SINGAPORE ZOO BEGINS 10-DAY CELEBRATION FOR INUKA’S 25TH BIRTHDAY


Zoo launches Our Arctic Future photo exhibition with Royal Danish Embassy to raise awareness on arctic habitat of polar bears; Inuka to enjoy birthday ice treats for 10 days until 26 December

SINGAPORE, 16 December 2015 – Inuka, the first polar bear born in the topics, turns 25 this year and Singapore Zoo has kicked-off a 10-day celebration along with a photo exhibition to raise awareness on the natural arctic habitat of polar bears.

Her Excellency Berit Basse, Ambassador of Denmark to Singapore, officiated the launch at an intimate event held in Singapore Zoo’s Frozen Tundra exhibit on 16 December 2015.

Mr Mike Barclay, Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “As Inuka, Singapore’s very own locally born and bred polar bear turns 25, he is officially in his golden years and we will adjust his care to ensure he continues to enjoy a great quality of life with us here in the Singapore Zoo. We are very happy to celebrate his birthday with this excellent Our Arctic Future photo exhibition.”

Our Arctic Future photo exhibition highlights the importance of sustainability and evolving relationships between people and the arctic. It was developed by the Natural History Museum of Denmark in collaboration with the Governments of Greenland and the Faroe Islands for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. As Singapore approaches the close of its golden jubilee year, the photo exhibition also commemorates 50 years of bilateral relations between Denmark and Singapore.

Inuka is fondly referred to as the “best Christmas present ever” by Singapore Zoo keepers because he was born in his mother’s den in the early hours of 26 December 1990. At 25 years of age, Inuka is a senior bear. His last health check in July this year showed age-related conditions like arthritis and dental issues which the Singapore Zoo veterinary team is closely monitoring. Inuka currently measures 2.5m from nose to tail, and weighs 581kg.

Mr Alan Chan, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Press Holdings and Director of SPH Foundation, said: “SPH and SPH Foundation have adopted Inuka since his birth 25 years ago. We are happy to see him grow both in size and popularity over the years. We wish Inuka a happy birthday and hope he can bring joy to many for years to come. Through our close partnership with Wildlife Reserves Singapore, we will continue to promote community awareness and responsibility in wildlife protection and conservation, which is one of SPH Foundation’s core objectives.”

During the 10-day celebration, guests at Singapore Zoo can catch Inuka enjoying birthday treats each afternoon at 1.20pm and learn more about the fascinating arctic landscape at the Our Arctic Future photo exhibition at Frozen Tundra.

The public can follow the festivities over the 10-day celebrations via Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

 

SINGAPORE ZOO’S POLAR BEAR INUKA SLURPS GIANT ICE KACHANG ON HIS 24TH BIRTHDAY

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.

Singapore Zoo’s beloved Inuka, the first polar bear born in the tropics, was presented a giant ice kachang cake embedded with his favourite food as he celebrated his 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Singapore Zoo’s beloved Inuka, the first polar bear born in the tropics, was presented a giant ice kachang cake embedded with his favourite food as he celebrated his 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
In the wee hours of 26 Dec 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’. The bear turned 24 on 26 Dec 2014. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
In the wee hours of 26 Dec 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’. The bear turned 24 on 26 Dec 2014. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
Polar bear Inuka weighed only 400 grams at birth and he is currently over 500 kilograms. Singapore Zoo celebrated Inuka’s 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014 with a giant ice kachang containing some of his favourite food like salmon, blueberries, watermelon and strawberries. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Polar bear Inuka weighed only 400 grams at birth and he is currently over 500 kilograms. Singapore Zoo celebrated Inuka’s 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014 with a giant ice kachang containing some of his favourite food like salmon, blueberries, watermelon and strawberries. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
Singapore Zoo celebrated Inuka’s 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014 with a giant ice kachang cake containing some of the bear’s favourite food. 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. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Singapore Zoo celebrated Inuka’s 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014 with a giant ice kachang cake containing some of the bear’s favourite food. 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. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

AN ICY 23RD BIRTHDAY FOR INUKA, SINGAPORE ZOO’S POLAR BEAR

– 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.

