STATEMENT – PASSING OF OMAR THE WHITE TIGER

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Whether lounging stylishly on his rocky outcrop or leaping elegantly into the water, Omar left an indelible memory in the minds of all who were awed by his regal stature. We will miss Omar, and our thoughts and appreciation go especially to his caregivers, who for so many years took such great care of him. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 8 June 2017 — We are deeply saddened by the passing of our senior white tiger Omar yesterday. An icon of Singapore Zoo in his own right, he enthralled guests with his majestic presence. Omar leaves an indelible memory in the minds of all who were awed by his regal stature. His image is immortalised in waves of photographs capturing him in his finest moments—whether leaping elegantly into the water or lounging stylishly on his rocky outcrop.

Omar had been managed on our senior animal care programme, where healthcare and welfare of our senior age animals are customised to promote longevity and quality of life.

Over the last three years, his team of keepers and veterinarians had been monitoring him closely for a melanoma (a type of skin cancer) and degeneration of his joints. They had been providing supportive care to him for the past few months to ensure his quality of life was maintained. Recent reassessment had seen worsening of his health and the difficult decision was made to euthanase him to prevent further deterioration of his quality of life.

Born under human care in Taman Safari, Indonesia, Omar had charmed guests since arriving in Singapore Zoo as a 19-month-old juvenile tiger on 6 April 2001. He would have turned 18 years old in September—an impressive age for a large cat. In the wild, tigers have an average lifespan of between 10 to 15 years while those under human care live 16 to 20 years on average.

We will miss Omar, and our thoughts and appreciation go especially to his caregivers, who for so many years took such great care of him.

Singapore Zoo is now home to two white tigers—Pasha and Keysa. The 4-year-old brother-sister duo arrived from Batu Secret Zoo in Indonesia on 15 January 2015.

NIGHT SAFARI’S NEHA CELEBRATES FIRST BIRTHDAY WITH MAMMOTH MILESTONE

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Neha recognises 10 instructions after six months in elephant kindergarten;
Play sessions condition Neha to work with care team in case deadly elephant herpes virus strikes

Image 1 (left): Night Safari’s baby elephant Neha readily lifts her leg in response to senior keeper Rahimi Rashid’s request. As a reward, she gets an enjoyable brush down on her foot. Being able to work with a cooperative calf from a young age allows her caregivers to respond swiftly should the elephant herpes virus strike. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Image 2 (right): What’s a birthday without presents? After a session of hard work, Neha eagerly explores her boxed treats with gusto! The cardboard cartons contain a hay and fruit salad of chopped bananas and mangoes, which Night Safari’s littlest elephant delightfully scoffed. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 11 May 2017Night Safari’s baby elephant Neha has had a tremendously busy year, and her keepers can proudly boast that the little pachyderm, who turns one year old tomorrow, has mastered the art of responding to about 10 instructions as part of her ongoing conditioning sessions which began in November last year.

There is a practical reason for starting elephant lessons early. Neha has reached the at-risk age of contracting the Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV), and her team of caregivers is taking every precaution to ensure they are ready to combat the disease should it strike.

EEHV can result in severe haemorrhagic disease in elephants, and is the leading cause of death for juvenile Asian elephants under human care. Calves of between 1-8 years of age are at the highest risk of contracting this often-fatal disease. Currently there is no vaccination available, and medication only serves to suppress the growth of the virus. Death frequently occurs within 1-2 days of the first visible signs, and early diagnosis and treatment are critical to survival.

Neha’s older brother Nila Utama succumbed to EEHV in 2013, when he was two years old. He had shown signs of contracting the disease just two days before he passed.

Conditioning Neha from an early age through protected contact makes it easier for her vets and keepers to monitor her closely, and ensure early diagnosis, which is crucial in the management of this disease. Protected contact means that Neha’s conditioning sessions take place with barriers in between her and her keepers. This allows for higher quality care and welfare while ensuring a greater degree of safety for the humans working with her.

Neha’s daily conditioning sessions are designed as play dates with her keepers, in which she can choose whether to participate. Aside from responding to instructions such as lifting her leg and opening her mouth, Neha already allows her temperature and weight to be taken daily. She is also learning to be comfortable with vets drawing blood from her ear, and to accepting oral and rectal administration of medication. These processes will allow for regular monitoring of her health, and ensure that the team can act swiftly should Neha display any signs of the disease.

Night Safari is committed to providing the required resources to manage this disease risk, and has set aside funding for routine testing and treatment procedures on Neha.

