First polar bear born in the tropics celebrates birthday in true Singapore style
Singapore, 26 December 2014 – Inuka, the first polar bear born in the tropics, turns 24 today at Singapore Zoo.
Inuka’s birthday celebration started bright and early as keepers presented him with a giant ice kachang* cake made of the bear’s favourite food like salmon, blueberries, watermelon and strawberries topped with whipped cream.
In the wee hours of 26 December 1990, Inuka was born in his mother’s den at Singapore Zoo and keepers have referred to him since as their ‘best Christmas present ever’. At 24, Inuka is well into his senior years and lives comfortably in his Frozen Tundra home which features climate-controlled resting areas and a large pool for him to swim in.
*Ice kachang is a dessert popular in Singapore, traditionally comprising ice shavings, syrup, and sweet treats like red beans, sweet corn and jelly.
– First polar bear born in the tropics celebrates with a popsicle of favourites.
Singapore, 26 December 2013 – Inuka, Singapore Zoo’s polar bear turned 23 years today, and celebrated with a three-tiered ice cake chock-full of his favourite food.
The first polar bear to be born in the tropics confidently strode to his colourful popsicle, embedded with salmon, herring, blueberries, apples and strawberries; and topped with a frozen watermelon, whipped cream and a salad of mulberry leaves.
As Inuka nonchalantly munched on his treat, scores of guests stayed glued to his every move, many trying to digitally capture the bear with their cameras. Inuka, the star attraction at Singapore Zoo’s Frozen Tundra exhibit, demolished his ice cake within half an hour, before diving into his pool for a swim in the rain.
Singapore, 23 September 2013 – Chill out in Singapore Zoo’s Frozen Tundra with the little ones this Children’s Day and enjoy a frosty fun time with a lineup of educational activities about polar bears. Pique your child’s curiosity about polar bears – the largest land predator in the world – in our ‘Snow’ & Tell session, and see the children go wild on a great seal hunt. To end off on a warm and fuzzy note, work on a beautiful ‘Happy Children’s Day’ card together for Inuka the polar bear!
Children’s Day activities at Singapore Zoo Date: 4– 5 October 2013 Venue: Singapore Zoo, 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826 Fee: Free of charge Notes: Singapore Zoo admission rates of $22.00 (adult) and $14.00 (child 3 to 12 years) apply
Discover how polar bears adapt, survive, and live comfortably in their cold environment in a Snow and Tell session. Participants will learn interesting facts such as the polar bears’ habitat, diet, and threats they face in the wild. Also find out how zookeepers at Singapore Zoo look after and engage our very own polar bear, Inuka. This talk is free of charge* and requires no registration. Simply follow the signs to the auditorium at the specified time slots.
* Singapore Zoo admission rates of $22.00 (adult) and $14.00 (child 3 to 12 years) apply
2. The Great Seal Hunt Venue: Frozen Tundra Time: 10.00am to 2.00pm
Children get to hone their predatory instincts in the Frozen Tundra Great Seal Hunt. Participants play the role of little polar bears hunting for prey — hidden seal stickers around the Frozen Tundra exhibit. Follow the instructions on the stickers and mark out the specially designed Frozen Tundra map provided by Singapore Zoo staff. The first 100 participants to complete their map will win attractive prizes!
3. Draw for Inuka!
Venue: Frozen Tundra Time: Zoo operating hours – 8.30am to 6.00pm
Have your child express their creativity by penning their own drawings of Inuka wishing him a Happy Children’s Day! Participants can bring their drawings when visiting the Zoo and their work will possibly be displayed at the Frozen Tundra exhibit. A drawing corner and drawing materials will be available for children who wish to draw at the Zoo itself.
First polar bear born in the tropics back with new neighbours, the raccoon dogs and wolverines.
Singapore, 29 May 2013 – The first polar bear born in the tropics, Singapore Zoo’s very own Inuka, moved into his new Frozen Tundra home today during a grand ‘housecooling’ party. The 2,700 sq metre exhibit features climate controlled resting areas, an expanded pool for Inuka to swim in, and two new sections for Inuka’s new neighbours: raccoon dogs and wolverines.
Modelled closely after the arctic habitat, some of the innovative features of Frozen Tundra that help replicate the chilly climate of the arctic include a new, larger pool filled with giant ice blocks so Inuka can enjoy refreshing swims, and an ice cave where he can retire to, to enjoy a polar siesta. Natural substrates have also been incorporated to provide him with a rich and varied home.
Frozen Tundra is the result of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS)’s commitment to upgrade Inuka’s living space and also reinforce WRS’ vision of providing visitors with interactive and enriching wildlife exhibits that provide for greater knowledge of the natural world, including of the climate, wildlife and issues facing the arctic habitat.
“At Singapore Zoo, we remain committed to not only providing a fun and beautiful park where families can bond over the wonders of mother nature, but also to our vision of engaging and educating our visitors about the natural world, the animals that share our planet and their habitats. This is a core value of Singapore Zoo,” said Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, WRS. “Those values and goals go hand in hand with our deep love of our animal friends here at Singapore Zoo, and Inuka is a shining example of that love.”
