SINGAPORE ZOO HELPING TO MOBILISE THE EARTH FOR THE FUTURE

FOCUS THIS EARTH DAY WILL BE ON ENCOURAGING VISITORS TO TAKE ON MORE ACTIVE ROLES TO CONSERVE THE ENVIRONMENT, IN LINE WITH THIS YEAR’S THEME

Singapore, 5 April 2012 – You’ve heard it all before – use less water, recycle plastic bags, turn off the lights when you leave the room… but how about a way to get even more actively involved as a soldier for the Earth’s cause?

This year, Singapore Zoo invites you to “Mobilise the Earth” with us. Also the theme of Earth Day this year, the focus will be on getting people to stand up, take notice and make a difference in environmental conservation in a way that’s fun for the entire family!

Learn how to transform recycled materials into innovative ornamental pieces or make a specially designed badge to mark your Earth Day pledge. Meet Moby, our recycled orang utan and join the Facebook contest to guess how many bottles he’s made of. And even get into a green groove with the Zhenghua Secondary School Drums Ensemble!

Details:
Date: 21 and 22 April (Sat and Sun) Venue: Singapore Zoo (various locations), 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Time: Activity times are detailed below
Fee: Activities are free
Note: Normal admission rates of $20.00 for adults and $13.00 for children between 3-12 years apply

Activities:
Get Creative. Go Green
Our Earth day partners, Christian Outreach to the Handicapped, will demonstrate how to transform recycled materials into innovative ornamental pieces. Guests are welcome to try their hand at creating beautiful lamps from plastic bottles, or simply marvel at the intricate art pieces that can bloom from simple materials.

These art pieces also serve a dual function – they can be used as lamps for a functional and environmentally-friendly way of beautifying your home. Also known as upcycling, this workshop showcases a practical way of turning worthless old items into new products of a higher value.

Venue: Opposite retail store at the entrance
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm

Pledge-a-badge
Wear your heart on your sleeve… or your chest, when you make a badge to mark your Earth Day pledge. Take home one of our specially designed Earth Day badges and wear it proudly to remind yourself of your promise to Mother Earth, hopefully one you’ll keep for always!

Venue: Opposite retail store at the entrance
Time: 10.00am – 5.00pm

Friends of the Green Forest
A very special friend is coming to the Zoo this Earth Day – meet Moby the orang utan made entirely from recycled bottles! Don’t miss a chance to take a photo with this unique sculpture done by students from Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media. You also stand to win attractive prizes when you enter our Facebook contest to guess the number of recycled bottles that Moby is made of.

Venue: Rainforest Courtyard (near bird photography)
Time: 8.30am – 6.00pm

Green Grooves
Did you know that you can make music from recycled materials? Join our student musicians from Zhenghua Secondary School Drums Ensemble for a fun-filled performance and check out some of their funky moves.

Venue: Shaw Foundation Amphitheatre
Time: 12.20pm and 2.20pm

A beautiful chandelier made from recycled material

WRS HOLDS FACEBOOK CONTEST TO NAME AH MENG’S FIRST GREAT GRANDSON

Singapore, 14 March 2011 – The legacy of Singapore Zoo’s most iconic resident, Ah Meng, continues to grow with the recent birth of her first great grandson earlier this year. Chomel, Ah Meng’s granddaughter, gave birth to the male orang utan on 31 Jan at about 4.20am. Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) is inviting Singaporeans to pick his name via an online voting system on Facebook.

The Zoology team at the Singapore Zoo has shortlisted four names for the newborn and is asking members of the public to choose their favourite. The names are:

1. Ah Boy: A common term of endearment for many boys at home in Singapore
2. Bino: Meaning ‘Brave’ in Bahasa Indonesia
3. Terang: Meaning ‘Bright’ in Malay
4. Xing Xing: In Chinese, this means both ‘star’ and ‘ape

The contest on the WRS Facebook page is open to everyone who is a fan of the page. Voting will end 31 March 2011 and the name which earns the most number of ‘likes’ on Facebook will be the chosen name for the baby orang utan.

A lucky participant will be selected at random from the winning votes and will win a dining experience for five at Singapore Zoo’s Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife. The winner will also have the opportunity to take an exclusive photo with mother and baby.

The little orang utan made his public debut in February during Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife with mother Chomel, and will make regular appearances at this special wildlife breakfast programme. Singapore Zoo, operated by WRS which also runs other award-winning parks such as the Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, and the upcoming river-themed attraction River Safari, is the only zoo in the world that offers this unique dine-with-wildlife experience, which allows visitors to get up close to animals like orang utans and snakes during a breakfast buffet.

In celebration of the baby orang utan’s appearance on Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife, one child dines for free with every two paying adults from now until 20 March 2011.

The newborn is the 36th orang utan and the fourth descendant of Ah Meng to be born at Singapore Zoo. Keepers say he is a very amiable and expressive baby, and always looks like he has a smile on his face.

A total of 26 of these charismatic apes live at the zoo and are displayed as a large social group in a spacious naturalistic enclosure. Singapore Zoo is the first zoo in the world to create free-ranging areas for these arboreal creatures to swing, climb and play. These exhibits comprise tall trees, thick branches, abundant foliage and vines which replicate the animals’ natural environment.

