COME AND BID THE KOALAS A WARM FURRY FAREWELL

Last chance to see the fuzzy quartet from Down Under before their departure in January 2016

SZ Dec_Koala Farewell Party_Final KV2
The animal residents of Singapore Zoo are coming together to say goodbye to their koala friends this December. Enjoy a spectrum of koala-themed activities at Koalamania! – A Furry Farewell Party at Singapore Zoo every weekend from 5-27 December, and remember to pop by the Australian zone to say your personal farewells to the koalas. PHOTO CREDIT: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Singapore, 27 November 2015 – Koalas Cantik, Sayang, Nila and Manja, who have been guests of Singapore since April this year, will soon pack their bags and head back Down Under. Visitors have until 3 January 2016 to visit the koalas, after which they will be quarantined for a month prior to their departure.

To celebrate their last six months here, and wish them well, Singapore Zoo is throwing a furry farewell party every weekend this December for the lovely quartet previously known as Chan, Idalia, Paddle and Pellita.

The four furry ladies arrived in April this year, and are a precious gift from Australia to Singapore on the occasion of Singapore’s 50th anniversary of independence, and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and Singapore.

Be part of the celebrations at Singapore Zoo and enjoy koala-themed activities including mascot appearances, game challenges, party crafts, magic shows and an interactive story trail. And don’t forget to pop by the Australian Zone to bid your personal farewells to the koalas!

Koalamania! – A Furry Farewell Party
Date: 5-27 December 2015 (weekends only)
Venue: Singapore Zoo
80 Mandai Lake Road
Singapore 729826
Fee: Activities are free of charge but Singapore Zoo admission rates of $32.00 (adult) and $21.00 (child aged 3 to 12 years) apply
Note: Purchase tickets online to skip the queue and enjoy up to 30% discount on admission

Further details are available at http://www.zoo.com.sg/koala-mania

GALLOP INTO CHINESE NEW YEAR WITH WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

– Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo usher in the Year of the Horse with horse-picious festive activities from 24 Jan – 15 Feb 2014.

Visitors to Jurong Bird Park will have the opportunity to be awe-struck by a pair of lions as they dance atop high poles in an adrenaline-laced performance this Chinese New Year.
Visitors to Jurong Bird Park will have the opportunity to be awe-struck by a pair of lions as they dance atop high poles in an adrenaline-laced performance this Chinese New Year.

Singapore, 15 January 2014 – Usher in the Chinese New Year with Wildlife Reserves Singapore and enjoy the festivities at Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo from 24 Jan to 15 February 2014.

There will be lots to see and do, as the parks get decked up for the Year of the Horse with flowering plants and creative displays. Amidst the festive ambience, enjoy energetic lion dance performances, rub off some good luck from prosperity mascots during the meet-and-greet sessions, take a walk on the ever-popular Zoo-diac Trail, and get up close with graceful horses to take a picture for luck!

Visitors to Jurong Bird Park during Chinese New Year will see festive flowering plants and creative displays, like this on showcase at the Penguin Coast.
Visitors to Jurong Bird Park during Chinese New Year will see festive flowering plants and creative displays, like this on showcase at the Penguin Coast.

Animal encounters
Horse-picious photography: Greet the auspicious horses, this Chinese New Year’s star animal and have your picture taken with them at Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo!

Falabella Parade at Singapore Zoo: Be charmed by graceful and exquisite falabellas at Singapore Zoo in the Falabella Parade, and witness an entourage of eight miniature horses trotting proudly alongside their keepers. This is a sight to behold! The Falabella is a rare Argentine breed of Miniature Horse, known as the first and original Miniature Horse breed. It is a true purebred due to their unique and historic ancestry, which is one of its greatest attributes. Estimates indicate that only a few thousand Falabellas exist in the world. Falabellas are viewed as prestigious to have and are highy prized by those who do own them.

One of horse-picious activities visitors can look forward to at Singapore Zoo during Chinese New Year is the Falabella Parade. A rare sight to behold, an entourage of eight miniature horses will trot proudly alongside their keepers.
One of horse-picious activities visitors can look forward to at Singapore Zoo during Chinese New Year is the Falabella Parade. A rare sight to behold, an entourage of eight miniature horses will trot proudly alongside their keepers.

Festive High Flyers Show at Jurong Bird Park: At Jurong Bird Park, between 30 January – 14 February, lucky visitors who get chosen during the twice daily High Flyers Show will receive red packets delivered by air from Sassy the sulphur-crested cockatoo, and well-wishes of ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’ from Amigo the yellow-naped Amazon.

At Jurong Bird Park, between 30 January - 14 February, lucky visitors during the twice daily High Flyers Show will receive red packets delivered by air from Sassy, the sulphur-crested cockatoo.
At Jurong Bird Park, between 30 January – 14 February, lucky visitors during the twice daily High Flyers Show will receive red packets delivered by air from Sassy, the sulphur-crested cockatoo.

