SINGAPORE ZOO WELCOMES 21st WHITE RHINO CALF

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Robust baby up and walking within an hour of birth; First male calf in five years

Image 1 (left): Donsa, Singapore Zoo’s 32-year-old female white rhino proudly shows off her calf. This is Donsa’s 11th baby and one of seven white rhinos at the wildlife park. Altogether, 21 white rhinos have been born in the zoo, some of which have been sent to zoos in Australia, Indonesia, Korea and Thailand as part of a global animal exchange programme.

Image 2 (right): The yet-to-be-named calf stays close to mom Donsa at Singapore Zoo’s back of house rhino facility. Visitors to the park will be able to see him in a few months, when he is ready to join the rest of the herd. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 28 September 2017Singapore Zoo’s prolific 32-year-old white rhino Donsa quietly delivered her eleventh calf in the wee hours of 6 September, and by the time her keepers arrived for work within an hour of the birth, the healthy male calf was already taking his first wobbly steps.

With 20 rhino births under their belts, keepers knew Donsa was due to deliver, and had prepped the birthing den two days before, in anticipation of the new arrival.
The yet-to-be-named calf currently spends time bonding with mom in the back of house facility. An energetic lad, the young one enjoys being scratched with an extended brush.

Keepers use this opportunity to get him comfortable to their presence. These sessions also pave the way for future medical training: conditioning that allows animals to be examined and given simple treatment without being stressed.

Singapore Zoo is home to seven of these majestic creatures, and the latest addition is the first male born in five years after a string of females. Of the 21 babies born here, some have been sent to Australia, Indonesia, Korea and Thailand as part of the Zoo’s ex-situ conservation efforts through its worldwide exchange programme.

Although Donsa and baby are not in the public eye yet, you can meet Hoepel the proud father, and the other white rhinos, during their daily 1.15pm feeding session—the first ever in Asia and one of Singapore Zoo’s signature programmes—and experience an up close and personal encounter with these giants.

White rhinos are considered near threatened in the wild on the IUCN’s* Red List of Threatened species. Together with the Indian rhino, it is the largest species of land mammal after the elephant. They are poached for their horns, which some believe as having medicinal properties. In fact, the horns are made of solid keratin, the same material in hair and fingernails, and there has been no scientific evidence to suggest that they are a cure for anything.

SZ White Rhino Calf 3_SZ

Image 3 (left): Although barely three weeks old, Singapore Zoo’s white rhino calf already knows what he loves—being scratched! Keepers indulge him in this activity as part of early conditioning, which allows him to be comfortable around keepers and less resistant to touch during future medical procedures. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

*International Union for the Conservation of Nature

WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE OFFERS FOUR PARKS FOR THE PRICE OF TWO* FROM APRIL ONWARDS

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Change in pricing structure sees better value on multi-park visits with significant reductions in prices

WRS_Storybook Visual (1)

Both local and foreign guests will be able to enjoy more affordable wildlife adventures at the four award-winning Wildlife Reserves Singapore parks—Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari, Singapore Zoo—when the revised multi-park ParkHopper prices kick in this April. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 28 March 2016 – To encourage guests to visit more than one of its award-winning parks at a time, Wildlife Reserves Singapore will revise the price structure for its multi-park ParkHopper passes from 1 April 2016.

ParkHopper bundled admission tickets allow guests to visit two or four of its wildlife parks (Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo) within seven days from the first park visit. Visitors opting for a four-park excursion will only need to pay $69, which translates to massive savings of $68 as opposed to purchasing single entry park admission tickets*. Those who prefer a two-park visit will save up to $19. Online purchases will receive a further 10 per cent discount on either bundled admission package.

* Four-park rate based on average price of single entry park admission tickets

Mr Mike Barclay, Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “Our four parks each have a distinctive character, and each offers a unique wildlife adventure. We hope that many of our guests will take advantage of our new ParkHopper pricing to enjoy interactions with our living collection in all four of our parks.”

In addition to revised ParkHopper rates, single entry tickets to the four parks will be adjusted. Singaporeans and Permanent Residents will enjoy lower priced tickets through online and onsite purchases throughout the year. There will be a 25 per cent discount for online purchases and a 15 per cent discount for onsite purchases across all four parks.

Senior citizen concessions of up to 60 per cent remain, with the addition of complimentary tram rides at Jurong Bird Park and Singapore Zoo, making it easier and more enjoyable for our golden generation to explore the parks.

Tram and boat ride tickets for both adults and children remain unchanged. Students on school excursions will continue to enjoy heavily subsidised rates of up to 80 per cent. WRS also provides complimentary admission for beneficiaries under WRS’ list of voluntary welfare organisations.

WRS charges are comparable to other leisure attractions in Singapore. Individuals and families keen to make multiple visits throughout the year can sign up for reasonably-priced membership packages.

WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE URGES PUBLIC TO TAKE A STAND AGAINST ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE

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Real-life inspired images and anecdotes of animals expose bleak nature of illegal wildlife trade;
Wildlife Reserves Singapore calls for public to take action

YouBuyTheyDie - Cockatoo

SINGAPORE, 10 March 2016 – Cockatoos stuffed in bottles to be smuggled as pets, and pangolin babies taken from their mothers’ wombs to meet the insatiable demand for exotic medicine and food delicacies—these are disturbing but true accounts of animals being transported for the illegal wildlife trade. By highlighting the fate of these animals in the second instalment of the You Buy, They Die campaign, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) hopes to rally the public to take a stand against the illegal wildlife trade.

From 10 March to 6 April 2016, commuters taking buses and trains will come across harsh but realistic images of animals being transported for the illegal wildlife trade: cockatoos stuffed in plastic bottles where two out of five do not survive, and pangolins crushed against limbs and choking under mangled bodies. These visuals can be seen on train windows and bus stops around the island, as well as educational interpretive at Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo.

Dr Sonja Luz, Director, Conservation and Research, WRS, said: “The illegal wildlife trade is a multi-billion dollar business with devastating consequences for wild animal populations and ecosystems. Many species suffer greatly in the process. With this campaign, we hope to empower the public to take action and help us change their fate. Our ultimate goal is to stop the demand and that will only happen if everyone understands the problem, spreads the word and takes action by making informed decisions when offered wildlife or wildlife products.”

YouBuyTheyDie - Pangolin

To encourage engagement, the advertisements contain QR codes for commuters to scan with their mobile phones, immerse in a 360˚ experience that showcases the brutal smuggling process, and put an end to the cycle of death by declaring their pledges at ChangeTheirFate.sg. Those who pledge can immediately see the brighter future they have made for wildlife, with visuals of animals seen in their natural habitats and maintaining balance in the ecosystem.

Rising affluence, increasing purchasing power and globalisation all spell trouble for wildlife as the growing demand for exotic meat, body parts, traditional medicine, pets and luxury items, directly causes drastic declines in wildlife numbers.

Possible Singapore is the creative agency behind the campaign. The latest initiative is WRS’ second instalment of the You Buy, They Die anti-wildlife crime campaign launched in 2015 to educate the public on how their buying decisions can support the conservation of endangered wildlife. Members of the public who have information on illegal wildlife activities are advised to make a report immediately to the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA). In addition, they can also download the free Wildlife Witness App, created in partnership with the Taronga Conservation Society Australia and wildlife monitoring network TRAFFIC.

WOW WILD LEARN PROGRAMME TO PROMOTE USE OF CHINESE LANGUAGE

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A collaboration between the Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning
and Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Left: Teaching and learning the Chinese Language is set to become more fun and interactive for pre-school teachers and students with the Wow Wild Learning programme, which consists of a series of workshops, activities, and supplementary readings revolving around a learning journey at River Safari. PHOTO CREDIT: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Right: Under the Wow Wild Learn programme, Wildlife Reserves Singapore will equip pre-school teachers with nuggets of wildlife information and teaching resources, like a panda storybook, to turn the River Safari into a living classroom for their students. PHOTO CREDIT: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

SINGAPORE, 16 February 2016 – Teaching and learning the Chinese Language is set to become even more fun and interactive for pre-school teachers and their students with the Wow Wild Learn programme (娃娃游园乐), which consists of a series of workshops, activities, and supplementary readings revolving around a learning journey at River Safari. The pilot initiative is a collaboration between the Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning (CPCLL) and Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Ms May Lok, Director of Education, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “Education for young children has always been, and will always be, a key pillar for parks managed by Wildlife Reserves Singapore. River Safari is no exception. With the pilot Wow Wild Learn programme, we aim to bring the Chinese Language to life in our wildlife environment, and make learning enjoyable for both pre-school teachers and their students.”

Mr Ang Hin Kee, Leader of the Pre-School Working Group, CPCLL, said, “We hope to equip pre-school Chinese Language teachers with more knowledge and material to conduct the learning of Chinese Language in an engaging manner. Parents also play an important role and we want to provide opportunities for them to interact and learn Mandarin together with their children.”

Under the Wow Wild Learn programme, Wildlife Reserves Singapore will offer a half-day training workshop for pre-school teachers to equip them with the necessary knowledge and nuggets of wildlife information to turn River Safari into a living classroom for their students. In addition, the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Education team has also developed activity sheets and two pictorial books as resources for the teachers. Pre-school centres that are successful in their application for the programme will receive subsidized funding from the CPCLL, capped at $700 per centre.

Upon completion of the workshop, pre-school teachers can register their students for the “River Safari Flows to School: I’m a Panda Keeper” outreach programme, where the children’s close encounters with River Safari’s lovable pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia will give them an interactive experience in learning both the Chinese Language and the importance of protecting wildlife.

To promote parent-child bonding, teachers will encourage parents to plan activities that facilitate interaction with their pre-school children in Mandarin. Each student will also receive a set of books on the pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia.

