MEET “KAI KAI” (凯凯) AND “JIA JIA” (嘉嘉) – SINGAPORE’S GIANT PANDAS

WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE ANNOUNCES NAMES CHOSEN FROM NATIONWIDE SEARCH

Singapore, 16 March 2011 – After a six-month-long nationwide contest, the names of Singapore’s two most highly anticipated soon-to-be ‘permanent residents’ have been selected from nearly 1,000 entries submitted by the public last year. A distinguished judging panel has picked “Kai Kai” (凯凯) and “Jia Jia” (嘉嘉) as the new names for the two Giant Panda cubs as they bear special significance of the close relationship between Singapore and China. The names “Kai Kai” (凯凯) and “Jia Jia” (嘉嘉) won by a clear majority of the judges’ votes.

The seven-person judging panel consisted of representatives from different agencies and organisations, namely Mr Chen Jiang, Cultural Counsellor, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Singapore; Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ms Aw Kah Peng, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board; Professor Wang Gungwu, Chairman, East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore; Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and CEO, CapitaLand Group; Ms Jennie Chua, Chief Corporate Officer, CapitaLand Limited; and Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

“Kai Kai”, the name for the male giant panda, was chosen as it means ‘victorious’ in Chinese (as in 凯旋, 凯歌) and is a testament to the 20 triumphant years of Sino-Singapore relations. For the female giant panda, ‘Jia Jia’ which means beautiful and fine, is a reflection of the excellent ties between Singapore and China. On another level, the Chinese character ‘Jia’ (嘉) was used in the old Chinese reference for Singapore (星嘉坡) and the phonetic pronunciation of ‘Jia’ is equivalent to the Mandarin pronunciation of the Chinese character ‘加’, which is not only an integral part of Singapore’s current Chinese name (新加坡), but also means ‘to add’ – representing the wish to expand the giant panda family in Singapore through a successful breeding programme at WRS.

“We can refer to our giant pandas by name, and that is an exciting development for us, especially since these names were submitted by Singaporeans. These are meaningful and beautiful names, chosen to reflect the symbolic ties we have with China, and the future these pandas will have in Singapore. People here have shown tremendous support for our giant panda conservation programme and we hope the community will continue to demonstrate their commitment to wildlife conservation,” said Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, WRS.

Added Mr Chen Jiang, Cultural Counsellor, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Singapore: “The bond between Singapore and China is one that is built on mutual trust and respect, and the two giant pandas are an expression of that close friendship. They also mark the commitment to conserve and safeguard the existence of these endangered animals.”

Mr Lim Chin Beng, Chairman of CapitaLand Hope Foundation, the philanthropic arm of CapitaLand, said: “These symbolic names reflect the strong bilateral relationship between Singapore and China over the last 20 years, and will further strengthen the close friendship and economic ties between the two countries going forward. The Giant Panda collaborative programme will raise cultural exchange and understanding between Singapore and China, and also promote wildlife conservation education among the young. It is against this backdrop that CapitaLand, as a responsible corporate citizen in Singapore and China, is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor of the programme.”

The duo – a three-year-old male and his two-year-old female companion – will arrive in Singapore next year, as part of a joint collaboration between WRS and China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) to raise awareness for the conservation of these gentle creatures, and the development of a breeding programme for these critically endangered animals. The pandas also represent the close diplomatic relations between Singapore and China. Singapore is the seventh country to receive giant pandas from China since 1994.

The person whose entry was picked by the judges is a 38 year old Singaporean, Ms Angeline Fong, who will receive a complimentary three-night stay at any Ascott serviced residence worldwide, an exclusive preview of the giant panda exhibit when it opens in 2012, and other attractive prizes.

The two furry black and white envoys are due to arrive in early 2012 and will be housed at WRS’ upcoming attraction, the River Safari, Asia’s first river-themed park. Visitors at the River Safari will be able to observe the giant pandas up close in an environment similar to that of their natural habitat, naturally landscaped with a lush bamboo forest, shallow streams, trees and boulders for the animals to explore and play.

Giant Pandas are among the rarest bear species in the world with less than 1,600 left in the wild. They are classified as endangered under the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species. The population of giant pandas in the wild continues to dwindle due to the loss and destruction of their natural habitat.