Inuka, Singapore Zoo’s polar bear, confidently approached his ice cake, which had been lovingly prepared by his keepers. In the background, scores of visitors get their cameras ready, to capture the first polar bear in the tropics, which turned 23 years today PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Inuka, Singapore Zoo’s polar bear, confidently approached his ice cake, which had been lovingly prepared by his keepers. In the background, scores of visitors get their cameras ready, to capture the first polar bear in the tropics, which turned 23 years today. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
ENDInuka was oblivious to the crowds behind him as he munched on his three-tiered colourful popsicle, which was embedded with his favourite food, including apples, strawberries, salmon, herring and blueberries. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Inuka was oblivious to the crowds behind him as he munched on his three-tiered colourful popsicle, which was embedded with his favourite food, including apples, strawberries, salmon, herring and blueberries. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Inuka intently savouring his frozen ice cake embedded with salmon, herring, blueberries, apples and strawberries; and topped with a frozen watermelon, whipped cream and a salad of mulberry leaves. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Inuka intently savouring his frozen ice cake embedded with salmon, herring, blueberries, apples and strawberries; and topped with a frozen watermelon, whipped cream and a salad of mulberry leaves. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

AN OVERALL PAW-SITIVE RESULT FOR INUKA, SINGAPORE ZOO’S POLAR BEAR

– First polar bear born in the tropics undergoes annual health-check.

Singapore, 4 November 2013 – As Inuka, Singapore Zoo’s 22 year old polar bear entered his senior years, Singapore Zoo’s vet team performed a health check on him under general anesthesia on 9 October 2013. The first polar bear to be born in the tropics was found to be in general good health for his age. He currently measures 2.5m from nose to tail, and weighs 532kg.

The hour-long medical examination included dental, aural and paw checks. Blood results show no abnormality in his kidneys and liver. There are some warty growths on the underside of his tongue, and a biopsy has been done to confirm if they are benign and can be left alone. Inuka’s teeth also needed some attention, which was to be expected at his age. X-rays of his lower limbs confirmed what his vets have suspected for some time; that he has mild arthritis on his ankle and right wrist joints. The vets will prescribe medications as required, to manage his arthritis.

After the examination, Inuka was revived with a reverse sedative and allowed to recuperate in his den. Within two days, he was back to basking in his ice cave and in no time was paddling in his pool, at Singapore Zoo’s Frozen Tundra.

A team of six from the veterinary department of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (parent company of Singapore Zoo) conducted various tests and observations on Inuka simultaneously to minimise sedation time. Here, a member of the medical team takes a closer look at Inuka’s teeth while Head Vet Dr Serena Oh checks on his shoulder, where he was darted.
A team of six from the veterinary department of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (parent company of Singapore Zoo) conducted various tests and observations on Inuka simultaneously to minimise sedation time. Here, a member of the medical team takes a closer look at Inuka’s teeth while Head Vet Dr Serena Oh checks on his shoulder, where he was darted.
Checks on large and dangerous animals are often conducted in the animal’s den to minimise the time they are sedated. During these times, vets use a portable x-ray machine to take x-rays of animal’s various body parts.
Checks on large and dangerous animals are often conducted in the animal’s den to minimise the time they are sedated. During these times, vets use a portable x-ray machine to take x-rays of animal’s various body parts.
Inuka’s paw measures an astounding 20cm across, which makes the hand of a grown man look miniscule in comparison!
Inuka’s paw measures an astounding 20cm across, which makes the hand of a grown man look miniscule in comparison!

CELEBRATE CHILDREN’S DAY WITH INUKA THE POLAR BEAR

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!

Inuka swimming at Frozen Tundra
Inuka swimming at Frozen Tundra

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

1. Snow & Tell session
Venue: Auditorium
Duration: 20min
Time: 9.30am, 10.30am, and 11.30am

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.

POLAR BEAR INUKA MOVES INTO NEW FROZEN TUNDRA EXHIBIT AT SINGAPORE ZOO

First polar bear born in the tropics back with new neighbours, the raccoon dogs and wolverines.

Inuka, the first polar bear born in the tropics
Inuka, the first polar bear born in the tropics

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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
The first polar bear born in the tropics, Singapore Zoo’s very own Inuka, moved into his new Frozen Tundra home during a grand ‘housecooling’ party on 29 May 2013. 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
The first polar bear born in the tropics, Singapore Zoo’s very own Inuka, moved into his new Frozen Tundra home during a grand ‘housecooling’ party on 29 May 2013. 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
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.
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.

CHILL OUT AT FROZEN TUNDRA DURING THE JUNE HOLIDAYS WITH INUKA AND FRIENDS

Inuka the polar bear
Inuka the polar bear

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.

Ivana the wolverine
Ivana the wolverine
  • 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
  • Glitter Tattoo
    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.

Pom and Poko the raccoon dogs
Pom and Poko the raccoon dogs

SINGAPORE ZOO CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF LIFE ON THE WILD SIDE

Homegrown zoo among pioneers of open concept wildlife attractions.
Search is on for people who share Zoo’s 27 June birthday for special surprise.

