Creatures of Night Safari join forces to address fables surrounding their dark nature
SINGAPORE, 29 October 2015 — Some creatures in the animal kingdom are associated with myths that leave them with bad reputations. Thoughts of bats, wolves and hyenas often conjure up images of the supernatural world, and give people the shivers! Night Safari’s residents shed light on the truths behind some of these urban legends.
Local visitors enjoy 50% discount on admission from Sundays to Thursdays as part of SG50 celebrations
25 August 2015, SINGAPORE – As Singapore celebrates her 50th anniversary of independence, take a walk on the wild side at Night Safari and get to know animals native to the island, like the Sunda slow loris, Sunda pangolin, mousedeer, and the elusive wild colugo.
Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “In heavily urbanised Singapore, few people know about our island’s wilder side and the fascinating indigenous species that inhabit our wild places. As we celebrate 50 years of achievements since independence, it is also a good time to appreciate that much of our natural heritage is precious and worthy of our conservation. In Night Safari, one of Singapore’s inventions and gifts to the world, many of these creatures can be observed in comfort and safety. Some of these are part of our collection, some are wild denizens such as the colugos.”
Zoogeographically, Singapore is part of the Sunda biodiversity hotspot, which means it has a very high number of species and they are found nowhere else in the world. It is imperative to protect native flora and fauna to keep the balance of nature. The more an individual understands the natural world, the stronger the push to safeguard the habitat for future generations. Through the years, Night Safari has helped to protect native species through several initiatives including the Common Palm Civet Project, which started in 2009 to mitigate the escalating human-civet conflict. Night Safari also hosted the ‘Scaling up Pangolin Conservation’ conference in 2013 to map out solutions for the global decline of pangolins.
If a trek through a jungle does not appeal, then traipse down to Night Safari—the world’s first wildlife park created to allow observation of wildlife at night —for a wildly exciting journey to spot, learn and appreciate the denizens of Singapore’s local forests.
Local residents enjoy 50% admission discounts from Sundays to Thursdays in September. For more information and terms and conditions, visit www.nightsafari.com.sg
Orang utans, hippos and other wild friends share tips on how to stay cool this summer
Singapore, 30 June 2015 — With temperatures soaring this summer, Singapore Zoo’s residents are taking every precaution to beat the heat, and engage in cool practices. Practical advice like wearing sunscreen and novel ways of staying heat-free are given a wild twist, courtesy of our animal friends.
Eight auspicious goat kids born in Singapore Zoo and exotic goat species in Night Safari will greet visitors
Singapore, 11 February 2015 – Usher in the Year of the Goat at Singapore Zoo and Night Safari to marvel at the beauty and grace of this year’s zodiac animal, and learn all about the elegant species.
Singapore Zoo has welcomed the birth of eight goat kids in the last two months, an auspicious sign of a bountiful year to come. The gamboling goat kids are looking forward to charming visitors to Singapore Zoo this festive season as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Visitors looking to rub off some goat luck can capture some precious shots with this year’s zodiac animal, watch goat enrichment, or feed the goats. In addition, children can learn more about goats and their wild cousins at a specially curated Goat Awareness Booth. All goat-themed Chinese New Year activities will run from 18-22 February.
Over at Night Safari, visitors can marvel at the wilder cousins of the domestic goats – the ‘snakehorned’ markhor, handsome Himalayan tahr, ‘blue’ bharal and rare mouflon.
While only the markhor and tahr are considered true goats, the bharal and mouflon are wild sheep that are no less nimble and sure-footed, making their homes in mountainous and rocky regions. These wild goats and sheep can be encountered along the Night Safari tram route.
Be greeted by an a-baa-ndance of surprises as the parks get decked out for the Lunar New Year with creative plant displays, festive animal enrichment and up-close encounters, and photo moments with adorable baby goats! Be sure to catch the acrobatic lion dance performances and meet the prosperity mascots.
Animal Encounters Goat Kids Photography at Singapore Zoo: Be charmed by the boisterous and adorable herd of young goats at Singapore Zoo, and witness an entourage of six baby goats (called kids) prancing alongside their keepers against the scenic backdrop of Upper Seletar Reservoir. Be sure to snap a souvenir shot with this year’s zodiac animal!
Wings of Asia Tour at Jurong Bird Park: Tour the park’s latest attraction and discover threatened species such as the beautiful Bali mynah and Luzon bleeding-heart dove, in an aviary featuring one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Asian birds. Stand a chance to win ang pows during a Q&A session at the end of the 15-minute tour.
Festive High Flyers Show at Jurong Bird Park: Lucky visitors will receive red packets delivered by Sassy the sulphur-crested cockatoo, and well-wishes of ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’ from Amigo the yellow-naped Amazon.
Festive Animal Enrichment
Special treats for the animals serve as enrichment and encourage them to display their natural behaviours. If you’re lucky, you can catch them at their best as they chomp, dig, and crunch their way through their festive delights.
