SINGAPORE ZOO’S SENIOR POLAR BEAR INUKA TURNS 26

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Five-day celebration to feature birthday treats and enrichment activities,
including two tonnes of ice in Inuka’s den for the well-loved bear to explore

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Singapore Zoo kicked off a 5-day birthday celebration for its beloved polar bear, Inuka, which turns 26 this 26 December. Inuka received a lovingly made colourful ice cake from his keepers, which featured salmon and minced beef, and was topped with a delicate helping of organic and unsalted peanut butter. Inuka, well into his golden years, is currently on a special senior animal care programme. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 22 December 2016Singapore Zoo’s senior polar bear Inuka will turn 26 on 26 December, and the Zoo has kicked off a series of celebratory activities for its much adored resident.

Fans of the polar bear wrote to Singapore Zoo as early as September, asking when the birthday party would take place. Singapore Zoo kicked off the celebrations on 22 December, with a gathering of over 50 park guests, staff and media. Inuka’s climate controlled den—usually set at 12-13 degrees Celsius—was filled with over two tonnes of crushed ice and enrichment toys for him. In addition, the ice provides a different substrate for Inuka to explore.

Inuka’s birthday cake this year is created with salmon and minced beef—some of his favourite foods. As an added treat, a delicate helping of peanut butter provides the ‘icing’ on the cake.

Born 26 December 1990, 26-year-old Inuka in human years would be in his 70s. He is currently on a special senior animal care programme. A team of dedicated keepers takes care of his daily needs, which include providing a nutritionally balanced but varied diet, and an enrichment programme to keep him mentally and physically occupied.

Part of Inuka’s healthcare regime includes regular health examinations by the Zoo’s veterinary team. Health checks in the last three years showed age-related conditions like arthritis and dental issues, which the Singapore Zoo veterinary team is closely monitoring. In addition, he also has dry eyes and an ear infection from time to time. The polar bear is currently on long-term glucosamine and anti-inflammatory treatment for his arthritis. The keepers closely monitor his weight and have also adjusted his diet to ensure that he is maintained as close as possible to an optimal weight of 520kg for his joints. Inuka currently measures 2.5m from nose to tail, and weighs 505kg.

During the five-day celebration, guests at Singapore Zoo can catch Inuka exploring his ice cave for treats, or enjoying a special birthday enrichment session each morning at 10.25am, from 22-26 December 2016.

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has supported Inuka’s upkeep since birth. SPH Foundation, the charity arm of SPH, took over the adoption from 2007.

Follow Inuka’s birthday adventures via Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

MEDIA IMAGES
– High-res images and video footage are available for download at https://wrscc.box.com/v/Inuka26
– All photos and the video are to be credited to Wildlife Reserves Singapore

 

UNCOVER A LOST WORLD AT ZOO-RASSIC PARK

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Singapore Zoo and River Safari aim to raise awareness on the sixth extinction with lifelike dinosaur animatronics display; Dinosaur-themed activities await during weekends of 26 Nov – 18 Dec 2016

Come face to face with T-rex (left), Spinosaurus, Velociraptor (right) and a host of their prehistoric cousins at Singapore Zoo and River Safari this year end. Zoo-rassic Park promises a fun-filled immersive adventure as you discover how to save today’s species from going the way of the dinosaurs. Dinosaur-themed activities await during weekends of 26 Nov – 18 Dec 2016, but visitors can continue to catch the dinosaurs in their new home until March 2017. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 16 November 2016 — In a unique display that does not involve living animals, Singapore Zoo and River Safari have brought in a lifelike animatronics collection of pre-historic creatures—dinosaurs.

From 26 November 2016 until March 2017, guests can expect to see the likes of Tyrannosaurus Rex, Spinosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Triceratops in the newly installed Dinosaur Valley in Singapore Zoo, and some of their wild pre-historic cousins roaming in River Safari.

