KEEPERS AND VETS IN RIVER SAFARI HOPEFUL FOR BABY PANDA

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Giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia, solitary by nature, came together for second try to have a baby panda

IMAGE 1 (left): Kai Kai and Jia Jia had been displaying courtship behaviour for weeks. Once the hormonal levels in Jia Jia’s urine samples indicated on 13 April that she was ready to mate, the two pandas were brought together in their dens for natural mating. The session was not successful, a situation not uncommon for young and inexperienced pandas. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

IMAGE 2 (right): To help Jia Jia conceive, a decision was made to carry out artificial insemination. Assisting the vet team at River Safari was a team led by Prof Ng Soon Chye, an obstetrics and gynaecology specialist internationally renowned for his expertise in human reproductive medicine. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 15 April 2016 Giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia have made their second attempt at parenthood over the last two days and if proved successful, River Safari will become home to a baby panda.

The giant pandas had started showing signs that they were entering mating season at the end of March. For weeks, the two pandas displayed classic courtship behaviour: Kai Kai was scent-marking his exhibit and chirping to get the female’s attention, while Jia Jia was sleeping more and when awake would be restlessly pacing about. These displays were encouraging signs to the keepers and vets that their methods of stimulating breeding cycles and interest had been successful.

Pandas’ mating instincts are brought on by hormonal changes in response to seasonal variations, such as temperature changes and increasing day length from winter to spring. River Safari’s keepers and vets have employed a number of measures since November to trigger the breeding cycles of the pandas. These included varying the daylight hours and temperature in the panda exhibit to simulate the transition from winter to spring in the pandas’ homeland in Sichuan, China.

In addition, keepers introduced each panda to the other’s exhibit and den, as well as placed them side by side for short periods of time so that the pair could smell each other’s scent. Their reaction would indicate their receptiveness to the opposite sex.  Urine samples from Jia Jia were also collected to check the hormonal levels which would also indicate when she is ready to mate.

On 13 April, both pandas were brought together in their dens for natural mating. The mixing session was not successful, a situation not uncommon for young and inexperienced pandas. A decision was made to carry out artificial insemination to help Jia Jia conceive. Assisting the vet team at River Safari was a team led by Prof Ng Soon Chye, an obstetrics and gynaecology specialist internationally renowned for his expertise in the reproductive medicine.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “River Safari is part of a global breeding and research programme for the endangered giant panda. Our team of keepers and vets are committed to provide the best animal husbandry and healthcare possible to achieve this task; and our standard of care was recently affirmed by visiting panda fertility experts from China’s Ya-An Bifengxia Panda Base. The past few days have involved very intensive observation and monitoring of the pairs which culminated in the artificial insemination of Jia Jia. Our female panda is timid by nature and our focus now is on her after care.”

From now till about September, vets and keepers will have to wait to conclude if Jia Jia is pregnant through ultrasound scans. Giant pandas have delayed implantation during pregnancy and as such, vets cannot confirm pregnancy until the later part of the panda’s gestation period.

Image 3 - Lovelorn pandas_WRS

IMAGE 3 (left): Right before Kai Kai and Jia Jia were brought together to mate, they approached each other. Separated by the mesh between their dens, the lovelorn bears signaled their interest by sniffing and chirping at each other.

PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

 

Image 4 - Kai Kai and Jia Jia play fighting_WRS IMAGE 4 (left): After being brought together in their dens, Kai Kai and Jia Jia began play fighting, a natural behaviour that pandas display from young. Usually seen lazing about, the energetic rough housing was a stark contrast to their typical image. 

PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

NO BABY PANDA AT RIVER SAFARI…FOR NOW

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Vets and keepers confirm giant panda Jia Jia’s pseudopregnancy, a state common worldwide for pandas under human care

After multiple ultrasound scans and months of monitoring Jia Jia’s behaviours and hormone level, vets and keepers at River Safari concluded that the seven-year-old female is not pregnant and was undergoing pseudopregnancy.

After multiple ultrasound scans and months of monitoring Jia Jia’s behaviours and hormone level, vets and keepers at River Safari concluded that the seven-year-old female is not pregnant and was undergoing pseudopregnancy.