Jurong Bird Park: Fly in to the Breeding and Research Centre to watch ‘bird nannies’ giving young parrots enrichment such as ang pows filled with treats and oranges.
Night Safari: Look out for Asian elephants, Malayan tapirs and Indian rhinos enjoying festive goodies during the tram ride. Then trek the walking trails and peer at Himalayan tahrs, Malayan tigers, fishing cats, common palm civets and wallabies as they uncover hidden treats.
River Safari: Catch the cute antics of giant pandas, red pandas, crab-eating macaques and squirrel monkeys as they receive giant ang pows.
Southern Lion Dance
A pair of spectacular Southern lions will shimmy their way atop high poles in a high-octane performance at Jurong Bird Park, River Safari and Singapore Zoo. As the sun sets, a pair of dazzling LED-lit Southern lions will light up the sky at Night Safari. This traditional mix of martial art, acrobatic and stage performance was introduced to Southeast Asia more than a century ago, and remains a mainstay of Lunar New Year celebrations.
Prosperity Mascot Appearances
No Lunar New Year is complete without good fortune from the prosperity mascots! Fu Lu Shou and the God of Fortune will make appearances at the four wildlife parks. Visitors at River Safari can also look out for Kai Kai, Jia Jia, red panda and golden pheasant mascots in their festive finery, as they spread the joy with 88 lucky ang pows daily.
Spin the Wheel at River Safari
Don’t miss out on the chance to win attractive prizes at River Safari! Simply present your admission ticket for an opportunity to spin the wheel, with a total of 88 prizes to be won daily.
Birth of two more cubs makes it a dozen babies in total for prolific Asian lion pair;
Only 300 Asian lions remain in India’s Gir Forest, the only place where they are found in the wild
Singapore, 9 December 2014 – As a sweet finale to Night Safari’s 20th anniversary this year, endangered Asian lion residents Khapat and Amba gifted the park with two Asian lion cubs, making them the 11th and 12th babies to be born to their prolific parents.
Born on 27 September, the tawny male and female pair was sexed, microchipped and given a round of vaccinations during their veterinary checkup in late November. Visitors can look out for them in upcoming months, when they will be introduced to their older siblings in the Asian lion exhibit along Night Safari’s tram route. For now, they are spending time bonding with mom in the cubbing den at a back of house facility.
Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “It’s always heartening to welcome new babies into our collection, especially at a time when many of the world’s wildlife species are being threatened as a direct result of human-related activities. These births are a valuable addition to an assurance colony of Asian lions under human care, and will help to safeguard against extinction in the wild.”
The Asian lion is a separate subspecies from the African lion. Listed as endangered under the IUCN* Red List, it is smaller in size and sports a less significant mane compared to its African cousin. Most of the wild Asian lion population is found in India’s Gir Forest, a protected sanctuary where about 300 of these magnificent animals roam. Additionally, close to 340 Asian lions live in zoos. Night Safari has 13 lions in its pride, the fourth largest collection under human care.
Night Safari hopes that it will be able to contribute to Asian lion numbers, both wild and under human care, through its captive breeding programme. To date, Night Safari has successfully bred twelve Asian lion cubs, one of which was sent to Denmark’s Aalborg Zoo last June, as part of an animal exchange programme.
Award-winning Night Safari, the world’s first safari park for nocturnal animals, officially celebrated her 20th anniversary in May this year.
*IUCN: International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Images 1 to 3: Animal residents at River Safari (from left: red panda and giant panda) enjoying pumpkins filled with their favourite treats as part of a special enrichment programme during the daytime Safari Boo festivities in October and November. Safari Boo is River Safari’s first trick-or-treat event where kids aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore
SINGAPORE, 17 October 2014 – It was a night of wild trick-or-treat fun as close to 200 invited guests enjoyed a closed-door preview of River Safari’s first Safari Boo. Costume-clad visitors, including 60 preschoolers, were treated to a special animal presentation on creepy crawlies, up-close animal encounters, a host of mythical creatures as well as an after-dark experience with the park’s river monsters.
Held over five days on Oct 22, 25, 26 & Nov 1 and 2, Safari Boo festivities take place from 6pm to 9pm (last admission at 8pm). Kids aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm and are encouraged to dress up for this merry-not-scary event to stand a chance to win in a costume contest.
Safari Boo festivities include interactive discovery stations where little ones can play archaeologist and uncover animal bones to solve mysteries. Those brave for some scaly encounters can feel the unique body covering of animals such as the pangolin and arapaima, and find out why these animals are threatened because of their scales.
For more information, visit www.riversafari.com.sg/safariboo
Images 4 & 5: As part of the Safari Boo festivities in October and November, visitors can expect up-close encounters with animals such as the bearded dragon (left) and pygmy hedgehog (right) in a special animal presentation titled “River Talk: Myths and Legends”. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
Critically endangered Sunda pangolin, cotton-top tamarin and southern river terrapin among animal births this year; giant river otters produce two babies.