Singapore, 5 March 2013Singapore Zoo, which ranks among the world’s best zoos, reaches another significant milestone this year as it turns 40; and the wildlife institution’s own growth and success story mirror closely that of the nation that bore it.

“As a young zoo in an equally young nation, turning 40 is monumental, and a time for us to both reflect and look ahead. We have learnt much along the way, and grown with our visitors who have come to appreciate and recognise our efforts in conservation, education, and recreation,” said Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore. “We hope, in our way of striving to provide exciting and meaningful experiences, we have managed to inspire in our visitors an appreciation of nature and wildlife.”

Built in the budding years of Singapore’s independence, Singapore Zoo was the brainchild of a very young team led by Dr Ong Swee Law. Although armed with little knowledge of zoos, their unreserved gusto and foresight propelled them ahead and Singapore Zoo has been a hit since its opening in 1973, with its pioneering open concept and its ‘people-friendliness’.

Over the years, Singapore Zoo became a major recreational and educational centre that grew up alongside the nation and her people, and the millions of tourists that arrive on the island. The zoo is an evergreen destination which many visitors discover as children with their parents or during school excursions. As years pass, they re-visit as parents when their own little ones are growing up, and eventually they return as grandparents with their grandchildren.

In 1994, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, then Senior Minister of Singapore, said, “The Singapore Zoo makes Singapore a better place for children and their parents.”

Echoing that sentiment even today, Ms Chiang continued, “Generations of Singaporeans have walked the paths of Singapore Zoo since we opened in 1973, supporting us and loving our family members like Ah Meng, Inuka, and Omar as their own. Many visited first as schoolchildren, then as adults with their own families. We are honoured to be a part of Singapore life, and we do hope that our visitors will continue the tradition of introducing their children, and even grandchildren, to the wonders of wildlife.”

To commemorate the momentous 40th year, Singapore Zoo will be rolling out celebratory activities from now till the end of the year. Among the most exciting is the search for people born on 27 June 1973 to join the Singapore Zoo Birthday Bash, 40% discounts off admission prices for people turning 40 in 2013, and more. Details of some of the upcoming activities:

  1. The Wild Search for a 40th Birthday Buddy!: As part of the 40th birthday celebrations, Singapore Zoo is on the lookout for people who share her birthday on 27 June 1973. People born on that date are invited to email corpcomms.szg@wrs.com.sg and Singapore Zoo will invite them for a very special Singapore Zoo Birthday Bash, and take them on an exclusive tour with a zoo pioneer.
  2. Turning 40 in 2013: From 1 March until 31 December 2013, Singaporeans and Permanent Residents who turn 40 this year can enjoy 40% off admission ticket prices for themselves and four other friends when they visit during their birthday month.
  3. 40th Birthday Bash Zoo Hunt: Over the 16-17 March school holiday weekend, the young (and young at heart) can take part in the 40th Birthday Bash Zoo Hunt. Participants get the chance to complete a trail that takes them through some of the Zoo’s most notable sites.

Singapore Zoo is one of four wildlife attractions managed by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, with the others being Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and the upcoming River Safari. The Zoo is also a designated rescued wildlife centre by the governing authority.

For more information and the latest updates on Singapore Zoo’s 40th anniversary celebrations, visit www.zoo.com.sg, or Singapore Zoo’s Facebook page.

Many Singaporeans will remember their first visit to Singapore Zoo. In a file photo, children visiting Singapore Zoo during its early years seem to imitate the apes they see before them, or is it the other way around?
Many Singaporeans will remember their first visit to
Singapore Zoo. In a file photo, children visiting
Singapore Zoo during its early years seem to imitate
the apes they see before them, or is it the other way
around?
Although Ah Meng, famed orang utan and Singapore Zoo icon for many years has passed on, her legacy lives on in her descendants; here, her granddaughter Chomel proudly carries her son Bino. Close to 40 orang utans have been born in Singapore Zoo
Although Ah Meng, famed orang utan and Singapore
Zoo icon for many years has passed on, her legacy
lives on in her descendants; here, her granddaughter
Chomel proudly carries her son Bino. Close to 40
orang utans have been born in Singapore Zoo
Singapore Zoo has welcomed numerous critically endangered cotton top tamarin babies and exhibits this species in a free-ranging environment at Rainforest Walk. These feisty and fearless primates are the first residents visitors see when they enter the park.
Singapore Zoo has welcomed numerous critically
endangered cotton top tamarin babies and exhibits this
species in a free-ranging environment at Rainforest
Walk. These feisty and fearless primates are the first
residents visitors see when they enter the park.
Visitors are often awed when faced with a troop of more than 90 Hamadryas baboons at the award-winning Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia exhibit, in surroundings that mirror the dramatic rocky landscape reminiscent of the majestic rugged terrain that the exhibit is named after.
Visitors are often awed when faced with a troop of more
than 90 Hamadryas baboons at the award-winning Great
Rift Valley of Ethiopia exhibit, in surroundings that mirror
the dramatic rocky landscape reminiscent of the majestic
rugged terrain that the exhibit is named after.