Wild Treats at Night Safari: While on the tram at Night Safari, keep a keen eye out as animals like the hippopotamuses, Malayan tapirs, and Indian rhinoceroses undergo some festive animal enrichment by their keepers. Find out more from the tram commentators how the tapirs and hippopotamuses are related to the equine family. There is also much to see while on the walking trails as the animals enjoy Wild Treats. Watch as fishing cats, common palm civets, wallabies, and giraffes have food placed out for them which stimulates their naturalistic instinct at foraging. What’s more, watch the Festive Tiger Token Feeding and be wowed by the majestic Malayan Tiger’s moves. Before leaving the Night Safari, do make a pit stop at the entrance, where a photo-opportunity with life-sized standees, complete with educational information on the tapir, hippopotamus and zebra await.

Southern lion dance
A pair of spectacular Southern lions will dance their way atop high poles in a high-octane fuelled performance at Jurong Bird Park, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo. As night falls, Night Safari will feature a pair of Southern lions with specially designed LEDs – all the better to light the path in the New Year. This traditional mixture of martial art, acrobatic and stage performance was introduced in Southeast Asia more than a century ago, and remains a mainstay of Lunar New Year celebrations.

Prosperity mascot appearance
No Lunar New Year is complete without an appearance by prosperity mascots! Representing prosperity and good fortune, ‘Fu Lu Shou’ will make appearances at Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo, while visitors to Jurong Bird Park will get a chance to mingle with the ‘God of Fortune’.

Zoo-diac Trail
The Chinese horoscope is a perennial favourite, and one which visitors eagerly crane to see. Visitors to all four parks will have a chance to explore the ever-popular Chinese Zoo-diac Trail, to get a glimpse of what the Year of the Horse holds.

Delicacies and special delights (F&B)
Forest Lodge at Singapore Zoo, Flamingo Lodge at Jurong Bird Park and Ulu Ulu Safari Restaurant at Night Safari will be serving a Chinese New Year Sit Down Set at $688+ for 10 diners by special reservations from 24 January – 9 February. Tuck into a sumptuous 8 course meal amidst the tranquil surroundings of WRS parks and relish dishes like Baby Abalone with “Ling Zhi” Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce, Dual Flavoured Fried Prawns and Prosperity Yu Sheng.

The River Safari Teahouse has specially designed a Reunion Feast and Salmon Yu Sheng this Lunar New Year. The Reunion Feast, available in variations of 6 and 8 courses features dishes such as XO sauce fried rice with preserved meat and Braised Superior Fish Maw Soup with Crabmeat at prices from $78 (2 persons) to $288 (8 persons). Tantalise your taste buds with complementary flavours of sweet, sour and spicy with the Salmon Yu Sheng. This ever popular must-have dish for Chinese New Year is available for $8 (2 pax) to $38 (8 pax). Both menus are available from 27 January – 15 February.

Reservations for the Chinese New Year Sit Down Set can be made at saleshotline.wrs@wrs.com.sg or via a call to 6360 8560. Guests are welcome to walk into the River Safari Teahouse for the Reunion Feast and Salmon Yu Sheng, or can make email reservations through teahouse.rs@wrs.com.sg or via a call to 6360 2260.

A uniquely Singaporean dish, this Salmon Yu Sheng from the River Safari Teahouse is a must have this Chinese New Year.
A uniquely Singaporean dish, this Salmon Yu Sheng from the River Safari Teahouse is a must have this Chinese New Year.

Education booth
Gallop down to the Singapore Zoo to learn more about one of the most important domestic animals in the world! Kids can get their face and hand painted for a token S$4 and S$2 respectively while they horse around the booth.

Gallop down to the Education booth at Singapore Zoo this Chinese New Year and learn more about the noble horses from our knowledgeable volunteers!
Gallop down to the Education booth at Singapore Zoo this Chinese New Year and learn more about the noble horses from our knowledgeable volunteers!

Activity Details

Activity Details for Jurong Bird Park
Activity Details for Jurong Bird Park
Activity Details for Night Safari
Activity Details for Night Safari
Activity Details for River Safari
Activity Details for River Safari
Activity Details for Singapore Zoo
Activity Details for Singapore Zoo

FLAP TO JURONG BIRD PARK AND INTERACT WITH GREGARIOUS PARROTS THIS CHILDREN’S DAY!

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!

Children's Day at Jurong Bird Park
Children’s Day at 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
Cost: Free*

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.

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.

SINGAPORE’S WILDLIFE CELEBRATE NATIONAL DAY

Singapore, 8 August 2013 – Animals from Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park are showing off their patriotic side this 9 August, to commemorate Singapore’s 48th birthday. Join them as they celebrate national day.

