Singapore, 27 June 2013Singapore Zoo turned 40 today and a party was thrown in her honour to mark the momentous occasion. Mr S.R. Nathan, Sixth President of Singapore, was present for the celebrations alongside those who have helped in her growth as a world-renowned zoo, including popular animal stars such as the orang utans.

Guest of Honour Mr S R Nathan at Elephant garlanding
Guest of Honour Mr S R Nathan at Elephant garlanding

“Singapore Zoo turning 40 is a very significant occasion for us at Wildlife Reserves Singapore. In the past 40 years, Singapore Zoo has become a fun and educational institution that both Singaporeans and international friends love. Many of us have grown up with her and many more have fond memories of coming to the zoo with our families, friends and teachers,” said Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore. “This journey has been one filled with much excitement along the way and we have treasured every minute of it because we want people from around the world to be inspired by nature and develop a deep appreciation for wildlife.”

Mr S R Nathan and Ms Claire Chiang officiated Singapore Zoo's 40th Birthday Celebrations
Mr S R Nathan and Ms Claire Chiang officiated Singapore Zoo’s 40th Birthday Celebrations

Singapore Zoo first opened its doors to visitors on 27 June 1973 with a collection of 272 animals representing 72 species. This was after five years of development work which began in 1968 when Dr Ong Swee Law, Chairman of Singapore’s Public Utilities Board, conceived the idea of locating the zoo in the catchment forests around the Upper Seletar Reservoir.

Since then, the Zoo has established herself as one of the world’s finest, not only for her unique collection of animals and immersive exhibits, but also for her leadership in conservation, education and recreation. Some of her fondest memories include the first orang utan birth in 1975, the opening of the Children’s Zoo and Adventureland in 1980, and the release of the first free-ranging animals – the squirrel monkeys, cotton-top tamarins and cotton-eared marmosets – in the zoo in 1992. Today, she has a collection of over 2,800 animals of over 300 species, 26 per cent of which are threatened.

Orang Utan Chomel meets Mr S R Nathan
Orang Utan Chomel meets Mr S R Nathan
Orang Utans enjoying the Singapore Zoo 40th Birthday Fruit cake
Orang Utans enjoying the Singapore Zoo 40th Birthday Fruit cake

Annually, over 1.7 million Singapore and international visitors enjoy experiential learning journeys at the award-winning zoo. Singapore Zoo has become an evergreen destination which many visitors discover as children. As years pass, they re-visit as parents when their own little ones are growing up, and eventually return as grandparents with their grandchildren.

“As our world continues to urbanise, we have an even more important and urgent task at hand of educating the public to appreciate, protect and secure the future of our most valued assets – wildlife – because once gone, we won’t get to enjoy that anymore. Singapore Zoo will continue its mission to inspire its visitors to develop an appreciation for nature and wildlife. We look forward to stronger collaborations with our partners to bring fun and value to our visitors, especially the young ones,” said Ms Chiang.

Mr S R Nathan signing on the Singapore Zoo 40th Birthday Card
Mr S R Nathan signing on the Singapore Zoo 40th Birthday Card

As a gesture of thanks to the local community, 40th birthday surprises will continue all year round, starting with a 40% discount on admission throughout July for all Singaporeans and permanent residents to join in the merriment and celebrate the park’s milestone birthday.

In addition, guests can take part in the 40 Wild Years Trail, and redeem retail and F&B offers upon completion. The trail will run from 27 June – 31 July 2013 and consists of five questions that will take visitors to some iconic sites within Singapore Zoo. Activity sheets will be available at all Singapore Zoo ticket counters.

For more information and the latest updates on Singapore Zoo’s 40th anniversary celebrations, visit, or


Singapore, April 9, 2008Wildlife Reserves Singapore, parent company of Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo, has appointed active community advocate and former two-term Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP), Ms Claire Chiang as non-executive Chairman of Wildlife Reserves Singapore with effect from April 1, 2008.

“Claire is one of the few Singapore leaders that has made her mark in many sectors, ranging from public policy, corporate social responsibility, social service (including women and family issues as well as the disadvantaged), education to business.

“The WRS Board has great respect for Claire and we look forward to her bringing her ‘trade-mark’ passion and commitment to steer all our three parks to higher and wider international recognition,” said Dr Ngiam Tong Tau, WRS Board member who was also the acting Chairman during the interim period.

“Bob Kwan, WRS’ previous Executive Chairman, has left behind a legacy, which I shall build upon. As a corporate social responsibility advocate, I believe that every business has an impact on society through what it produces, how it employs and develops its people, and how it relates to its environment and community at large. Jurong BirdPark, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo are model organisations in this regard. I look forward to working with the WRS Board to further strengthen their iconic significance as well as widen their CSR policies and business practices to become global role models in the zoological world. I am equally keen to make our parks more pro-family by adopting various initiatives that make them the best-loved leisure attractions for families to play and bond, ” said Ms Chiang.

As Senior Vice President, Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd, she pioneered the Group’s retail businesses and has continued to oversee the opening of over 60 retail outlets in the world.