Dr Lee Boon Yang, Chairman of SPH and SPH Foundation, officiated the launch ceremony of Frozen Tundra with Mr Lee and WRS board member Mr Chia Ngiang Hong. SPH Foundation is a long-time adopter of Inuka.
The launch of Frozen Tundra also showcases Inuka’s new neighbours, the raccoon dogs and wolverines. Raccoon dogs, also known as tanuki, are native to East Asia. Frozen Tundra’s raccoon dogs are named Pom and Poko and come from Japan’s Asahiyama Zoo.
Wolverines are the largest land-dwelling species of the weasel family. Native across the Northern Hemisphere, wolverines have adapted to a wide range of habitats. Frozen Tundra’s wolverines are a brother and sister pair named Boris and Ivana from Russia’s Novosibirsk Zoo.
The idea of creating a new habitat for Inuka was conceptualised in 2006, and Frozen Tundra was designed to not only give Inuka a bigger space but more importantly, create a new exhibit that provides visitors a window into the arctic world from which Inuka’s ancestors came from. Native to the Arctic Circle, polar bears are the world’s largest land carnivore and adult males can weigh up to 700 kg.
Classified as vulnerable by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), the bear occupies a narrow ecological niche and preys almost exclusively on seals. Polar bears hunt mostly on ice floes in winter months, and retreating sea ice due to global warming has resulted in the diminishing of their hunting grounds and food sources. If global temperatures continue to rise, polar bears may become extinct across most of their range within a hundred years.
Frozen Tundra opens daily to the public from 29 May 2013. Visiting hours are from 8.30am to 6pm.
Singapore, 15 May 2013 – Singapore-born polar bear, Inuka is making a comeback this June and he’s got some new friends with him! Inuka’s new home at Singapore Zoo, called Frozen Tundra, will also showcase wolverines and raccoon dogs. Take a trip to Singapore Zoo and welcome back the one and only polar bear born in the tropics.
As part of the celebrations for Singapore Zoo’s 40th anniversary, Inuka’s housecooling party will be an extended one for the entire month of June. Exciting activities such as guided walkthroughs, token feeding sessions, glitter art and ice sculpture demonstrations await. Join us at Frozen Tundra for a really cool getaway this June.
Frozen Tundra token feeding session and guided walkthrough
Learn fascinating facts about this themed exhibit while taking in the icy cool ambience of Frozen Tundra. Find out all you need to know about Inuka, the only polar bear in the world to have been born in the tropics, and see if you can spot the elusive raccoon dogs and gorgeous wolverines as you walk through the complex. Dates: All weekends in June (1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30 June) Time: 10am, 1pm and 4 pm Venue: Frozen Tundra outdoor viewing gallery, followed by walkthrough in air-conditioned area
Photography session with polar bear mascot
You might only be able to rub noses with Inuka, but this polar bear mascot will allow you to cuddle up for a cozy photograph, as a memento of your visit to Frozen Tundra. Dates: All weekends in June (1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30 June) Time and venue:
At Frozen Tundra: 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm
At Singapore Zoo entrance: 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm
Polar bear ice sculpting demo
Watch a talented ice sculptor at work as he transforms a 140kg block of ice into a polar bear. Dates: All weekends in June (1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30 June) Time: 1.30pm Venue: Frozen Tundra outdoor viewing gallery
Get sparkly with a colourful glitter tattoo in celebration of Inuka’s comeback. Although free of
charge, we do welcome donations, which will be channeled to the Wildlife Reserves Singapore
Conservation Fund. Dates: All weekends in June (1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30 June) Time: 10am – 1pm Venue: Frozen Tundra viewing gallery
Note: Activities are free, but normal admission rates of SGD22.00 (adult) and SGD14.00 (child 3 to 12 years) apply for entry into Singapore Zoo.
Learn how to help our animal friends in ninth installment of Singapore Zoo’s wildly popular event
Singapore, 8 May 2013 — Zoolympix is back with a resounding bang in 2013! This time, each participant is transformed into a “Rescue Ranger” and gets to learn first-hand how habitat destruction and poaching are driving many animals to extinction. Leaping into its ninth year, Zoolympix will feature six exhibits in the zoo that will double up as interactive game stations. This series of challenging “rescue missions” will test young rangers’ memory, accuracy and agility.
With the zoo also celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, nuggets of historical knowledge will be incorporated into a journey that will both educate and entertain. Participants will learn little-known trivia about some of the zoo’s landmark moments since its opening in 1973.
In addition, stand to win attractive lucky draw prizes that include wildly popular zoo experiences. First prize is a one-year Friends of the Zoo Family membership and 2D1N Sleep with the Beasts Camp, worth over $800 for a family of two adults and two children; second prize is a 4-in-1 Park Hopper family package for two adults and two children and a 3-day Zoo Explorer Camp for one child worth over $600; and third prize is a 3-in-1 Park Hopper and Jungle Breakfast package for two adults and two children worth over $300. Top three winners also win a year’s subscription to Wildlife Wonders, Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s in-house magazine.