Gambir, Singapore Zoo’s 24-year-old Asian elephant practices her flag-raising routine ahead of National Day. Catch her at the Elephants at Work and Play show on 9 August, at 11.30am and 3.30pm.
Gambir, Singapore Zoo’s 24-year-old Asian elephant practices her flag-raising routine
ahead of National Day. Catch her at the Elephants at Work and Play show on 9
August, at 11.30am and 3.30pm.
Andi, an 8-year-old California sea lion, proudly waves the Singapore flag. He and his sea lion counterpart will also balance the national flag and unveil a banner at the Splash Safari show to wish everyone a happy national day at Singapore Zoo. The Splash Safari show happens daily at 10.30am and 5pm.
Andi, an 8-year-old California sea lion, proudly waves the Singapore flag. He and his
sea lion counterpart will also balance the national flag and unveil a banner at the
Splash Safari show to wish everyone a happy national day at Singapore Zoo.
The Splash Safari show happens daily at 10.30am and 5pm.

Jurong Bird Park Highlights:
During this double celebration of Hari Raya and National Day, our feathered friends at Jurong Bird Park’s High Flyers Show are also joining in the festivities. On 8 August, Sassy the sulphur-crested cockatoo will fly in a mini ketupat to a volunteer, while the show presenter explains the significance of the ketupat with Hari Raya to guests.

From 9 – 11 August, Quincy the yellow-headed Amazon will serenade guests with his rendition of ‘Singapura,’ and Sassy will fly mini Singapore flags to two volunteers.

The High Flyers Show happens daily at 11am and 3pm.

RIVER SAFARI COMPLETES MEGAFISH COLLECTION WITH MOVE OF GIANT FRESHWATER STINGRAY

Move of gargantuan fish with venomous barb one of the most complicated and dangerous to date.

Singapore, 17 July 2013 – The giant freshwater stingray, believed to be the largest and heaviest freshwater fish in the world, moved into Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park today. Known for its venomous barb and mighty ability to pull boats down the Mekong River, this gargantuan species can weigh up to 600 kilogrammes and grow up to 5 metres in length.

The giant freshwater stingray, believed to be the largest and heaviest freshwater fish in the world, moved into River Safari today. Known for its venomous barb and mighty ability to pull boats down the Mekong River, this gargantuan species can weigh up to 600 kilogrammes and grow up to 5 metres in length.
The giant freshwater stingray, believed to be the largest and heaviest freshwater fish in the world, moved into River Safari today. Known for its venomous barb and mighty ability to pull boats down the Mekong River, this gargantuan species can weigh up to 600 kilogrammes and grow up to 5 metres in length.

The last to join two other rare megafishes at the park’s Mekong River zone, the move of the giant freshwater stingray is one of the most complicated and dangerous as it has a deadly barb on the base of its tail capable of piercing bones.

Close to 20 staff was deployed for the move, including aquarists and veterinarians. Due to the size of the stingray – currently at 2.4 metres long and weighing 62.5 kilogrammes – various arrangements were made in preparation for the move, including a specially-modified carrier truck to transport the stingray in controlled water conditions. As a safety precaution, the stingray’s venomous barb on its tail was trimmed. Stingrays can regrow their barbs throughout their lifetime.

Mr Wah Yap Hon, Curator, Zoology, River Safari, said, “We are thrilled that the last of our Mekong River giants are finally in. Over the past few months, we have been moving animals into their exhibits and have been looking forward to this day when we finally introduce the powerful giant freshwater stingray. This latest addition completes our collection of megafishes. We hope these aquatic ambassadors will help visitors gain a deeper appreciation of their species, and of freshwater habitats.”

Found in river systems in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, the giant freshwater stingray is under threat due to overfishing and degradation of riverine habitats as a result of pollution and dam-building. In Thailand where the subpopulation has dropped dramatically, the giant stingray is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species. This species is shrouded in mystery: their behaviour is elusive and no one knows of their exact numbers in the wild.

By bringing visitors up close to fascinating underwater animals such as the giant freshwater stingray, River Safari aims to highlight the importance of freshwater ecosystems and inspire positive actions for conserving them.

Visitors can catch the giant stingrays at the park’s Mekong River zone, home to two other megafishes: giant Siamese carp and the critically endangered Mekong giant catfish.