SINGAPORE, 23 September 2015 – Despite promising signs and after months of monitoring, River Safari’s female panda, Jia Jia, will not be delivering a cub this year. Based on scientific data gathered from her behaviours and hormone levels, the birthing window has now passed and panda caretakers concluded that the seven-year-old bear is not pregnant.

Jia Jia underwent artificial insemination on 18 April after an unsuccessful mating attempt with her male counterpart, Kai Kai. Since July, she was seen eating less bamboo, sleeping more and her hormone levels were increasing – all signs consistent with pregnancy or pseudopregnancy. Giant pandas commonly display pseudopregnancies and experts worldwide are often not able to determine pandas’ pregnancy status until a late stage.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Our team of vets and keepers were cautiously optimistic in welcoming a baby panda and while we cannot expect one this year, we are pleased and encouraged by the development of Kai Kai and Jia Jia. The past months have provided an invaluable learning experience for us in understanding the complex reproduction and biology of one of the world’s most charismatic species, and we hope for better results next year.”

Panda caretakers will review information and data collected in the last few months before the next breeding season for the bears begin around April. To get the pandas accustomed to physical contact with each other, keepers aim to bring the pandas together before the start of the mating season.

In addition, caretakers will continue to vary daylight hours and temperature in the Giant Panda Forest – a technique which successfully triggered the breeding cycles of the pandas in April this year. Pandas’ mating instincts are brought on by hormonal changes in response to seasonal variations such as temperature changes and increasing day length from winter to spring. To simulate this seasonal transition, the pandas will return to their dens earlier between October to March, and later between April to September.

PUMPKIN TREATS, UP-CLOSE ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS AND FREE ADMISSION FOR KIDS AT RIVER SAFARI’S INAUGURAL SAFARI BOO

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Safari Boo @River Safari - Red panda pumpkin treats 2 Safari Boo @River Safari - Giant panda pumpkin treats

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

Safari Boo @River Safari - Bearded dragon at River Talk Myths & Legends Safari Boo @River Safari - Pygmy hedgehog at River Talk Myths & Legends

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.

Image 6: Learn more about the scales of animals such as the pangolin and snake and find out why they are threatened at the “Scaly Encounters” booth at Safari Boo. 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

Image 6: Learn more about the scales of animals such as the pangolin and snake and find out why they are threatened at the “Scaly Encounters” booth at Safari Boo. 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

Image 7: Kai Kai & Jia Jia mascots all decked out in their Safari Boo best as they surprise little ones with trick-or-treat bags as part of the Safari Boo festivities in October and November.  Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Image 7: Kai Kai & Jia Jia mascots all decked out in their Safari Boo best as they surprise little ones with trick-or-treat bags as part of the Safari Boo festivities in October and November.
Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Image 8: Mystical characters such as the mermaid come alive in the Enchanted Trail as part of the 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

Image 8: Mystical characters such as the mermaid come alive in the Enchanted Trail as part of the 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

GET DRESSED FOR TRICK-OR-TREAT FUN AT RIVER SAFARI’S FIRST SAFARI BOO

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Kids enjoy merry-not-scary festivities for free at River Safari from 6pm

Safari Boo visual

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.

Squirrel monkeys indulging in pumpkin treats as part of Safari Boo

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.

For more information, refer to the Appendix below or visit www.riversafari.com.sg/safariboo

*Terms and conditions apply.

Appendix

1. ADMISSION

Safari Boo activity days:

  • 22 Oct (Wed, Deepavali)
  • 25 Oct (Sat)
  • 26 Oct (Sun)
  • 1 Nov (Sat)
  • 2 Nov 2014 (Sun)

admission

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

  • Activities are weather-permitting.
  • Safari Boo festivities take place from 6pm to 9pm. Last admission is at 8pm.
  • The Giant Panda Forest, Squirrel Monkey Forest and boat rides will be closed as per normal opening times at River Safari and will not be opened for Safari Boo.
  • River Safari and Park Hopper (with River Safari option) admission ticket holders can take part in Safari Boo activities for free.
  • Safari Boo ticket holders can only enter the park from 6pm.
  • River Safari & Park Hopper admission tickets and Safari Boo event tickets can be purchased at Singapore Zoo ticketing counters or at www.riversafari.com.sg/safariboo.
  • Sale of Safari Boo tickets at Singapore Zoo ticketing counters starts at 5pm.
  • Adult supervision is required for all kids participating in Safari Boo. Child is defined as individuals aged 12 years and below.
  • Complimentary tickets for kids to enter for free from 6pm can be collected by accompanying adults at Singapore Zoo ticketing counters from 5pm.
  • For online purchases, all complimentary child ticket redemptions must be accompanied by at least one paid adult event ticket per transaction.