Pop into the awareness booth to find out more about endangered local wildlife, and learn what the ‘real’ Rescue Rangers at Wildlife Reserves Singapore parks (meaning the keepers) do to protect these animals. If you’re lucky, you might even get to meet a pangolin! While you’re there, indulge in a spot of face-painting or badge-making. Young readers are also free to browse our educational publications — available in English and mother tongue—and newly-published books about pandas.
Date: 1 – 9 June 2013 (Daily)
Time: 10am – 4pm
Venue: Singapore Zoo, 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Fee: $3 per Zoolympix passport, Available at the registration tent at the start of Treetops Trail (in front of the bird photography area)
Notes: Normal admission rates of $22.00 (adult) and $14.00 (child 3 to 12 years) apply. Zoolympix activities are recommended for children between 5 and 12 years old
Rescue Ranger Stations On Thin Ice
Venue: Frozen Tundra
Climate change is causing the Arctic ice to melt! Help a polar bear find its lunch by hopping between fragmented “ice” pieces to pick up as many seals as possible within 30 seconds.
Venue: Tropical Crops (Pavilion opposite Cat Country)
In a world where deforestation is rampant, Rescue Rangers must collect and save the seeds of tropical plants which could be in danger of extinction. Track down plants in the Tropical Crops exhibit and “collect” their seeds by making a shading from the embossed plaques next to them.
Venue: Fragile Forest
The first step in wildlife conservation is to understand it better. Test your memory and learn more about animals and their rainforest homes by placing the creatures in the correct layer of their rainforest habitat in 30 seconds.
Venue: Rainforest Kidzworld (Tugboat area)
Make a difference for the many fish, birds, frogs, and other wildlife friends by helping to keep rivers clean. In 30 seconds, scoop out floating rubbish in the water while standing on a raft and do your bit to reclaim the habitat for these river dwellers!
Venue: African penguin exhibit
African penguins have nowhere to lay their eggs, now that the guano they use as nesting material has been harvested for fertiliser! In 30 seconds, sort penguins’ eggs into colour-coded “igloos” that ingenious scientists have provided as shelter for the eggs.
Stop Those Smugglers!
Venue: Sun bear exhibit
The smallest bear in the world needs to be saved from poachers! Stop sun bear smuggling by ringing in the pesky poachers. Toss rings over as many cone ‘smugglers’ as possible in 30 seconds.
NEW HABITAT FOR SINGAPORE’S POLAR BEARS WILL BE THREE AND A HALF TIMES BIGGER AND FEATURE INNOVATIVE CLIMATE-CONTROLLED FEATURES
Singapore, 27 August 2010 – River Safari, Asia’s first river-themed wildlife park, today released details of the new home of Singapore’s beloved polar bears, Inuka and Sheba. The 1,400 sq metre habitat will be three and a half times the size of the existing one, featuring indoor and outdoor areas from which the public can see the great white carnivores, and pools for the bears to swim in.
The polar bears’ new home will be housed within River Safari’s Frozen Tundra exhibit, which aims to educate visitors on the importance of glaciers and semi-frozen freshwater ecosystems, amongst the most threatened of the world’s biomes.
The polar bear dens and indoor areas will be climate controlled, with temperatures that simulate the Arctic north. Three viewing elevations will be available for visitors, including the hugely popular underwater view, and visitors can admire the animals through windows cut into frozen rocks.
Modelled closely after their natural habitat, Inuka and Sheba’s new home is part of WRS’ commitment in upgrading these bears’ living space. In 2006, the Animal Welfare and Ethics Committee (AWEC) decided that it was in the polar bears’ best interest for them to remain in Singapore. This decision was reached after considering the animal’s ages, their familiarity with their keepers and environment, and the uncertainty of whether other facilities would be able to provide the same high level of care that Inuka and Sheba are used to. It was also at this time that WRS started the conceptualisation of the Frozen Tundra exhibit, to further upgrade the polar bears’ habitat.
Native to the Arctic Circle, polar bears are the world’s largest land carnivore and adult males can weigh up to 650 to 700 kg. Classified as vulnerable by the IUCN, the bear occupies a narrow ecological niche and preys almost exclusively on seals. Polar bears hunt mostly on ice floes in winter months and retreating sea ice due to global warming has resulted in the diminishing of their hunting grounds and food sources. If global temperatures continue to rise, polar bears may become extinct across most of their range within a hundred years.
Some of the innovative features of Frozen Tundra include “ice rocks” where our polar bears can soak in the coolness of “freezed” rocks and also an ice cave where both Sheba and Inuka can retire to, so as to enjoy a polar siesta. The new habitat also incorporates a large freezer unit able to produce huge blocks of ice as enrichment for the bears. Natural substrates, trees, and also pools and streams will be incorporated, to provide the bears with a rich and varied home.
As construction begins on the Frozen Tundra exhibit, the polar bear enclosure at the Singapore Zoo will be closed from 30 August 2010. Inuka and Sheba look forward to seeing everyone again in 2012 with the opening of River Safari.