There are two species of orang utan – Bornean and Sumatran. The population of Bornean orang utan is estimated at 55,000 while there are only 7,500 Sumatran orang utan left in the wild, making this species critically endangered. Ah Meng was a female Sumatran orang utan that was smuggled illegally into Singapore and given a home at the Singapore Zoo in 1971. She lived to a ripe old age of 48 (or approximately 95 orang utan years) and was the first to host the Zoo’s Breakfast with Ah Meng programme.

To vote, please visit:
http://www.facebook.com/wrs.sg

Chomel gently cradles her son, the first Sumatran orang utan to be born at Singapore Zoo in more than a decade. Photo courtesy of Bjorn Olesen
Chomel and her newborn

WORLD’S LARGEST BIRD PARADISE – JURONG BIRD PARK – TURNS 40

YEAR-LONG CELEBRATIONS KICK OFF WITH PARK DISCOUNTS, SOUVENIR GIVEAWAYS AND FACEBOOK CONTESTS

Singapore, 4 January 2011Jurong Bird Park, one of four wildlife attractions managed by Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), with the others being Night Safari, Singapore Zoo and the upcoming River Safari, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, by offering discounts off admission prices and gifts to selected visitors.

From now till the end of January, Singaporeans and Permanent Residents who turn 40 this year get 40% off admission ticket prices. From 3-9 January, those who celebrated their 40th birthday on 3 Jan 2011 will get free admission into the park, and the first 40 who come in also get an exclusive Bird Park 40th anniversary T-shirt and a cute plush toy.

Next month, celebrations continue with a Facebook contest to encourage couples to share their 40 years of romantic moments at the park. Couples will be asked to dust off their old photo albums and post pictures of them during their courtship days or weddings. Winners will walk away with free admission tickets and a limited edition Valentine’s Day YooHoo plush toy.

Other exciting activities planned for the year include a wildlife photography contest, as well as the launch of a play area for kids at the park and a brand new Birds of Prey show.

Opened on 3 January 1971, Jurong Bird Park is the first wildlife park to be established in Singapore and is today the largest bird park in the world. Situated on a 20.2-hectare hillside, the award-winning park is a haven for 4,600 birds representing 380 of the world‟s bird species. As the oldest wildlife park here, it is an excellent model of success, spearheading avian conservation and education infused with fun recreation for both young and old, locals and tourists.

Over the years, the Bird Park has made significant strides towards establishing itself as the region’s leading institution for the conservation of avian biodiversity. In the area of ex-situ conservation, it has a Breeding and Research Centre tasked to ensure the welfare, breeding and promulgation of birdlife, and has won several accolades for its breeding programmes.

For example, it was the first park in the world to successfully breed the black hornbill in captivity in 1995 and the twelve-wired Bird of Paradise for which the park received the Breeders‟ Award from the American Pheasant and Waterfowl Society in 2001. In 2006, the Bird Park received the Conservation & Research Award for the Oriental Pied Hornbill Conservation Project by IV International Symposium on Breeding Birds in Captivity (ISBBC). More recently in 2010, the park successfully bred and hatched the highly endangered red fronted macaw, hyacinth macaw and the near threatened great pied hornbill species in captivity. Committed to conservation, research and providing the best possible veterinary care to the birds in the park, the world class Avian Hospital was established in 2006. It is also Singapore‟s designated avian rescued centre for the treatment and rehabilitation of wild birds. The Bird Park frequently collaborates with relevant government agencies in re-introducing indigenous species back into the wild, such as the oriental pied hornbill in its most recent project.

In addition, the park is one of Singapore’s most popular tourist and family destinations. Key attractions such as the Bird Discovery Centre, African Waterfall Aviary, Lory Loft, Southeast Asian Birds Aviary, and the newly launched Penguin Coast as well as its daily shows attracted close to 900,000 visitors in 2009. The S$1.9 million Penguin Coast exhibit features six penguin species, one third of the world‟s total penguin species. It features the African Penguin, one of few species which live in the tropics, as well as five species of cold climate penguins in the indoor climate-controlled den of the exhibit. It was launched to spread greater awareness for the conservation of penguins by bringing visitors up close to these endearing birds.

”2011 represents a milestone for us at the Jurong Bird Park. It is a time for us to look back on our achievements and look ahead to new horizons. We have come a long way since our humble beginnings in the 1970s. Today, the Bird Park is a shining example of the successful integration of conservation, education and recreation. This is possible only with the passion and dedication shown by our staff towards the WRS mission of preserving birdlife biodiversity and spreading the message of conservation„, said Ms Fanny Lai, Group CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

“We hope Singaporeans will continue to have fond memories of their wonderful times spent at the Bird Park by participating in our 40th anniversary festivities throughout the year. Now would be a good time to pay yet another visit to the park and take a walk down memory lane by re-living those cherished moments,” she added.

For more information and the latest updates on the Jurong Bird Park‟s 40th anniversary celebrations, please visit www.birdpark.com.sg, or logon to the Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s Facebook page.

Front entrance of Jurong Bird Park (1985)
Jurong Falls Aviary, Jurong Bird Park (1971 -1980)
Visitors queuing up at front admission to purchase tickets (1971 – 1980)
Old tram system, Jurong Bird Park (1971 -1980)