2. ACTIVITIES AT A GLANCE

activities

PANDA PARTY AT RIVER SAFARI

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Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) and CapitaLand Limited (CapitaLand), the Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor of the Giant Panda Collaborative Programme, threw a big panda party for Kai Kai & Jia Jia at River Safari on Friday, 5 September 2014.

Kai Kai, who will turn seven on 14 September this year, enjoyed a colourful four-tiered birthday cake made of ice, bamboo, apples and carrots.  (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Kai Kai, who will turn seven on 14 September this year, enjoyed a colourful four-tiered birthday cake made of ice, bamboo, apples and carrots. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Female panda Jia Jia, turned six on 3 September. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Female panda Jia Jia, turned six on 3 September.
(PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

The party included a giant mooncake in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

From left: Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Ms Jennie Chua, Director, CapitaLand Hope Foundation; Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Guest-of- Honour Miss Sim Ann, Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Education; Mr S R Nathan, Sixth President of Singapore and Chairman, CapitaLand Hope Foundation; Mr Tan Seng Chai, Group Chief Corporate Officer, CapitaLand Limited; Mr Xiao Jianghua, Cultural Counsellor, Chinese Embassy. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

From left: Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Ms Jennie Chua, Director, CapitaLand Hope Foundation; Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Guest-of-
Honour Miss Sim Ann, Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Education; Mr S R Nathan, Sixth President of Singapore and Chairman, CapitaLand Hope Foundation; Mr Tan Seng Chai, Group Chief Corporate Officer, CapitaLand Limited; Mr Xiao Jianghua, Cultural Counsellor, Chinese Embassy.
(PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

A new book for preschool children was also launched at the panda party. Titled 凯凯嘉嘉儿歌 (Kai Kai Jia Jia Nursery Rhymes), it tells the adventures of the two pandas in Singapore and aims at engaging pre-schoolers in learning Chinese through the panda ambassadors.

From left: Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Guest-of-Honour Miss Sim Ann, Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Education. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

From left: Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Guest-of-Honour Miss Sim Ann, Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Education.
(PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

More than 150 guests participated in a Panda Lantern Parade and shone lanterns of hope to light the way for the future of the endangered species.  (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

More than 150 guests participated in a Panda Lantern Parade and shone lanterns of hope to light the way for the future of the endangered species.
(PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

The birthday bash marks the start of week-long festivities at River Safari from 6 to 14 September to commemorate the pandas’ second year in Singapore and celebrate their birthdays.  (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

The birthday bash marks the start of week-long festivities at River Safari from 6 to 14 September to commemorate the pandas’ second year in Singapore and celebrate their birthdays.
(PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Rise and Shine with Kai Kai & Jia Jia at Panda Party Week 2014

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River Safari launches new behind-the-scenes experience
with exclusive opportunity to visit giant pandas at their den

Participants preparing Kai Kai & Jia Jia’s bamboo breakfast in River Safari’s new Panda Rise and Shine programme which will be launched during Panda Party week. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Participants preparing Kai Kai & Jia Jia’s bamboo breakfast in River Safari’s new Panda Rise and Shine programme which will be launched during Panda Party week.
PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Singapore, 27 August 2014 – Go behind-the-scenes with giant panda keepers for an exclusive opportunity to visit Kai Kai & Jia Jia at their dens with Panda Rise & Shine, a programme launched in celebration of River Safari’s Panda Party which commemorates the pandas’ birthdays and second year in Singapore.

During this learning journey, participants get to enter the park before it opens for some quality time with Kai Kai & Jia Jia. They will observe keepers serving the bears their pre-breakfast snack and the morning routine of physical checks, weighing and target training.