AN ICY NEW HOME FOR INUKA AND SHEBA IN THE WORKS

NEW HABITAT FOR SINGAPORE’S POLAR BEARS WILL BE THREE AND A HALF TIMES BIGGER AND FEATURE INNOVATIVE CLIMATE-CONTROLLED FEATURES

Singapore, 27 August 2010River 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.

Visitors to the polar bear enclosure will enter through the maw of an ice cave
Visitors can sit and admire the polar bears as they enjoy their climate-controlled exhibit
Visitors can view Inuka and Sheba swimming in their icy pools through windows cut into frozen rock
Inuka and Sheba have special ice caves, waterfalls and icy pools to enjoy

WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE MARKS NEW CHAPTER OF GROWTH WITH LAUNCH OF RIVER SAFARI

GROUND-BREAKING CEREMONY FOR ASIA’S FIRST RIVER-THEMED WILDLIFE PARK TO BE HELD TODAY

Singapore, 21 May 2010Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), the parent company of award-winning attractions Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, Singapore Zoo and the upcoming River Safari, celebrates a significant milestone today with the ground-breaking of Asia’s first river-themed wildlife park.

River Safari, which will be the world’s largest repository of fresh water animals and many critically endangered animals like the giant panda, marks a new chapter of growth for the 10-year-old company, bringing it closer to its vision of being the foremost wildlife institution in the world.

WRS’ three attractions – Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo – attracted 3.6 million visitors in 2009, and the numbers have been growing every year. These parks rank among the best leisure destinations in Singapore and are well-known for their successful captive breeding programmes for endangered species such as the Bali mynah, Asian elephant and orang utan.

“We aim to offer the best wildlife experience in Asia and part of this effort is the expansion of our unique product offerings,” said Ms Claire Chiang, WRS’ Chair. “Being a first in Asia, River Safari will not only bring the rich biodiversity of the freshwater systems around the world right to our doorstep, it will be home to many endangered and threatened species, which we hope to preserve through our captive breeding programmes.”

River Safari is expected to draw at least 820,000 visitors annually. The 12-hectare park located between the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari in Mandai, is scheduled to open in the first half of 2012, and will house one of the world’s largest collections of freshwater aquatic animals, with more than 300 plant species, 500 animal species and over 5,000 individual animal specimens.

Comprising boat rides and displays of freshwater habitats of the famous rivers of the world like the Mississippi, Congo, Nile, Ganges, Murray, Mekong and Yangtze, the River Safari will provide a close-up, multi-sensory experience for visitors. For example, the indigenous wildlife at the Amazon River will be showcased at the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit, which will be home to deadly river creatures like the anaconda and electric eel, as well as the elusive giant river otter, one of the most endangered animals in South America.

One of the star attractions – the giant pandas – will live in a specially designed, climate-controlled exhibit along the “Yangtze River”. Different species of bamboo, which is the panda’s staple diet, will be planted throughout this 1,600 sqm landscaped enclosure. Sheba and Inuka, the Singapore Zoo’s pair of mother-and-son polar bears, will also have a new home at River Safari’s Frozen Tundra, which comprises over 1,400 sqm of living space that will mirror conditions in the Arctic. Other animals like the tanuki, a raccoon dog native to Japan, will join the polar bears at this new exhibit, which will feature permafrost, frozen caves, and icy pools of water.

“Biodiversity in freshwater habitats is disappearing at a faster rate than marine and forest environments. By bringing visitors up close to the fascinating underwater animals and terrestrial animals that live in such ecosystems, we aim to highlight how our survival is dependent on their well-being,” said Ms Fanny Lai, WRS’ Group CEO. “We expect people to be awed by many of these strange and interesting fresh water creatures including the ‘giants’ of river habitats. These include the giant catfish and the giant freshwater stingray from Mekong river, giant river otters from Amazon river; and not forgetting the giant pandas from China. All of these charismatic animals are disappearing at an alarming rate due to habitat destruction.

The ground-breaking ceremony this morning will be held at one of the actual development sites fronting the reservoir and will be graced by Mr S Iswaran, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, and Education.