Neha tugged at heartstrings when she bounded into the cyber limelight at a mere 19 days old last May. Currently weighing in at 527kg, she has more than tripled her birth weight of 149kg, and continues to be doted on by her elephantine mum and aunties, and a bevy of human caregivers.

Neha is the offspring of Chawang and Sri Nandong, and is adopted by JTB Pte Ltd. She is the youngest of six Asian elephants—two males and four females—which call Night Safari home.

Asian elephants are listed as endangered on the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species, more so than their African counterparts. Threats include habitat loss and human-elephant conflicts. The native homes of the Asian elephants are often being logged and cleared for urban and agricultural development.

There are only an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 Asian elephants left in the wild today. To support the conservation of this majestic species, WRS plays an active role on the steering committee of the Asian Captive Elephant Working Group, and was instrumental in setting up the Asian Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus Working Group. In addition, WRS has funded field projects for Management and Ecology of Malaysian Elephants (MEME) in Malaysia and ElefantAsia in Laos, and currently supports the work of the Elephant Response Unit in Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra.

*IUCN: International Union for the Conservation of Nature

 

MEMBERS’ EXTRAVAGANZA AT JURONG BIRD PARK THIS JUNE

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From 3 – 26 June 2017, fly down to Asia’s largest bird paradise for a full day of fun in the sun; New and existing Friends of Bird Park and Friends of Wildlife members get to enjoy member-exclusive treats and activities.

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Bring the whole brood to Jurong Bird Park this June holidays and indulge in your love for all things birds. Friends of Bird Park and Friends of Wildlife members can enjoy member-exclusive treats and activities from 3 to 26 June 2017. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 3 MAY 2017 — Sign up for a one-year Friends of Bird Park membership at the price of a one-day full priced ticket, and enjoy a members’ extravaganza over the June holidays with a series of specially curated treats and activities!

Start off a lovely day out in the Bird Park going up close to our adorable African penguins and feed them their favourite treat – fish! Just for the month of June, Friends of Bird Park and Friends of Wildlife members can sign up for an exclusive behind-the-scenes opportunity with our Be-A-Parrot-Keeper programme and experience a day in the life of our avian keepers; where they will learn different aspects of caring for parrots, from preparing food and enrichment to understanding how our avian veterinarians conduct health checks.

Ignite that childlike imagination with a puppet show, or get crafty with bird-themed mementos which you can take home. Don’t forget to grab a photo with Sunny the hornbill and his friends during our mascot appearance sessions as well.

Membership comes with benefits – from 1 to 30 June 2017, Friends of Bird Park and Friends of Wildlife members will enjoy an exclusive 20 per cent off the western menu at Hawk Café and Birdz of Play. They will also receive a free plush keychain with a minimum spend of $30 or more at Jurong Bird Park’s retail outlet Feathers. New Friends of Bird Park members will receive a complimentary iced drink in a souvenir cup.

Guests who fancy visiting Jurong Bird Park more than once a year can now sign up for a one-year membership at the price of a one-day full priced ticket, and enjoy complimentary tram rides on weekdays and 10 per cent discount off food and beverage and retail purchases. Terms and conditions apply.

ACTIVITIES AT A GLANCE
For more information, please visit www.birdpark.com.sg/events-promos/wow.html

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SCALY SURPRISES AWAIT AT REPTOPIA AT RIVER SAFARI AND SINGAPORE ZOO

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Join the reptile revolution over weekends of 27 May – 26 June;
Signature Zoolympix event and first-ever Camp Fest add pizzazz to holiday festivities

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Image 1: Love them or hate them, reptiles are fascinating creatures. Discover the scaly denizens of Singapore Zoo’s new RepTopia exhibit this June holidays. Make a date with the panther chameleon, Gaboon viper and other equally amazing reptilian friends, and learn more about them through engaging activities. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 27 April 2017 – An array of remarkable reptiles is set to make their debut at Singapore Zoo this June, with the launch of the aptly-named new reptile exhibit – RepTopia. Over the weekends of 27 May – 26 June, guests are in for a reptile revolution with a spectrum of engaging activities. Discover and appreciate reptiles through a diverse range of activities, including enlightening animal enrichment sessions, reptile-inspired craft activities and costumed charm-eleon meet and greet sessions.

As part of the RepTopia experience, the ever popular Zoolympix returns for the 13th year. This year’s edition—Zoolympix 2017: Reptile Revolution—invites you to turn your ewws to awws! Embark on the trail to change your perception of these awesome and charismatic animals. Discover reptile-y skills, defensive moves and more cool facts through games and rep-tivities.