Ms May Lok, Director of Education, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “Dinosaurs disappeared from the face of the earth in the fifth extinction, and today, sadly, we are looking at a possible sixth extinction. Animal species are being wiped out at an unprecedented rate. We have lost 67 per cent of the world’s biodiversity in the last 50 years. Through Zoo-rassic Park, we hope to raise awareness on the issue, and rally our guests to do something to save the world’s biodiversity before it is too late.”

The immersive discovery trails draw parallels to the parks’ living collections. Journey through the Same Same But Different Trail in Singapore Zoo to learn about convergent evolution and be amazed by how the animals of today—like giraffes, rhinos, and bats—share similar features and behaviours with these relics of the past. Continuing the journey in River Safari, learn about living fossils in the Extinction Escapees Trail and find out more about ancient animals still alive today such as the Alligator Snapping Turtle, Indian Gharial and Giant Salamander.

Aside from the physical lifelike dinosaur display, Zoo-rassic Park offers guests an engaging augmented reality experience via Visual Discovery app Blippar. Whilst journeying through a misty walk in an immersive outdoor environment, guests can scan the dinosaurs peeping through the foliage to unlock an interactive experience and learn fun facts about their relationship to other animals in the Zoo.
Dinosaur-themed activities happen on the weekends of 26 Nov – 18 Dec 2016. Visitors can continue to catch the dinosaurs in their new home at Singapore Zoo and River Safari until March 2017.

Between 26 Nov – 18 Dec 2016, local residents also enjoy higher savings with the Dino-mite admission combo, with Singapore Zoo and River Safari dual park combo tickets at $39.00 per adult and $25.00 per child (3-12 years old) (Usual price $63.00 per adult and $42.00 per child 3-12 years old). The Dino-mite admission combo is available online and onsite. Terms and conditions apply.

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For more information, visit http://www.zoo.com.sg/zoorassic-park/

CELEBRATE CHILDREN’S DAY WITH SOME SERIOUS FUN AT SINGAPORE ZOO THIS OCTOBER

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Children enter free and are invited to save their favourite baby animals by voting to determine how an additional $60,000 in conservation funds will be allocated; Learn about conservation on newly launched
Go Green for Wildlife microsite and through in-park activities

Celebrate Children’s Day by voting for your favourite animal and help direct additional conservation funding to protect the species. Kids 12 years and under heading to Jurong Bird Park, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo from 1-31 October 2016 will enjoy free admission with a paying adult.
PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 27 September 2016 – In line with Children’s Day, Singapore Zoo is celebrating kids of all species this October and little people 12 years and under will be treated to some serious fun.

Through cute, scaly, and unusual baby animals, the Zoo aims to convey conservation messages and impart a love for the environment in children. Every weekend in October, meet furry animals Poe the binturong pup, Foxtrot the fennec fox kit, and Winona the goat kid at Singapore Zoo, or their unusual but equally adorable baby friends, the caterpillar, mealworm, red-footed tortoise, and others.

In addition, guests can go on a self-guided baby animal trail to discover some of the new births in the park, including the proboscis monkey, white rhinoceros, Komodo dragon, orangutan and more! Guests who take a photo of at least six baby animals can redeem an attractive gift.

To drive awareness of sustainability and conservation among the young, children are empowered to play an active role in helping Wildlife Reserves Singapore (parent company of Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo) decide where to channel part of its conservation funds. WRS supports over 25 conservation and research projects in Singapore and the region aimed at protecting wildlife in their native habitats. Under the ‘Vote for Wildlife’ initiative, an additional S$60,000 has been pledged in support of ongoing projects to protect Raffles’ banded langurs, Sumatran elephants, and Sumatran orangutans, broken down as follows:

  • For every online vote or share (www.gogreenforwildlife.com) WRS will donate 20 cents to the selected conservation project with funding capped at $40,000 across the 3 projects.
  • For on-site votes, the selected conservation projects will receive a boost of $10,000, $6,000, or $4,000 in conservation funds depending on number of votes.

The public are invited to vote onsite in Singapore Zoo, or on the campaign microsite http://www.gogreenforwildlife.com which also hosts a treasure trove of conservation knowledge to enrich little minds.