The Wow Wild Learn programme will be held from 1 April to 31 October 2016. Registration is open to all pre-schools registered under the Early Childhood Development Agency. Invitation has been sent by the CPCLL to eligible pre-school centres, and there has been overwhelming response.

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.

JURONG BIRD PARK, NIGHT SAFARI, RIVER SAFARI AND SINGAPORE ZOO REPORT OVER 700 ANIMAL BIRTHS AND HATCHINGS IN 2015

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Over a third of the babies are native or Southeast Asian species, affirming the parks’ bid to conserve biodiversity in Singapore and Southeast Asia

WRS SZ - Chomel, a critically endangered Sumatran orangutan, gave birth to a male on 16 September 2015. Orangutans are Singapore Zoo’s flagship species - 2

Over 700 animal babies were born or hatched in Wildlife Reserves Singapore parks in 2015. Chomel, a critically endangered Sumatran orangutan, gave birth on 16 September 2015. The male baby is Chomel’s second offspring—her first son, Bino, is now five years old. Young orangutans will remain with their mother for several years until they learn the necessary skills to live independently. Orangutans are Singapore Zoo’s flagship species. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Singapore, 12 January 2016 – More than 700 furry, feathery and scaly young across 150 species were born or hatched in Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo in 2015. Among them, over 40 species are listed as threatened under the *IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Deputy CEO and Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “Each of these births and hatchings is significant and is part of Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s efforts to conserve threatened wildlife, particularly in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Breeding under human care allows us to maintain sustainable populations without having to collect from the wild, and our living collection serves to inspire positive actions in people to conserve our environment and biodiversity.”

Among the most exciting births of the year is that of a critically endangered Sumatran orangutan born on 16 September 2015. The primate is the great-grandson of Singapore Zoo’s late icon, Ah Meng. To date, over 40 orangutans have been born in Singapore Zoo. To facilitate the breeding of these charismatic apes and ensure genetic diversity, orangutans born in the park have been sent to zoological institutions in Malaysia, India, Vietnam, Japan, Australia and New Zealand as part of a worldwide exchange programme.

WRS SZ - Ayana, which means blossoming beauty, is Singapore Zoo’s latest pygmy hippopotamus addition. She was born on 11 April 2015

Ayana, which means blossoming beauty, is Singapore Zoo’s latest pygmy hippopotamus addition. She was born on 11 April 2015 and is the 11th offspring of parents Bubu and Minah. 23 pygmy hippopotamuses have been born in Singapore Zoo in the past 42 years. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

2015 also saw the births of critically endangered cotton-top tamarins, a species of tiny primates, and endangered Southern white rhinoceros and pygmy hippopotamus in Singapore Zoo. The park has an exceptionally impressive track record with all three species, welcoming over 80 cotton-top tamarins, 16 Southern white rhinoceroses and 23 pygmy hippopotamuses in the past 42 years.

WRS RS - River Safari saw two new additions of emperor tamarins – tiny primates with outstanding “facial hair”

River Safari saw two new additions of emperor tamarins – tiny primates with outstanding “facial hair”. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

River Safari welcomed another manatee calf in October, bringing the park’s total herd to 13 individuals. The park also saw the hatchings of unusual amphibians like the fire-bellied newt, a species of small newt native to China, and the births of capybara, super-sized rodents native to South America.

Animal births in Night Safari were particularly exciting as many of the species are from Singapore or Southeast Asia, like Malayan sambar deer, Malayan bearded pig, binturong, hog badger, and the endangered Burmese brow-antlered deer.

Moving beyond the region, Night Safari saw three births of Indian crested porcupines in two years. The park also welcomed two pups to its cackle of spotted hyenas, bringing the park’s total to 11.

WRS NS - Night Safari’s cackle of spotted hyenas added two more to their family in October. Born fully black, the pups slowly develop spots characteristic of the species within months of birth

Night Safari’s cackle of spotted hyenas added two more to their family in October. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Jurong Bird Park continues to be actively involved in the breeding of threatened species, with the hatchings of two Bali mynahs and eight Luzon bleeding-heart doves. The park works closely with Avilon Zoo and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Philippines and Begawan Foundation in Bali, Indonesia, to increase the off-site numbers of these precious birds. The Bali mynah additions in 2015 are particularly special as it is the first time these chicks are hand-raised. All progenies will eventually be sent back to their respective home countries to be released into the wild.

Also joining the park’s avian collection is the lesser bird-of-paradise, the first successful hatching in over a decade. These birds, prized for their beautiful plumage, are notoriously hard to breed in captivity because of their unique courtship rituals prior to mating.

Dr Cheng added, “Captive breeding programmes play an important role in conserving threatened animal species whose numbers are declining as a result of activities like habitat destruction and poaching.  Some of them can be valuable assurance colonies against extinction in the wild, with the aim of ultimate release back to nature, while all of them are ambassadors representing their relatives in the wild.”

*International Union for Conservation of Nature

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