For those who can’t get enough of wildlife, consider joining us for the first ever Camp Fest 2017! Make a date with our animal friends over the weekend of 27-28 May at Night Safari, River Safari or Singapore Zoo with one of three camping options. Fall asleep under the stars to the gentle roar of the lion, or snooze in the depths of the flooded forest of the Amazon.

RepTopia – Eww’ll love it

Dates: 27, 28 May, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25 June (weekends only)
Time: Various (refer to onsite activity signage for details)
Fee: Activities are free but normal admission rates to both parks apply
River Safari: $30.00 (adult) and $20.00 (child 3 to 12 years)
Singapore Zoo: $33.00 (adult) and $22.00 (child 3 to 12 years)
Note: Local residents’ exclusive: Get $20 off the 2-park River Safari and Singapore Zoo Combo.
Valid from 27 May to 24 June 2017. Terms and conditions apply.

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Learn about the fascinating and weird abilities that reptiles have at various stations in RepTopia and Reptile Garden. From super speeds to colour changing abilities and eyes that see in different directions, you’ll be amazed!

Date: 27 May – 2 June, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25, 26 June
Time: 10am – 4pm
Venue: Singapore Zoo (various – check onsite for details)
Fee: $3 to participate (RepTopia quest map included!)
RepTopia quest map available at Awareness Booth (opposite Zoo Retail Shop) and welcome booth at sun bear exhibit
Registration closes at 3.30pm.
Notes: Normal admission rates of $33.00 (adult) and $22.00 (child 3 to 12 years) apply
Activities are recommended for children from 4 years old

More information on the June holiday activities at http://www.zoo.com.sg/events-promos/reptopia.html

Camp Fest

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Image 2: Enjoy an evening campfire at Safari Snooze at Singapore Zoo and be serenaded by the symphony of wildlife

Image 3: Drift off to sleep in the company of manatees at River Safari’s RiverBed and Breakfast

PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

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Registration closes 13 May 2017. For more information about Camp Fest, visit http://education.zoo.com.sg/campfest.html

Fancy visiting our award-winning parks year-round? Enjoy annual access into all four of Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s parks with our Friends of Wildlife membership for just S$119 for an individual membership. Terms and conditions apply.

The Mandai Express daily shuttle is available from Khatib MRT to Singapore Zoo between 8.30am to 7.00pm at 30 minute intervals. Children below 3 years old ride for free. Fares are $1 each way, and only payable by EZ-link card.

ENJOY WILD MOMENTS AT SINGAPORE ZOO THIS SINGAPORE HERITAGE FESTIVAL

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Spend an afternoon with attraction’s iconic senior polar bear Inuka;
Relive childhood memories while discovering the park’s other veterans through themed activity

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Find out more about Inuka the polar bear (left), Omar the white tiger (middle) and Komali the Asian elephant (right) on the Old is Gold Family Trail at Singapore Zoo during this year’s Singapore Heritage Festival. Also, discover how keepers look after one of Singapore Zoo’s most beloved animals – Inuka – and go behind the scenes for a glimpse of his daily routine. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 6 APRIL 2017 — Fans of Inuka the polar bear are in for a treat when Singapore Heritage Festival rolls around this year. Those wanting to know more about Singapore Zoo’s senior resident can indulge in an afternoon with the world’s first polar bear born in the tropics, and go behind the scenes for a glimpse of how keepers provide quality geriatric care for him in his golden years.

Inuka’s keepers will also share their experiences and nuggets of information during the daily interaction sessions as guests watch Inuka engage in his favourite enrichment activities.

Visit other iconic senior residents such as Komali the Asian elephant, Omar the white tiger and Astove the Aldabra giant tortoise on the Old is Gold Family Trail. Learn about our veteran animals while bonding with family over your own memories of past zoo visits. A little souvenir awaits when you complete the trail.

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For more information, visit http://www.zoo.com.sg/events-promos/national-heritage-festival-2017.html

Regular admission applies for visits to Singapore Zoo. Guests who purchase tickets online can save up to 15%.

The Mandai Express daily shuttle is available from Khatib MRT to Singapore Zoo between 8.30am to 7.00pm at 30 minute intervals. Children below 3 years old ride for free. Fares are $1 each way, and only payable by EZ-link card.

RIVER SAFARI’S GIANT PANDAS KAI KAI AND JIA JIA DRAW CLOSER TO 72 HOURS OF LOVE

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This will be the pair’s third attempt at natural mating; Visitors will not be able to see giant pandas for three days during the mating season.

