WHITE TIGER OMAR UNDERGOES BLOOD TEST

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Regular vet checks for Singapore Zoo’s 15-year-old white tiger to keep tabs on his health

Image 1: A team of three from the zoology and veterinary department of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (parent company of Singapore Zoo) preparing 15-year-old male white tiger Omar for a blood draw. Here, head vet Dr Serena Oh (right) prepares a syringe as junior keeper Hamidan Mislan holds steady the tail, while deputy head Keeper Kumar Vall (centre) distracts Omar on the other side of the conditioning chute with calming words and chunks of meat. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Image 1: A team of three from the zoology and veterinary department of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (parent company of Singapore Zoo) preparing 15-year-old male white tiger Omar for a blood draw. Here, head vet Dr Serena Oh (right) prepares a syringe as junior keeper Hamidan Mislan holds steady the tail, while deputy head Keeper Kumar Vall (centre) distracts Omar on the other side of the conditioning chute with calming words and chunks of meat. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Singapore, 29 January 2015 – The usually active white tiger Omar lay down quietly in his conditioning chute as deputy head keeper Kumar Vall spoke in calming tones and fed him meaty treats. On the other side of the chute, head vet Dr Serena Oh and junior keeper Hamidan Mislan quietly and quickly drew blood from the 15-year-old male tiger’s tail. The procedure, a blood draw to determine Omar’s health, was over in less than 10 minutes.

As Omar progresses into his senior years, keepers and vets are keeping a closer eye on the white tiger to ensure they stay on top of his healthcare needs. Blood test results showed that his liver and kidneys are functioning normally. He is also receiving treatment for keratisis in his left eye, a condition in which the cornea becomes inflamed or dry.

Image 2: About 3ml of blood was drawn from Omar through his tail. His blood test results revealed that he is generally in good health for a tiger well into his geriatric life stage. His liver and kidneys are found to be functioning normally. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Image 2: About 3ml of blood was drawn from Omar through his tail. His blood test results revealed that he is generally in good health for a tiger well into his geriatric life stage. His liver and kidneys are found to be functioning normally. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Unlike health checks for some of the zoo’s animals which require sedation, Omar’s was conducted through operant conditioning, a method that allows keepers to train and obtain desired behaviours from animals under their care. This technique is less stressful for the animal, keepers and vets when conducting veterinary and animal management procedures.

Image 3: The white tiger has been conditioned to respond to certain commands which allow zoo keepers and vets to perform regular check-ups without putting him through the stressful process of sedation. Here, Omar responds to deputy head keeper Kumar Vall’s hand signal to open his mouth to check on the condition of his gums and teeth. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Image 3: The white tiger has been conditioned to respond to certain commands which allow zoo keepers and vets to perform regular check-ups without putting him through the stressful process of sedation. Here, Omar responds to deputy head keeper Kumar Vall’s hand signal to open his mouth to check on the condition of his gums and teeth. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Through this method, Omar was conditioned to respond to commands such as sitting and opening his mouth, allowing zoo staff to keep an eye on his health more regularly while strengthening the bond between him and his keepers.

Popular with visitors, Omar has charmed visitors since arriving in Singapore Zoo on 6 April 2001. Born in Indonesia’s Taman Safari, Omar and his two sisters Winnie and Jippie arrived in Singapore when they were 19 months old. Winnie and Jippie have since passed on.

In the wild, tigers have an average lifespan of between 10 to 15 years while those in zoological institutions live 16-20 years on average.

SINGAPORE ZOO’S POLAR BEAR INUKA SLURPS GIANT ICE KACHANG ON HIS 24TH BIRTHDAY

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First polar bear born in the tropics celebrates birthday in true Singapore style

Singapore, 26 December 2014 – Inuka, the first polar bear born in the tropics, turns 24 today at Singapore Zoo.

Inuka’s birthday celebration started bright and early as keepers presented him with a giant ice kachang* cake made of the bear’s favourite food like salmon, blueberries, watermelon and strawberries topped with whipped cream.

In the wee hours of 26 December 1990, Inuka was born in his mother’s den at Singapore Zoo and keepers have referred to him since as their ‘best Christmas present ever’. At 24, Inuka is well into his senior years and lives comfortably in his Frozen Tundra home which features climate-controlled resting areas and a large pool for him to swim in.

