WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE, WITH SINGAPORE ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL AND SINGAPORE MANUFACTURERS’ FEDERATION, PIONEERS MOON NIGHT 2011 TO CELEBRATE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AND FAMILY TOGETHERNESS

Singapore, 11 Sep 2011 – For the first time, Singapore Zoo opened its doors to the public this evening for the inaugural Moon Night 2011 in celebration of the Mid-Autumn festival. Jointly organised by Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), Singapore Environment Council (SEC) and Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation (SMa), the event hopes to raise awareness for nature conservation and biodiversity, while promoting family togetherness.

The main highlight of the evening was the release of fireflies into the forested area at the zoo by President Tony Tan Keng Yam, in an effort to reintroduce this distinctive species of insects into the mangrove ecosystem.

Dr Tony Tan and Mr George Huang, President of SMa also placed floating lanterns in the waters of Upper Seletar Reservoir. Visitors to the park were encouraged to buy the lanterns, with all proceeds donated to the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund (WRSCF), which was set up with the purpose of conserving Singapore’s endangered native wildlife.

“Other than assisting our members in commercial interests, SMa is also conscious of and promotes good corporate social responsibility, including environment, work-life balance, culture and conservation in our members’ companies. We appreciate and support the great work of WRS and SEC, and will continue to work with them to engender environmentally conscious behaviour in our members and staff,” said Mr Huang.

Other festivities included the recounting of the story of Chang Er and her companion, the jade rabbit, and an animal petting session with the rabbits at the zoo. Visitors were also educated on the effects of the moon on animal behaviour through fun and interactive performances.

Considered an important date in the Chinese calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a symbol of reunion brought about by the full moon. It traditionally calls for families and friends to gather and admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon while enjoying delicious moon cakes that is meant to represent people’s pursuit of a round and perfect life.

At the same time, the moon is inextricably linked to the everyday rhythms and rituals of life on earth, as well as the tide. Moon phases have been said to shape the evolution and lives of the animal kingdom, promoting the migratory habits of many animals today.

“We are excited to be organising the first ever Moon Night in the world, as it shows a clear sign of ownership in the pursuit for perfect balance and harmony. Through its special mix of cultural mythology and awareness-raising about biodiversity preservation, Moon Night 2011 is a great opportunity for families to spend quality time together during the Mid-Autumn festival at a unique location, while allowing WRS and SEC to educate Singaporeans on holistic approaches to wildlife and nature conservation,” said Isa Loh, Group CEO, WRS.

“SMa is happy to be part of this innovative and interesting event. It gives, not just our members, but also the families of their employees, the opportunity to gather as one big family,” added Mr Huang.

The release of fireflies is significant as the population continues to dwindle in Singapore due to urbanisation.

“On this special day while we celebrate the full moon, we are also encouraging the balance of life on earth as animal cycles and rituals are known to coincide with moon phases. On behalf of WRS and SEC, I would like to thank President Tony Tan and Mr George Huang, President of SMa, for celebrating and reinforcing the message of Moon Night with us,” added Ms Loh, who is also Chairman of the Singapore Environment Council.

(L-R) President Tony Tan Keng Yam leading the lantern procession at the Singapore Zoo with his granddaughter and Mr George Huang, President, Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation.

Ms Isa Loh, Group CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (far left), President Tony Tan, and Mr George Huang, President of Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation (far right) celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival with members of the public at the Singapore Zoo’s inaugural Moon Night 2011 event.