Singapore, 2 October 2014 – To mark World Animal Day this year, Wildlife Reserves Singapore announced the arrival of some of the world’s rarest babies, among them the critically endangered Sunda pangolin that is native to Singapore.
Between January and August 2014, over 400 animal babies were born or hatched in Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo. Nearly one in four babies belongs to animals listed as ‘threatened’ in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species* and these include the Bali mynah, Javan langur, proboscis monkey and giant anteater.
The birth of a critically endangered Sunda pangolin in Night Safari is one of the most iconic births for WRS as the species is native to Singapore and is the logo for the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund. Night Safari is the world’s first zoological institution to house the elusive, solitary, nocturnal creature which in recent years has been driven closer to extinction by illegal animal trafficking, habitat loss and being hunted for their meat and scales at an unsustainable level. This is the third successful birth of a Sunda pangolin in WRS since 2011.
Another exciting development comes from the giant river otters at River Safari which displays this rare species for the first time in Asia. While their first pup in 2013 did not survive, the giant otters are now proud parents of two new pups. Parents Carlos and Carmen have become more experienced in raising their young and have started teaching the pups how to swim.
Over at Jurong Bird Park, a Goliath palm cockatoo is successfully bred for the first time. Goliath palm cockatoos have one of the lowest hand-rearing success rates among the parrot species due to their specialised diet. The park also successfully bred eight critically endangered Bali mynahs. Conservation efforts for the species intensified in 2010 – the year which marked the start of a partnership with Indonesia’s Begawan Foundation. Bred specifically to increase the off-site numbers of Bali mynahs in the wild, all progenies will eventually be sent back to Bali.
Singapore Zoo is ecstatic to welcome the births of two critically endangered species to its collection: the cotton-top tamarin and southern river terrapin. Singapore Zoo also saw the birth of an endangered proboscis monkey this May and the park continues to house the largest collection of proboscis monkeys in the world, outside of Indonesia.
Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “The world is undergoing an unprecedented loss of wildlife as a direct result of human related activities. Each of these births represents a precious glimmer of hope in our effort to help save the planet’s biodiversity. Many of them are part of coordinated conservation breeding programmes to safeguard against extinction in the wild. All of them are invaluable ambassadors for their species
to connect our visitors to the need for their protection.”
Kids enjoy merry-not-scary festivities for free at River Safari from 6pm
SINGAPORE, 1 October 2014 – This October, River Safari invites all little ones to join Singapore’s wildest trick-or-treat event – Safari Boo – for free! Dress the kids in their favourite costumes for an enchanting night with mythical creatures, interactive discovery stations, special animal presentations, and up-close encounters with river monsters at twilight.
Held over five days on Oct 22, 25, 26 & Nov 1 and 2, Safari Boo festivities take place from 6pm to 9pm (last admission at 8pm). The park will be transformed with colourful decoration, trick-or-treat trails, illuminated displays and a parade of fantastical characters such as the mermaid and unicorn. Children aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm* and are encouraged to come dressed in fun (not scary) costumes and stand a chance to win in a costume contest. To get into the festive spirit, even Kai Kai & Jia Jia mascots will be decked out in their Safari Boo outfit.
Mr Lee Meng Tat, Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “Safari Boo is an all-new event for families with children to have a fun and educational time at River Safari. Through the exciting programme line-up and hands-on activities, we hope visitors will have a memorable adventure in the park and learn a thing or two about wildlife.”
As part of the festivities at Safari Boo, the Giant Panda Courtyard will be home to a myriad of activity stations, including one where little ones can play archaeologist and uncover animal bones to solve mysteries. Those brave for some scaly encounters can feel the unique body covering of animals such as the pangolin and arapaima, and find out why these animals are threatened because of their scales.
Meet a friendly witch and Frankenstein himself, who will introduce various creatures of the night and charm visitors with stories in River Talk: Myths and Legends. This special animal presentation features up-close encounters with snakes, bearded dragons and creepy-crawlies, and is a purr-fect opportunity for kids (and even adults) to get over their phobias and educate others against developing fears of these misunderstood creatures.
Those bone on the wild side will love the after-dark experience at River Safari where they will get to observe the behaviours of river monsters such as the powerful arapaima and colossal giant freshwater stingray. Visitors can also find out more about creatures with blood-thirsty reputation such as the leech and tick, and even get a chance to feel the fangs of the vampire bat!
Safari Boo features daytime festivities where animals will indulge in special pumpkins filled with their favourite treats! Catch the cute antics of giant pandas, red pandas and squirrel monkeys as they chomp, dig and crunch their way through the festive treats as a form of enrichment. Visitors can also embark on a guided trail to learn freaky facts about the river monsters that roam in the park.
Safari Boo event tickets (6pm to 9pm) are priced at $15 for adults. Last admission is at 8pm. Children aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm*. Visitors with River Safari admission tickets can take part in Safari Boo activities for free.
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
Singapore, 19 Sept 2014 – Singapore 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.
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