*Ice kachang is a dessert popular in Singapore, traditionally comprising ice shavings, syrup, and sweet treats like red beans, sweet corn and jelly.

Singapore Zoo’s beloved Inuka, the first polar bear born in the tropics, was presented a giant ice kachang cake embedded with his favourite food as he celebrated his 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore Zoo’s beloved Inuka, the first polar bear born in the tropics, was presented a giant ice kachang cake embedded with his favourite food as he celebrated his 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

In the wee hours of 26 Dec 1990, Inuka was born in his mother’s den at Singapore Zoo, and keepers have referred to him since as their ‘best Christmas present ever’. The bear turned 24 on 26 Dec 2014. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

In the wee hours of 26 Dec 1990, Inuka was born in his mother’s den at Singapore Zoo, and keepers have referred to him since as their ‘best Christmas present ever’. The bear turned 24 on 26 Dec 2014. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Polar bear Inuka weighed only 400 grams at birth and he is currently over 500 kilograms. Singapore Zoo celebrated Inuka’s 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014 with a giant ice kachang containing some of his favourite food like salmon, blueberries, watermelon and strawberries. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Polar bear Inuka weighed only 400 grams at birth and he is currently over 500 kilograms. Singapore Zoo celebrated Inuka’s 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014 with a giant ice kachang containing some of his favourite food like salmon, blueberries, watermelon and strawberries. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Singapore Zoo celebrated Inuka’s 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014 with a giant ice kachang cake containing some of the bear’s favourite food. At 24, Inuka is well into his senior years and lives comfortably in his Frozen Tundra home which features climate-controlled resting areas and a large pool for him to swim in. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore Zoo celebrated Inuka’s 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014 with a giant ice kachang cake containing some of the bear’s favourite food. At 24, Inuka is well into his senior years and lives comfortably in his Frozen Tundra home which features climate-controlled resting areas and a large pool for him to swim in. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE TO ADOPT NEW ELEPHANT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

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New system deemed to provide higher degree of safety; Overhaul to be implemented in phases

Singapore, 15 December 2014 – Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) will be phasing in the protected contact elephant management system for all elephants in Night Safari and Singapore Zoo over the next few years.

When fully in place, all staff training and interaction with elephants under the protected contact system will be conducted through a physical safety barrier. The protected contact management system is based on positive reinforcement where animals are motivated by rewards such as food.

The two parks will be among the first zoological institutions in Asia to implement the protected contact management system for all elephants in its collection. Among the modern zoo community, this method is currently deemed to be the safest way to manage elephants while ensuring proper animal care and welfare.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, WRS, said, “The decision to adopt the protected contact management system was made after an internal review by our elephant managers and healthcare experts, who found that this system of management offers a safer work environment for the elephant keepers. Importantly, the new system will continue to allow our keepers access to the elephants for their daily care, although separated by a safety barrier.”

The complete implementation of the protected contact system will take three to five years as it will involve major redesign and construction of the elephant exhibits, back-of-house facilities as well as re-training of our elephants and elephant keepers.

The first phase of moving towards the protected contact system will be the cessation of programmes involving direct visitor contact with the elephants. From 5 January 2015, elephant rides and other activities where elephants are taken out of their exhibits will cease at the zoo. This is to allow the elephants to spend more time in the exhibits and to socialise among themselves.

Visitors to Singapore Zoo will still be able to enjoy the Elephants at Work and Play show (available twice daily at 11.30am and 3.30pm), and take part in elephant feeding sessions which happens after each show.

Dr Cheng continued, “Providing meaningful interactive opportunities with our animals is one of the most valuable services we bring to our visitors. Our new elephant exhibits will be designed to enable up-close encounters, and give us the chance to offer new behind-the-scenes experiences.”

SAFARI ZOO RUN 2015 SET TO BE WILDER THAN BEFORE!

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Seventh installment of popular run will be double the fun, with dedicated days

for competitive and fun runners over the weekend of 7 and 8 February 2015

Photo Credit: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Photo Credit: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 3 December 2014Safari Zoo Run 2015 will be an even wilder affair compared to previous years, with activities spread across two days for the first time in the run’s seven-year history.