For more information, please visit www.riversafari.com.sg

Jia Jia - the female Giant Panda
Kai Kai - the male Giant Panda

SINGAPORE AIRLINES IS THE OFFICIAL AIRLINE FOR GIANT PANDA COLLABORATIVE PROGRAMME

SIA CARGO TO TRANSPORT PANDAS TO SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 22 September 2010 – Singapore Airlines has been named the Official Airline for the Giant Panda collaborative programme between Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) and the China Wildlife Conservation Association. WRS and Singapore Airlines have signed a sponsorship agreement under which the Airline will transport the pandas to Singapore and provide air tickets for training and exchange programmes.

Under the agreement, Singapore Airlines Cargo will operate a special freighter flight to transport the pair of pandas from Chengdu to Singapore in the second half of 2011. Air tickets will also be provided on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir flights, primarily for the training and familiarisation needs of the teams of zookeepers, veterinarians and researchers from both Singapore and China.

“As the Official Airline for the Giant Panda programme, Singapore Airlines is honoured to play our part in promoting the conservation of these endangered gentle giants, which will enhance awareness and understanding of wildlife conservation. This underscores our strong belief in participating in programmes that have a tangible and sustainable impact on the well-being of our planet and its inhabitants,” said Mr Bey Soo Khiang, Singapore Airlines’ Senior Executive Vice President Marketing and Corporate Services.

“We are also proud to contribute to the further development of the strong bilateral ties between Singapore and China.”

A team from WRS recently visited the Ya’an and Chengdu panda bases in China in preparation for the pandas’ arrival. On the training trip, the team that will be looking after the Giant Pandas learnt from their Chinese counterparts the husbandry and nutrition needs as well as veterinary care of pandas. They also observed the management of panda births and were trained in the care requirements of young pandas. These two facilities account for most of the panda births worldwide.

“The arrival of the Giant Pandas to Singapore is a momentous event. We are pleased that Singapore Airlines has come on board as the Official Airline to provide the support needed to bring them here from China. The sponsorship also serves to bring conservationists from China and Singapore together in a bid to improve wildlife conservation management and promote eco-tourism development. Ten wildlife experts from China will spend two weeks training at WRS once every two years while our zoologists and veterinarians will conduct in-situ conservation and research in China,” said Ms Fanny Lai, WRS’ Group CEO.

“WRS believes that this partnership with SIA will be of great benefit to the conservation of endangered wildlife in the region and we look forward to continuing our mission in wildlife education.”

Singapore Airlines’ sponsorship of the Giant Pandas programme is its second involvement in a major conservation project. In August, Singapore Airlines announced a US$3 million donation towards the protection and restoration of the 100,000-hectare Harapan Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia.

WRS is the parent company of Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo. The Giant Pandas will be on loan from China and will be housed at the River Safari, which is scheduled to open in the first half of 2012. It will be the world’s first and only river-themed wildlife park and the newest addition to WRS’ portfolio of award-winning parks.

WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE GROWS SPECIAL BAMBOO SPECIES IN THE PARKS

BAMBOO CULTIVATED TO MEET SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS OF GIANT PANDAS FROM CHINA

Singapore, 26 Aug 2010Night Safari and Singapore Zoo are home to many different types of flora and fauna, and these award-winning wildlife parks recently added a variety of new bamboo species to their collection – all cultivated in anticipation of the arrival of a male and female giant panda from China next year.

On loan to parent company Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) from the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA), these endangered creatures will be one of the main highlights of WRS’ upcoming attraction, River Safari, Asia’s first river-themed wildlife park, which will open its doors in 2012. The 10-year collaboration is aimed at promoting the conservation of giant pandas through research and a captive breeding programme. CapitaLand has pledged a conservation donation to support this initiative.

Giant pandas have carnaisal teeth which classifies them as carnivores. However, these animals feed mainly on leaves, stems and shoots of bamboo species. As their diet is low in nutrition, they need to eat about 20 kg of food every day to meet their energy needs.

To cater to their special diet and the extensive amount of bamboo they will consume, every available space around and within the Night Safari and Singapore Zoo, as well as the neighbouring yet-to-be-completed River Safari have been converted to special plots of land for bamboo cultivation.

In the past six months, the horticulture department at WRS have been planting and nurturing four different species of bamboo, three of which are native to the homeland of the giant pandas. These include the Bambusa ventricosa (Buddha’s belly), Phyllostachys sulphurea (Ougon-Kou Chiku Bamboo), Bambusa glaucescens (Hedge bamboo) as well as Thyrsostachys Siamensis (Siamese bamboo) from Myanmar and Thailand.