In addition, from 1-31 October, children 12 years and under enjoy complimentary admission into Jurong Bird Park, River Safari and Singapore Zoo, with the purchase of an adult ticket (Terms and conditions apply).

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KANGAROOS ON TREES IN SINGAPORE ZOO? ENTER THE WORLD OF MAKAIA AND NUPELA

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Singapore Zoo, a ‘Noah’s Ark’ for Goodfellow’s tree kangaroos, is now custodian to four of 50 individuals under human care globally; Hopes for recently arrived pair to breed under
Global Species Management Plan

Images 1 and 2: Adorable, sharp-clawed, somewhat clumsy, and very rare in zoological institutions – meet Makaia (left) and Nupela (right) in Singapore Zoo this August. The pair of Goodfellow’s tree kangaroos was brought to Singapore Zoo for breeding purposes under a Global Species Management Plan, as well as to form an assurance colony in the event the species goes extinct in the wild. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 3 August 2016Singapore Zoo guests visiting in August can look forward to witnessing the beginnings of an epic love story between Makaia the miracle tree kangaroo and his betrothed mate Nupela, with the opening of the Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo exhibit at the Australasian Zone today. The newly created indoor space will bring guests in close proximity with these fascinating creatures and offer a rare chance to observe how tree kangaroos have adapted to a life above ground.

This species stands among the rarest animals kept under human care, with only approximately 50 animals in zoos around the world. With the recent arrival of Makaia and Nupela, Singapore Zoo is now the proud custodian of four tree kangaroos.

Distinguishable by a pair of golden stripes trailing down the centre of its back, the Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo is also known as the ornate tree kangaroo. Each individual’s tail sports a unique pattern of yellow rings and blotches. As its name suggests, tree kangaroos live in trees and have well-developed and muscular forelimbs, which serve them well when navigating their canopy homes in the forests of Papua New Guinea. These master climbers have noticeably broader feet than their land cousins, and padded soles tipped with sharp curved claws that allow for a better grip on tree limbs.

While often somewhat clumsy, these elusive living plush toys have a few tricks of their own for survival in the wild—they have been known to leap up to 15 metres from tree to ground without hurting themselves. In addition, while their ground cousins can only move forwards, tree kangaroos have the ability to walk backwards, which makes it easier for them to traverse their treetop terrain.

The star amongst the four tree kangaroos in Singapore Zoo is no doubt Makaia, dubbed the ‘miracle baby’ by his carers in Australia. Makaia, whose name means magic in a Papua New Guinea dialect, came from Australia’s Adelaide Zoo on 4 July 2016. In a world first for conservation, the Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo made global headlines in November 2014 when he was adopted by a surrogate yellow-footed wallaby at 47 days old, after his mother’s sudden demise. When he outgrew his foster mother’s pouch, a human caregiver took over, and he became the only tree kangaroo to have the distinction of being raised by three mothers!

Nupela hailed from Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, and was a local celebrity in her own right, being the first Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo to be born in the Australian zoo in over 20 years. She arrived in Singapore Zoo on 1 June 2016.

Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo numbers have dwindled drastically in the last century, and in 2012, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) set up a Global Species Management Plan (GSMP) to ensure their survival. Under the GSMP, participating zoos in Australia, Europe, North America, Japan, and Singapore would cooperate to enhance the sustainability of the global population under human care, and also act as an assurance population should there be a catastrophic decline in the wild.

Makaia and Nupela are paired up under the recommendation of the GSMP. Pairing suitable individuals from participating zoos also minimises inbreeding of related animals and enhances the genetic pool of the species under human care.
Last May, a young male that was bred in Singapore Zoo was sent to Yokohama Zoo, Japan, under the recommendation of GSMP.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “We are very happy to be the proud custodian of Makaia and Nupela, under the Global Species Management Plan for Goodfellow’s tree kangaroos. Such programmes enable zoos from different countries and continents to breed threatened species in a scientific and coordinated manner to achieve demographic and genetic sustainability. Together with conservation efforts in the animals’ natural habitats, these breeding programmes help to ensure the survival of the species.”