Next year’s run will see competitive runners racing on 7 February while 8 February will be the fun run where the runners will also get the opportunity to participate in a ‘Best Dressed Runner’ contest and get a chance to enjoy a whole host of carnival festivities.

The races, both competitive and fun, will transport runners past animal exhibits through meandering paths lined by greenery in Night Safari and Singapore Zoo.

Safari Zoo Run was conceived to commemorate Singapore Zoo’s famous matriarch and one of Singapore’s most adored personalities — Ah Meng the Sumatran orang utan. The iconic personality died of old age in February 2008.

Photo Credit: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Photo Credit: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Avid runners can look forward to competitive races such as the 12km or 6km Safari Zoo Challenge on 7 February. The top three winners in each of the competitive categories will stand to win prizes worth up to $300.

Little ones between 4-8 years of age can encourage their parents to sign up for the 2.8km Parent & Child Run, while kids between 8-12 years can take part in the 2.8km Fastest Kid race. Families looking to bond over a healthy walk amidst nature can enjoy a more leisurely pace with the 6km Safari Zoo Fun Run. All family-friendly activities are scheduled for 8 February.

For the first time in the run’s history, fun runners will be able to enjoy a Safari Zoo Run Carnival after their race, where festivities, such as a bazaar, mascots’ meet and greet sessions, fun fair stations, educational stations, and exciting performances await.

Each participant will receive an exclusive dri-fit Safari Zoo Run singlet or T-shirt (worth $24.90) and other attractive goodies including discounted admission to Night Safari or a chance to stroll through River Safari in the evening. In addition, all runners will walk away with an exclusive animal-motif finisher medal and a one-day entry to Singapore Zoo on the day of the run.

Early bird registration is now open until 31 December 2014. For more information, log on to www.safarizoorun.com.sg.  Part of the proceeds from the Safari Zoo Run will go towards the care of threatened animals at Night Safari and Singapore Zoo.

Details at a glance

Dates and times    :    Safari Zoo Challenge

7 February 2015 (Saturday)

4.00pm – 7.00pm

Safari Zoo Fun Run

8 February 2015 (Sunday)

Races       : 9.00am – 12.00pm

Carnival    : 10.00am – 3.00pm

Venue                   :    Night Safari and Singapore Zoo

80 Mandai Lake Road

Singapore 729826

Race Categories

safari zoo run categories

*     Child defied as 3-12 years old

**   Free race participation for children below 3 years old. No runners’ entitlement for children below 3 years.

LITTLE ZOO HOO WILDLIFE WARRIORS CAN DISCOVER WAYS TO SAVE THE EARTH IN SINGAPORE ZOO THIS DECEMBER

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Visitors are invited to go wild with fun activities like token feeding surprises,
warrior trail stations and play sessions every weekend from 6 – 28 December

Snap a photo with the Zoo Hoo Mascots at Singapore Zoo this year-end holidays before going on the Wildlife Warrior Trail to learn more about loving and saving wildlife through play and game. Zoo Hoo 2014 at Singapore Zoo happens every weekend from 6-28 December.  PHOTO CREDIT: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Snap a photo with the Zoo Hoo Mascots at Singapore Zoo this year-end holidays before going on the Wildlife Warrior Trail to learn more about loving and saving wildlife through play and game. Zoo Hoo 2014 at Singapore Zoo happens every weekend from 6-28 December.
PHOTO CREDIT: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Singapore, 19 November 2014 – Let the little ones unleash their heroism and become Zoo Hoo Wildlife Warriors at Singapore Zoo every weekend from 6 – 28 December, which promises fun and educational activities such as game challenges, art and craft stations and an interactive play and storytelling experience.

Kids on the Wildlife Warrior Trail (WWT) will learn ways to protect and save threatened animal species such as the orang utan, white rhinoceros, and Asian elephant. The first 350 kids to complete the trail every activity day will be rewarded with a special WWT goodie!

