Singapore, 25 September 2013 – Gather your kids, fly over to the Breeding and Research Centre (BRC) in Jurong Bird Park and indulge their senses at ‘Squawk to Children’s Day’, an engaging activity lined up for them this Children’s Day. Get up close and personal with beautiful macaws and cockatoos, while enthusiastic trainers impart avian knowledge to the little ones. Grab this exclusive opportunity to take a photograph with one of our cockatoos, and because it is Children’s Day, all participants will be rewarded with a Children’s Day gift from Jurong Bird Park!
Squawk to Children’s Day
Venue: Breeding and Research Centre (BRC); Junior Eggs-pert Room
Date: 4 – 5 October 2013
Time: 11.45am, 2.30pm and 4.30pm
Duration: 20 minutes
In this remarkably interactive session, trainers will showcase the differences between macaws and cockatoos, while explaining the remarkable attributes which make parrots extremely popular amongst kids and adults alike. Kids will get to observe these beautiful creatures up close too.
Another segment gives kids a rare glimpse into how birds are fed at the BRC by the Centre’s experts. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with our umbrella cockatoo, in an exclusive meet-and-greet session.
*Jurong Bird Park admission rates of $20.00(adult) and $13.00 (child 3 to 12 years) apply.
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.
– BIZARRE-LOOKING NAKED MOLE RATS MAY HOLD SECRET TO LONGEVITY – LATEST OFFERING SHOWCASES THESE CURIOUS CREATURES’ UNDERGROUND LIFE
Singapore, 7 March 2012 – They are hairless, buck-toothed and very nearly blind. Pick one of these creatures up and you’ll realise that they smell really bad. It’s probably from all the rolling about in their own fecal matter so they’ll smell like one big happy family. Smelly or not, scientists believe that naked mole rats’ genetic material holds the secret to a long life – they can live over 20 years, almost eight times longer than mice.
These little rodents, only one of two mammals known to have a social structure similar to social insects, now have a huge exhibit all to themselves—Singapore Zoo’s first foray into showcasing such little creatures on a comparatively large scale.
The exhibit mimics their system of burrows in the wild in order to provide a naturalistic environment for them. Naked mole rats have burrow systems extending up to 4.8 kilometres long in the wild and covering an area as big as six football fields.
Singapore Zoo’s exhibit, measuring 50 square metres, is a scaled-down version of their complex living environment. Constructed with steel and concrete, it also has glass-fronted panels for visitors to view the naked mole rats at work and play. Lighting is kept dim, as these creatures are used to living in dark environments.
To facilitate convenient cleaning, two identical sets of burrow systems were constructed. Each set is washed and switched every month, then lined with pine shavings to keep them clean and relatively odourless. It is hard work, as the components of the exhibit are extremely sturdy – a necessary defense against the strong teeth of these rats. Unfortunately, these little creatures seem to possess superhuman strength, and have already managed to make dents in some of the concrete components, much to the dismay of their keepers!
An interactive element was also added – a pint-sized tunnel for children to crawl through and imagine a day in the life of a naked mole rat. Periscopes and child-friendly interpretive and activity panels complete the educational component of this exhibit.
“Having such an accessible and engaging exhibit allows us to observe the behaviour of these fascinating critters closely, as such animals cannot be studied so easily in the wild. Singapore Zoo hopes to be able to contribute to the education and research of this species, and at the same time introduce the lesser-known wonders of nature to our guests,” said Dr Sonja Luz, Director, Conservation, Research and Learning Centre, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
Come visit and learn more about the naked mole rat at Singapore Zoo today! If these little creatures end up contributing to longer lives for all of us one day, you can tell everyone you saw them first at our Zoo!