Named after Walter Goodfellow, the British zoological collector who discovered them, this species of tree kangaroo is classified as ‘Endangered’ under the IUCN* Red List of Threated Species due to unsustainable hunting and loss of habitat. In the last 50 years, its population has declined by about 50 per cent.

*International Union for the Conservation of Nature

SINGAPORE’S WILDEST RESIDENTS SAY ‘HAPPY SG51’ WITH 51% OFF ZOO ADMISSION

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Pricing privileges for Singapore residents to Jurong Bird Park, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo from 1-31 August 2016 to celebrate the nation’s wildest parade

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To celebrate National Day, Singapore residents heading to Jurong Bird Park, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo from 1-31 August 2016 will enjoy pricing privileges. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 21 July 2016 – Singapore’s wildest residents in Jurong Bird Park, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo are in the mood to celebrate the nation’s 51st birthday with offers of 51% off admission tickets, a retro kampong-styled feast of delectable street food, and the launch of a new year-long Wild Birthday programme.

Singapore residents will enjoy 51% off bundled admission to Singapore Zoo and River Safari. Bird lovers can commemorate the nation’s birthday month with feathered friends at Jurong Bird Park with the Happy Bird Day Deal, with 51% off bird park admission.

What’s a celebration without great eats, Singapore-style? Take a stroll down memory lane and return to the nation’s kampong roots at Singapore Zoo’s Kampong Mandai food fare, where local favourites such as satay, pisang goreng and other tasty treats await.

In addition, from 1 August, Singapore citizens and permanent residents that visit any of the four WRS parks on their birthdays or within seven days after their birthdate will enjoy free admission when accompanied by a paying guest, as part of a year-round Wild Birthday promotion.

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Details are available at www.zoo.com.sg/wild-parade.

 

AH MENG AND FAMILY REVEL IN NEW HANGOUT AT SINGAPORE ZOO

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New orangutan free-ranging area features scenic views of the Upper Seletar Reservoir;
visitors have one more week to enjoy Ah Meng-zing activities at world-class attraction

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Image 1: Sumatran orang utan Ah Meng (extreme right), Singapore Zoo’s animal icon, looks unfazed by heights as she chills out in her new free-ranging area, which overlooks the scenic Upper Seletar Reservoir. Orangutans are the award-winning zoo’s flagship species, and over 40 of them have been born here. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 21 June 2016Singapore Zoo introduced their flagship orangutans to a new free-ranging area earlier this month, to complement the Ah Meng-zing experience, which happens every weekend this June. Overlooking the picturesque Upper Seletar Reservoir, the new space features hammocks and interconnecting vines for the orangutans to explore. An average of five orangutans hang out in the area daily to enjoy the treetop haven, while guests walking underneath them stop to gaze in wonder at the charismatic apes above.

Guests have one final weekend to enjoy the Ah Meng-zing experience, where Singapore Zoo transforms into a living classroom to show visitors, parents and children alike, the small things they can do to help save the planet and the animals that share it. Visitors can discover and appreciate wildlife through a diverse range of activities, including meet and greet sessions with larger than life mascots, inventive craft workshops, and enlightening animal enrichment trails. For more information about the June holiday activities, visit http://www.zoo.com.sg/ahmeng-zing/

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Image 2: [FRONT ROW, FROM LEFT] Bornean orangutans Binti and her baby Adi, and Nattu, lounge with [BACK ROW, FROM LEFT] Sumatran orangutans Endah and Ah Meng on the hammock at Singapore Zoo’s new orangutan free-ranging area PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

WORLD’S RAREST TORTOISES RACE AGAINST EXTINCTION AT SINGAPORE ZOO’S NEW TORTOISE SHELL-TER

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New exhibit a naturalistic sanctuary for the tortoises to display natural behaviour and breed;
Zoo celebrates World Turtle Day with special Keeper Talks for guests