This premium programme is the first of its kind in River Safari that brings participants to the Giant Panda Forest back-of-house areas such as the pandas’ dens, kitchen and bamboo storage room. Participants of Panda Rise & Shine will assist keepers in preparing Kai Kai & Jia Jia’s bamboo breakfast and create enrichment toys for the furry duo. Through a personalised guided tour, participants will gain deeper insights into the bears, their diet and home in River Safari.

River Safari’s new Panda Rise and Shine programme, which will be launched during Panda Party week, provides participants with up-close encounters with Kai Kai & Jia Jia, including moments when they undergo target training with their keepers. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

River Safari’s new Panda Rise and Shine programme, which will be launched during Panda Party week, provides participants with up-close encounters with Kai Kai & Jia Jia, including moments when they undergo target training with their keepers.
PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Ms Lok May Kuen, Director, Education, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “As part of the upcoming Panda Party week that celebrates Kai Kai & Jia Jia’s birthdays and second anniversary in Singapore, we introduce Panda Rise & Shine, a new programme that offers an up-close encounter with the pandas. This programme allows participants to witness the special bond between keepers and pandas, as well as an opportunity to understand how we take care of this endangered species. We hope that participants will leave with a greater appreciation not just for giant pandas but all threatened wildlife. ”

The learning journey concludes with breakfast at Mama Panda Kitchen. In addition to an exclusive t-shirt and goodie bag, participants will get to bring home professionally taken photos to remember the special experience.

The Panda Rise & Shine programme is available at S$350, inclusive of River Safari admission*. This exclusive experience can accommodate a maximum of 6 people, and is suitable for participants aged 7 years and above. Participants below 13 years of age must be accompanied by a paying adult. More information can be found online at http://education.riversafari.com.sg/behindTheScenesTours.html.

The new behind-the-scenes experience is part of the activities visitors can look forward to at River Safari’s Panda Party, which aims to increase public awareness on the plight of giant pandas and the efforts to save them. Wildlife Reserves Singapore works closely with global experts in the area of conservation and research of giant pandas in China.

*Admission does not include boat rides in the park.

JOIN THE PANDA PARADE AHEAD OF PANDA PARTY 2014

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River Safari’s black and white ambassadors invade Westgate and ION Orchard to light the way for endangered giant pandas

Joyful shoppers participated in a panda parade at Westgate on Sunday as part of River Safari’s conservation outreach ahead of the park’s Panda Party held from 6-14 September. CapitaLand is the Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor of the Giant Panda Collaborative Programme.  (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Joyful shoppers participated in a panda parade at Westgate on Sunday as part of River Safari’s conservation outreach ahead of the park’s Panda Party held from 6-14 September. CapitaLand is the Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor of the Giant Panda Collaborative Programme.
(PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Singapore, 24 August 2014 – In anticipation of Panda Party 2014 which commemorates Kai Kai and Jia Jia’s birthdays and second year in Singapore, visitors to Westgate today participated in a panda parade that involved a party of eight dancing giant panda mascots which spurred the public to do their part for conservation.

Crowds of shoppers donned panda masks and pledged their commitment to save pandas through many ways, from conserving fuel by taking public transport to refraining from using products that may endanger animals. River Safari aims to increase public awareness on the plight of giant pandas, and the activities at the malls is part of the park’s efforts to spread conservation messages beyond its gates. Shoppers to the event were also given a chance to win tickets to River Safari’s Panda Party week from 6 – 14 September.

The public can look out for more panda invasion on 30 and 31 August at ION Orchard, from 12pm to 1pm.

Shoppers were treated to a party of eight dancing panda mascots at Westgate ahead of River Safari’s Panda Party held from 6-14 September. Members of the public also pledged to do their bit for conservation during this outreach event. CapitaLand is the Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor of the Giant Panda Collaborative Programme.  (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Shoppers were treated to a party of eight dancing panda mascots at Westgate ahead of River Safari’s Panda Party held from 6-14 September. Members of the public also pledged to do their bit for conservation during this outreach event. CapitaLand is the Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor of the Giant Panda Collaborative Programme.
(PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

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