhibits through scenic paths lined by greenery in Night Safari and Singapore Zoo. A host of carnival festivities awaits family participants after their race, with cheeky animal mascots, educational show and tell sessions, and animal photography opportunities.

The run aims to encourage family bonding and raise awareness on wildlife conservation, with a part of the proceeds going towards aiding the conservation efforts of Singapore Zoo and Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Each participant will receive exclusive Safari Zoo Run apparel and other attractive goodies including Singapore Zoo and River Safari admission, discount vouchers to Jurong Bird Park and Night Safari, and exclusive F&B and retail offers. In addition, all runners will walk away with an exclusive animal-motif finisher medal.

Registration closes on 31 January 2016. For more information, log on to http://www.safarizoo.run.

Details at a glance
Dates and times:
Safari Zoo 10km Challenge / 5.5km Family Run
27 February 2015 (Saturday)
Races    :  7.30am – 12.00pm

Safari Zoo 5km Challenge / 2.5km Kids Dash / 2.5km Family Dash
28 February 2015 (Sunday)
Races    : 7.30am – 12.00pm

Venue:    Night Safari and Singapore Zoo
80 Mandai Lake Road
Singapore 729826

SINGAPORE ZOO BEGINS 10-DAY CELEBRATION FOR INUKA’S 25TH BIRTHDAY

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Zoo launches Our Arctic Future photo exhibition with Royal Danish Embassy to raise awareness on arctic habitat of polar bears; Inuka to enjoy birthday ice treats for 10 days until 26 December

SINGAPORE, 16 December 2015 – Inuka, the first polar bear born in the topics, turns 25 this year and Singapore Zoo has kicked-off a 10-day celebration along with a photo exhibition to raise awareness on the natural arctic habitat of polar bears.

Her Excellency Berit Basse, Ambassador of Denmark to Singapore, officiated the launch at an intimate event held in Singapore Zoo’s Frozen Tundra exhibit on 16 December 2015.

Mr Mike Barclay, Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “As Inuka, Singapore’s very own locally born and bred polar bear turns 25, he is officially in his golden years and we will adjust his care to ensure he continues to enjoy a great quality of life with us here in the Singapore Zoo. We are very happy to celebrate his birthday with this excellent Our Arctic Future photo exhibition.”

Our Arctic Future photo exhibition highlights the importance of sustainability and evolving relationships between people and the arctic. It was developed by the Natural History Museum of Denmark in collaboration with the Governments of Greenland and the Faroe Islands for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. As Singapore approaches the close of its golden jubilee year, the photo exhibition also commemorates 50 years of bilateral relations between Denmark and Singapore.

Inuka is fondly referred to as the “best Christmas present ever” by Singapore Zoo keepers because he was born in his mother’s den in the early hours of 26 December 1990. At 25 years of age, Inuka is a senior bear. His last health check in July this year showed age-related conditions like arthritis and dental issues which the Singapore Zoo veterinary team is closely monitoring. Inuka currently measures 2.5m from nose to tail, and weighs 581kg.

Mr Alan Chan, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Press Holdings and Director of SPH Foundation, said: “SPH and SPH Foundation have adopted Inuka since his birth 25 years ago. We are happy to see him grow both in size and popularity over the years. We wish Inuka a happy birthday and hope he can bring joy to many for years to come. Through our close partnership with Wildlife Reserves Singapore, we will continue to promote community awareness and responsibility in wildlife protection and conservation, which is one of SPH Foundation’s core objectives.”

During the 10-day celebration, guests at Singapore Zoo can catch Inuka enjoying birthday treats each afternoon at 1.20pm and learn more about the fascinating arctic landscape at the Our Arctic Future photo exhibition at Frozen Tundra.

The public can follow the festivities over the 10-day celebrations via Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

 

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

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