Image 1: Great care was taken in designing Singapore Zoo’s Tortoise Shell-ter, now home to some of the world’s most threatened tortoises such as the critically endangered Ploughshare Tortoise (pictured above).Only 200 mature specimens are left in the wild, and survive in a 12 square km patch in Madagascar. Their decline in recent years is a result of poaching for the illegal pet trade. The species is at extreme risk of extinction in the wild within 10-15 years. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Image 2: Singapore Zoo has been successful in the conservation breeding and maintenance of an assurance colony of Southern River Terrapins (pictured above). More than 50 terrapins have been bred since 2007. Assurance colonies refer to the safeguarding of an endangered species under human care, in case the wild population is wiped out. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 20 May 2016 – Boosting Singapore Zoo’s efforts to save the world’s most threatened vertebrates from extinction is its newest exhibit—Tortoise Shell-ter. Guests at the park can now look forward to learning more about some of the world’s rarest tortoises and ongoing efforts to increase their dwindling numbers.

Tortoise Shell-ter showcases three critically endangered tortoise species—the Ploughshare Tortoise, Radiated Tortoise and Burmese Star Tortoise—making it one of Singapore Zoo’s exhibits with greater conservation and educational values. Other threatened species at the new attraction include the Elongated Tortoise and the Yellow-footed Tortoise. The naturalistic exhibits feature rock walls, habitat specific planting, and climate-controlled micro-habitats, including special lighting, heating with temperature gradient and humidity control, to create the ideal home away from home for these delicate species to thrive.

Some of these tortoises share their homes with other compatible reptiles, such as the Rock Monitor, Black and White Tegu, Green Iguana and Veiled Chameleon. This provides inter-species interaction, which is a great form of enrichment for the inhabitants, as well as providing a more interesting viewing experience to the guests.
In addition to featuring threatened species, Tortoise Shell-ter is also a sanctuary for some former-victims of the illegal wildlife trade, which have been confiscated and sent to Singapore Zoo, such as the Indian Star Tortoise.

In the wild, these land-dwelling reptiles’ shells (called carapaces) shield them against predators but they are no match for the combination of habitat loss and human exploitation, including unsustainable consumption and poaching for the illegal pet trade.
Aside from showcasing these chelonians at the Tortoise Shell-ter, Singapore Zoo also contributes to safeguarding the future of other threatened species of turtles through conservation breeding and the maintenance of assurance colonies. The latter refers to the safekeeping of endangered species populations under human care in case something happens to the already diminished numbers in the wild. Singapore Zoo has a good track record of breeding threatened chelonian species, both terrestrial (tortoises) and aquatic (turtles and terrapins) and has recently had the first hatching for the critically endangered Painted Terrapin. Other threatened species bred at the Zoo include the endangered Elongated Tortoise and Burmese Mountain Tortoise and the critically endangered Southern River Terrapin.

The park’s breeding programmes offer the possibility of reintroducing the animals to the wild whenever their safety can be ensured in their natural habitat. In addition, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) actively supports on-site and off-site breeding and reintroduction programmes in a few Southeast Asian countries. It also collaborates with trade monitoring organisations to raise awareness on illegal wildlife trade of tortoises.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Life Sciences Officer, WRS, said: “Within the span of just one human generation, many turtle and tortoise species have been decimated to near extinction through our activities. We are working in the zoo as well as in their native habitats to prevent these ancient creatures from disappearing from earth altogether. Through the Tortoise Shell-ter we would like to highlight their plights to our guests and to engage them to join us in our effort to save the species.”

World Turtle Day, observed every 23 May, aims to celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises, and their disappearing habitats around the world. To commemorate World Turtle Day this year, Singapore Zoo has lined up three special Keeper Talks for guests to find out more about these rare tortoises and their plight in the wild. Visitors will get to see the wild residents participating in a host of enrichment activities, and get up close and personal with the Indian star tortoise, the most confiscated tortoise in Singapore.

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