Along the way, enjoy art and craft sessions and make bottle cap badges, stickers and even your own 2015 calendar. Zoo Hoo 2014 at Singapore Zoo happens every weekend from 6-28 December.  PHOTO CREDIT: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Along the way, enjoy art and craft sessions and make bottle cap badges, stickers and even your own 2015 calendar. Zoo Hoo 2014 at Singapore Zoo happens every weekend from 6-28 December.
PHOTO CREDIT: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Wildlife Warrior Trail

Date:          6-28 December 2014 (weekends only)

Venue:       Singapore Zoo (80 Mandai Lake Road Singapore 729826)

Fee:           Free of charge

Notes:       Singapore Zoo admission rates of $28.00 (adult) and $18.00 (child ages 3 to 12 years) apply

Highlights

Table of Activities

RHINOS IN TROUBLE: LEARN THE HORNEST TRUTH AT SINGAPORE ZOO’S RHINO CONSERVATION AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

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Singapore Zoo aims to raise awareness on the plight of rhinoceroses in the wild;
Campaign kick-starts with expert forum including speakers from TRAFFIC and WCS

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s rhinoceros keepers join guests in clipping their fingernails to symbolise their commitment to rhino conservation ahead of the month-long Rhinos in Trouble awareness campaign at Singapore Zoo, which starts on 20 September 2014. Rhinos’ horns are made of keratin, the same material found in human hair and nails. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s rhinoceros keepers join guests in clipping their fingernails to symbolise their commitment to rhino conservation ahead of the month-long Rhinos in Trouble awareness campaign at Singapore Zoo, which starts on 20 September 2014. Rhinos’ horns are made of keratin, the same material found in human hair and nails. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.)

Singapore, 19 Sept 2014Singapore Zoo will launch a rhinoceros conservation awareness campaign, titled Rhinos in Trouble: The Hornest Truth, from 20 September to 20 October 2014 to raise awareness about the plight of rhinoceroses in the wild, and is working closely with TRAFFIC Southeast Asia and Wildlife Conservation Society (Vietnam) to stamp out illegal trade of rhino horns.

The month-long campaign is held in conjunction with World Rhino Day, which falls on 22 September. Visitors to Singapore Zoo are encouraged to donate their nail clippings to symbolise their commitment to rhino conservation.

International trade of rhinoceros horn has been illegal since the 80s, yet the market is still thriving today even though science has proven that rhino horn is only as useful as a medicine as human hair and nails are. Rhino horns are made of keratin, the same material found in human hair and nails.

Recent studies by TRAFFIC and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have revealed that current consumption of products made from rhino horn has gone beyond perceived medicinal purposes. Rhino horn has become a luxury item and a status symbol. With the recent increase in wealthy individuals in Southeast Asia, rhino horn is also being used as a “hangover cure” after excessive alcohol consumption by the affluent.

The year 2013 set a record for rhino poaching in South Africa – home to around 75 per cent of the world’s total rhino population, with 1,004 killed. As of 10 September 2014, poachers had already butchered 769 rhinos in the country. If the current trend continues for the rest of 2014, the number of rhinos killed is likely to exceed record set in 2013 by another 100.

Even in Singapore, where the trade of endangered species and animal parts is strictly regulated, there had been cases where its ports were used as transit points. On 10 January 2014, eight pieces of rhinoceros horns weighing a total of about 21.5kg were confiscated at Changi Airport by the Singapore authorities.

With Rhinos in Trouble: The Hornest Truth, Singapore Zoo hopes to raise public awareness and engage Singaporeans to help in the efforts to save the rhinoceros in the wild.

Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “We urge the public to refuse any rhino horn or rhino horn products should they be offered any, and to please inform all their friends and relatives to do the same. If we don’t buy the product, demand will fall, and rhinoceroses will not suffer needless deaths. Together, we have to, and we can, ensure there is a future for these magnificent creatures.”

In a statement, Mr David Seow, Secretary General of the Singapore Chinese Druggists Association, appeals to Singaporeans to comply with the Government’s ban on the sale of any rhinoceros products and wishes to convey that there are many alternative medicinal material and products that can replace rhinoceros horns. Members of Singapore Chinese Druggists Association also fully support international conservation agreements and efforts to save the rhinoceros from extinction.

Pre-school guests at Singapore Zoo eager to show their support for rhinos lined up to drop their nail clippings into the Jar of Nails. The children, from Odyssey, the Global Pre-school, enjoyed a preview of the Rhinos in Trouble conservation awareness campaign which starts on 20 September 2014. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Pre-school guests at Singapore Zoo eager to show their support for rhinos lined up to drop their nail clippings into the Jar of Nails. The children, from Odyssey, the Global Pre-school, enjoyed a preview of the Rhinos in Trouble conservation awareness campaign which starts on 20 September 2014. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.)