“Although giant pandas can eat up to 25 types of bamboos, they are picky eaters and will only eat the species that grow in their home range. We were told that our two new charges have preferences for Siamese bamboo and hedge bamboo, as these have wide leaves and are juicier. We are planting these varieties, so that our giant pandas can enjoy locally grown bamboo, which suit their taste buds,” said Mr Melvin Tan, Assistant Director at the WRS horticulture department.

During a visit to the giant panda base in Chengdu, China, earlier this year, the WRS team even brought along the bamboos they had planted to these two giant pandas for a taste test.

To ensure an ample supply of bamboo for the giant pandas, up to 5,400 clumps need to be planted on about 8,000 sq m of land. To date, the team has successfully grown about 1,300 clumps of the four species of bamboo on their grounds.

“Besides taking care of their special dietary needs, we are also sending our curators and keepers to China for training, which will include guidance on the finer points of giant panda mating and breeding. We hope to offer the best conditions for the successful pairing of these pandas, and we hope to welcome babies during their stay here to contribute towards the conservation of this magnificent animal,” said Ms Fanny Lai, WRS’ Group CEO.

Native to central-western and south-western China, giant pandas have been driven from their natural habitats due to logging and deforestation. Bamboo – their staple diet – has also become short in supply, partly because of their peculiarity of blooming and dying at the same time. This forces the giant pandas to move to another area in search of food. Some 1,600 of them are estimated to be left in the wild, with about 200 being bred in captivity in China. Outside of China, there are 38 held in captivity, including five in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

CapitaLand and WRS are currently holding a contest to name the two giant pandas that are bound for Singapore. From now till 31 August 2010, members of the public can submit their entries at http://www.pandas.com.sg.

Bambusa glaucescens bamboo species planted behind the zoo’s nursery
Thrsostachys siamensis planted on the driveway leading to treatment plant’s main gate door

WRS INVITES SINGAPOREANS TO NAME THE GIANT PANDAS

Singapore, 15 June 2010Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) and CapitaLand have launched a nation-wide competition today to name the pair of Giant Pandas which will arrive in Singapore in 2011.

The pair of male and female pandas will be on loan to WRS from the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) as part of a 10-year joint collaboration to promote the conservation of Giant Pandas and kick-start a breeding research programme. WRS is the parent company of Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, Singapore Zoo and the upcoming River Safari, which will be home to the pandas. CapitaLand, one of Asia’s largest real estate companies, is the Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor of the Giant Panda collaborative programme.

From now till 31 August 2010, members of the public can submit their entries for the two new furry black and white residents at www.pandas.com.sg. The names must be symbolic in meaning, reflect the close relationship between Singapore and China, and be easy to pronounce. Suggested names given for both male and female Giant Pandas must be in Chinese, with the option of an English, Malay or Tamil translation. Each entry comes with a participation fee of SGD $2, which will be donated in full to the Giant Panda Conservation Fund for the pandas’ upkeep.

The winning pair of names, to be announced in October 2010, will be picked by a panel of judges comprising representatives from the Singapore Tourism Board, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Singapore, WRS and CapitaLand. The winner will receive a complimentary three-night stay at any Ascott serviced residence worldwide, an exclusive preview of the Giant Panda exhibit when it opens in 2012 and other attractive prizes.

The River Safari, Asia’s first river-themed park and WRS’ fourth and latest nature attraction, will be home to the two Giant Pandas. Giant Pandas are the rarest members of the bear family and are considered one of the world’s most endangered animals. About 1,600 Giant Pandas are estimated to be left in the wild, and to ensure the existence of these endearing creatures, some 200 Giant Pandas have been placed in captive breeding programmes in wildlife parks across the world.

“The arrival of the Giant Pandas is a milestone for WRS and Singapore. We call upon the local community to welcome these gentle creatures by taking part in a nation-wide search for their names, to demonstrate our commitment to wildlife conservation and to celebrate the close ties between Singapore and China,” said Ms Fanny Lai, Group CEO of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and CEO of CapitaLand Group, said, “The Giant Panda collaborative programme will raise cultural exchange and understanding between Singapore and China and further strengthen the strong relationship between the two countries. It is against this backdrop that CapitaLand, as an active social investor in Singapore and China, is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor of the programme. This naming contest for the two Giant Pandas will raise conservation awareness of the Singapore public as we get ready to welcome these Chinese national treasures to Singapore next year.”