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ABOVE: Jia Jia takes an interest in Kai Kai (foreground). With the arrival of the giant panda mating season, visitors to River Safari’s Giant Panda Forest can expect to see Kai Kai and Jia Jia displaying courtship behaviour. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 27 March 2017 – Ahead of the annual giant panda mating season—which typically occurs from March to May—veterinarians have given both River Safari’s giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia a clean bill of health during their annual check-up last month. The annual health check included x-rays of Jia Jia’s abdomen, collection of urine samples and a dental and eye check.

This will be the giant pandas’ third attempt at natural mating, and visitors at the park may observe some intriguing courtship behaviour from the pair from now till May. As early as February, Kai Kai and Jia Jia have shown early signs that the mating season was coming soon.

Ten-year-old Kai Kai and nine-year-old Jia Jia entered mating season for the first time in 2015 but both natural mating and artificial insemination had been unsuccessful. For the coming mating season, keepers have fine-tuned techniques to stimulate their mating instincts.

Kai Kai and Jia Jia’s exhibits were first swapped in November last year, two months earlier compared to previous mating seasons, when exhibits were usually swapped in January. This helps to encourage hormonal changes when smelling the scent of the opposite gender.

As withprevious mating seasons, keepers continued to vary daylight hours and temperature at River Safari’s Giant Panda Forest. This simulates the seasonal transition from winter to spring in their homeland in Sichuan, China, triggering the breeding cycle of the pair—the first of their kind to live so close to the equator.

Vets and keepers are carefully observing the behaviour of the two pandas as well as monitoring Jia Jia’s hormonal levels. Once Jia Jia’s oestrogen level drops, the giant pandas will be taken out of their respective exhibits for three days to allow natural mating in the dens. During these three days, visitors to River Safari will not be able to see Kai Kai and Jia Jia in the Giant Panda Forest.

Vets have also collected Kai Kai’s semen via electro-ejaculation for artificial insemination to increase the chances of breeding the pandas should natural mating be unsuccessful.

Jia Jia looking for Kai Kai on the other side of the crossing gate

LEFT: Jia Jia looking out for Kai Kai on the other side of the crossing gate. Female giant pandas only have a window of 24 to 36 hours to get pregnant, which makes reproduction for this black-and-white icon very difficult.

 

 

Male giant panda Kai Kai puts on a show for Jia Jia while she munches on bamboo

LEFT: Kai Kai putting on a show for Jia Jia, who sits munching bamboo. The cover of the crossing gate—which separates the pandas’ exhibits and is normally closed—was removed to allow them to steal peeks at each other and pique their interest ahead of mating season.

 

Jia Jia undergoing an eye check by veterinary opthalmologist Dr Rui Oliveira

LEFT: Jia Jia undergoing an eye check by veterinary ophthalmologist Dr Rui Oliveira, while Dr Abraham Mathew, senior veterinarian, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, looks on.

 

 

HELP WILDLIFE ESCAPE EXTINCTION THIS MARCH HOLIDAYS

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Dinosaurs at River Safari and Singapore Zoo help spread conservation message with new themed activities on weekends of 11-19 Mar 2017; Local residents enjoy savings of 50 per cent with two-park combo through March

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Meet critically endangered animals at River Safari and Singapore Zoo this March holidays, and help steer them away from extinction. All-new activities promise family fun as you learn important conservation messages on how to stop today’s species from suffering the same fate as dinosaurs. Enjoy this new experience on the weekends of 11 – 19 Mar 2017. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 1 MARCH 2017 — This March holidays, our Zoo-rassic Park dinosaur friends in River Safari and Singapore Zoo are spreading the conservation message to help threatened wildlife escape a fate similar to them.

Discover critically endangered animals such as the Sumatran elephant, Sumatran orangutan and Sulawesi crested macaque when you embark on the Together for Wildlife trail and learn how the smallest action can help impact their lives. The trail continues with animals like the Indian gharial, Mekong Giant Catfish and Amur sturgeon at River Safari.

Find out how our keepers engage these critically endangered residents through a series of animal enrichments and feedings to help encourage their natural behaviour.
Parents will get the opportunity to bond with their children over craft activities. Pass on conservation messages to the little ones, while turning discarded egg cartons into adorable turtles or decorating orangutan and elephant masks.

From 1 – 31 March, local residents enjoy fabulous savings of 50 per cent with our two-park combo to Singapore Zoo and River Safari at $31.50 per adult and $21.00 per child (3-12 years old) (Usual price $63.00 per adult and $42.00 per child 3-12 years old). This promotion is available online and onsite. Terms and conditions apply.

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For more information, visit www.zoorassicpark.sg

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