Rhinos in Trouble: The Hornest Truth kick-starts with a public seminar on 20 Sept from 1pm – 5.30pm, and topics include:
– “Rhino Revolution from Africa to Asia” talk by Ms Jennifer Fox, Co-founder and partner, Thornybush Private Game Reserve, South Africa
– “Rhino Horn Trade in Vietnam” talk by Ms Duong Viet Hong, Communications Manager, Wildlife Conservation Society, Vietnam programme
– “Changing minds to save Rhinos: Demand reduction through behaviour change in Vietnam” talk by Dr Naomi Doak, Coordinator, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Greater Mekong Programme
The seminar also features a photography exhibition of the critically endangered Sumatran rhino, taken by wildlife photographer Mr Stephen Belcher. Proceeds from the sale of photographs will go towards wildlife conservation efforts.

LIST OF ACTIVITIES FOR RHINOS IN TROUBLE: THE HORNEST TRUTH

Picture1

For more information, visit http://www.zoo.com.sg/events-promos/rhino-month-14.html 
To make your stand against the rhino horn trade, go to www.zoo.com.sg/thehornesttruth

SAFARI GATE PROVIDES EASY ACCESS TO MANDAI WILDLIFE PARKS

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– Convenient, comfortable service ensures seamless transition to Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo

Newly launched Safari Gate provides easy access to Mandai wildlife parks (Night Safari, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo) from the city, and enhances the visitor experience by providing hourly departures and on-board entertainment that gives visitors an insight into each park. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Newly launched Safari Gate provides easy access to Mandai wildlife parks (Night Safari, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo) from the city, and enhances the visitor experience by providing hourly departures and on-board entertainment that gives visitors an insight into each park. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 29 April 2014 – The world-renowned wildlife parks in the Mandai cluster – Night Safari, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo – are now more accessible with Safari Gate, a unique tourism offering conceptualised by DUCK & HiPPO and Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS).

Visitors who enter the Safari Gate (at Suntec City or Singapore Flyer) will find themselves in the immersive world of wildlife that the Mandai attractions are famous for, with credit to the beautiful rainforest-themed interiors created by WRS landscape architects. From the holding area, visitors are ushered into the premium Rhino coach, which will take them directly to WRS’ parks in Mandai.

“Conceived jointly by WRS and DUCK & HiPPO, Safari Gate is a game changer, a departure from the current market offering of fixed-time group tours. It puts control back in the hands of the visitors. With hourly departures to the parks, 10 trips a day, visitors get to tour at their own time and pace. It’s free and easy, no more fixed timing or itinerary,” said Mr James Heng, Chief Duckie, DUCK & HiPPO.

Mr Lee Meng Tat, Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “Wildlife Reserves Singapore is constantly looking for ways to enhance visitor experience in our parks; and with Safari Gate, we are moving a step beyond our parks’ boundaries to enhance the transport touchpoint for our visitors. We seek to provide a seamless and convenient transition for them to get from the city to Night Safari, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo, and back.”

Ms Ranita Sundramoorthy, Director of Attractions, Dining and Retail, Singapore Tourism Board said, “Safari Gate is an excellent example of how industry players can come together to find synergies and collaborate creatively to enhance the visitor experience. The Singapore Tourism Board welcomes more of such partnerships.”

Safari Gate was officially launched today by Mr James Heng and Mr Lee Meng Tat. As part of the launch, a group of special guests from the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) were among the first to experience this premium service, and to enjoy an afternoon at River Safari.

Safari Gate allows visitors flexibility to start their tour at any time. With hourly departures from the city to the parks from as early as 8.30am and the last returning coach at 10:30pm, there are more then 10 trips per day to choose from. As an added service, DUCK & HiPPO provides free transfer from city hotels to the two Safari Gates.

Visitors are also free to tour at their own pace, and can make the most of their time at the parks without being tied down to a specific itinerary or fixed time departure.

Along the way, on-board entertainment gives visitors an insight into each park, and allows them to plan their visit prior to their arrival. The 45-minute Rhino coach to Mandai is no longer a mundane bus ride. It is a prelude to a wild adventure. More information about Safari Gate is available at www.safarigate.com.

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