For more information, please refer to www.pandas.com.sg.

Can you think of a name for our Giant pandas?

WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE TO RECEIVE TWO GIANT PANDAS FROM CHINA

– WRS’ RIVER SAFARI WILL BE NEW HOME FOR GIANT PANDAS
– WRS TO SIGN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH CHINA WILDLIFE CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION (“CWCA”) TO COLLABORATE ON GIANT PANDA CONSERVATION AND RESEARCH
– CAPITALAND MAKES CONSERVATION DONATION TO SUPPORT THE COLLABORATIVE EFFORT

Singapore, November 11, 2009Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), parent company of Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo will receive a pair of male and female Giant Pandas from China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) as part of a joint collaboration to promote giant panda conservation, raise public awareness of conservation and implement a giant panda breeding research programme. The pandas are symbolic of the close relationship between Singapore and China as the Republic celebrates the 20th Anniversary of friendly Sino-Singapore relations. This was announced by President Hu Jintao following a meeting with President S R Nathan earlier this evening.

The two pandas, which are scheduled to arrive in Singapore in the second half of 2011, will have a new home at the River Safari, the fourth and latest nature park by WRS. Preliminary work for River Safari has begun and construction is due to be completed by mid-2011. Visitors will be able to see the pandas when River Safari opens its doors in early 2012.

Both WRS and CWCA will ink their commitment to the conservation collaboration through an Agreement with the objective of knowledge exchange on reproductive science and education on wildlife in China.

The partnership will be sealed at a signing ceremony on November 12 in the presence of President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, signaling high-level support from both governments.

“We are pleased that the pandas mark the strong and continuing friendship between the two countries. The strong support from both our governments will give us great impetus to work with our Chinese counterpart in global nature and wildlife conservation, and to learn, adopt and implement best practices. This collaboration will also boost greater interest in the areas of conservation, especially for the giant pandas,” said Ms Claire Chiang, WRS’ Chairman.

To support this conservation effort, CapitaLand Limited, one of Asia’s largest real estate companies with a strong presence in China for 15 years, has pledged a conservation donation to support the 10-year collaborative programme.

Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and CEO of CapitaLand Group, said: “Over the last 15 years, CapitaLand has actively participated in China’s urbanisation. Today, we have an extensive presence with a portfolio worth over S$20 billion (on a when-completed basis) comprising about 100 projects spanning 40 cities across China. This conservation donation is yet another testament of CapitaLand’s long-term commitment to China. This collaborative effort will raise cultural exchange and understanding between the two countries and further strengthen the strong relationship between Singapore and China.”

Husbandry and Veterinary Care
“With WRS’ Wildlife Healthcare and Research Centre established since 2006, we have the necessary infrastructure in place – latest technology in veterinary equipment and animal management team with extensive field experience – to care for the giant pandas. Through close collaboration with the CWCA, we will be even better positioned to achieve our objectives of promoting giant panda conservation and raise public awareness of conservation. Along with all Singaporeans, we eagerly await the arrival of the pandas,” said Ms Fanny Lai, WRS’ Group CEO.

WRS has identified a team of zookeepers and veterinarians to look after the husbandry needs and veterinary care of the pandas. During the next two years, zookeepers will receive training on the husbandry, nutrition and housing of pandas. A researcher on the team will monitor as well as study the husbandry, nutrition, behaviour and reproduction of the pandas.

In addition, a team of panda experts from China will come to Singapore to provide training as well as expert guidance on creating the ideal environment for the pandas.

Caring for pandas is not new to WRS. In 1990 one of WRS’ parks, Singapore Zoo, welcomed and cared for two giant pandas “An-An” and “Xin-Xing” for 100 days.

Exhibit, Housing and Conservation Education
In line with the needs of the pandas, their new home at the River Safari will be designed and constructed to meet the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) standards.

As a strong proponent of conservation education, WRS will be looking at enriching visitors’ experience with panda conservation interpretives, educational programmes and behind-the-scenes experience on panda care.

River Safari
River Safari will be located along Mandai Lake Road, adjacent to Night Safari and Singapore Zoo. The new attraction will be Asia’s first river-themed animal park comprising of boat rides, display of freshwater habitats and other highlights offering close-up multi-sensory experience for the young and old, with the aim to create greater awareness of freshwater habitat conservation. The development will be built with environmental sensitivity and minimal impact on the Mandai Nature Reserve area.