Aquarists prepare to move a giant freshwater stingray into its aquarium at River Safari’s Mekong River zone. As a safety precaution, the stingray’s venomous barb on its tail was trimmed before the move. The barb can grow to an incredible length of 38 cm – the largest of any stingray and capable of piercing bones. Stingrays can regrow their barbs throughout their lifetime.
Aquarists prepare to move a giant freshwater stingray into its aquarium at River Safari’s Mekong River zone. As a safety precaution, the stingray’s venomous barb on its tail was trimmed before the move. The barb can grow to an incredible length of 38 cm – the largest of any stingray and capable of piercing bones. Stingrays can regrow their barbs throughout their lifetime.
Aquarists carefully lower a canvas holding a giant freshwater stingray for its release into River Safari’s Mekong River zone. This 2.4m-long specimen weighs 62.5kg and measures 1.2m wide. It arrived at the park’s holding facility in October 2010.
Aquarists carefully lower a canvas holding a giant freshwater stingray for its release into River Safari’s Mekong River zone. This 2.4m-long specimen weighs 62.5kg and measures 1.2m wide. It arrived at the park’s holding facility in October 2010.
To ensure that its newest resident is fine, an aquarist checks on the breathing pattern of a giant freshwater stingray after it is released into its aquarium at River Safari’s Mekong River zone.
To ensure that its newest resident is fine, an aquarist checks on the breathing pattern of a giant freshwater stingray after it is released into its aquarium at River Safari’s Mekong River zone.
Children come up close with a giant freshwater stingray at River Safari’s Mekong River zone, which is also home to two other megafishes: giant Siamese carp and the critically endangered Mekong giant catfish.
Children come up close with a giant freshwater stingray at River Safari’s Mekong River zone, which is also home to two other megafishes: giant Siamese carp and the critically endangered Mekong giant catfish.

*IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature

RIVER SAFARI CELEBRATES SINGAPORE FOOD FESTIVAL WITH FEAST OF SINGAPORE DELICACIES

Gastronomical and wildlife adventure at Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park.

Cantonese Roast Pork
Cantonese Roast Pork

Singapore, 10 July 2013 – In celebration of the Singapore Food Festival this July, visitors can look forward to exploring Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park and indulging in a mouthwatering seven-course feast at a special price of S$68+.

The experiential dining journey begins with lunch at River Safari Tea House, the park’s Chinese restaurant that features cuisine from the main dialect groups in Singapore. Set in a quaint teahouse setting, visitors can savour six tantalizing Asian delights including Teochew Bak Kut Teh, Hakka Yong Tau Foo and Cantonese Roasts.

After lunch, visitors can embark on a wild adventure in the park and meet over 5,000 animal specimens representing 300 species, including endangered giants such as the giant river otter, Mekong giant catfish and giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia.

A sweet finale of delectable desserts await at the Mama Panda Kitchen. The dessert platter includes cempedak crème brulee, fresh tropical fruits and the ever-popular panda paus for a pandastic ending in the park.

Claypot "Three Cups" Chicken
Claypot “Three Cups” Chicken

THE SINGAPORE FOOD FESTIVAL 2013
Singapore Delicacies @ River Safari

Date
13 July 2013 (Sat), 14 July 2013 (Sun), 20 July 2013 (Sat), 21 July 2013 (Sun)

Price
Adult: $68+
Child (3 to 12 years old): $48+
Above prices include admission to River Safari. For reservations, please call 6360 8560 or email event.sales@wrs.com.sg

Programme
11.30am to 12.00pm: Registration and collection of admission tickets at River Safari Tea House (Located near River Safari Entrance Plaza)
12.00pm to 1.30pm: Lunch at River Safari Tea House
1.30pm to 3.00pm: Free and easy tour at River Safari
3.00pm to 4.30pm: Dessert platter at Mama Panda Kitchen (Located near Giant Panda Forest)

Panda Pau
Panda Pau

Menu

The Singapore Food Festival 2013 Sampler
Cantonese Roast Combination: Honey Char Siew, Roasted Pork & Soya Sauce Chicken
Teochew Bak Kut Teh
Claypot “Three Cups” Chicken
Hokkien Five Spice Prawn & Pork Roll
Hakka Yong Tou Foo
Hainanese Claypot Vegetables
Chef’s Special Seafood Fried Rice
Jasmine Tea
Free Flow Soft Drinks or 1 Glass of Tiger Beer

Mama Panda Kitchen Dessert Platter

Panda Pau
Cempedak Crème Brulee
Fresh Tropical Fruits Platter
Coffee / Tea

ORIENTAL PIED HORNBILL WILD POPULATION GETS A BOOST WITH JURONG BIRD PARK’S RELEASE OF THREE BIRDS IN PULAU UBIN

Release will add to the genetic pool of Oriental Pied Hornbills in the wild; bird unsighted in Singapore for over 140 years prior to 1994.

An Oriental Pied hornbill in Jurong Bird Park being measured from bill tip to rear bill intersection prior to a planned release for the purpose of increasing the genetic pool of the species’ wild population.
An Oriental Pied hornbill in Jurong Bird Park being measured from bill tip to rear bill intersection prior to a planned release for the purpose of increasing the genetic pool of the species’ wild population.

Singapore, 8 July 2013 – In an effort to diversify the genetic pool of wild hornbills in Singapore, Jurong Bird Park will release three Oriental Pied Hornbills from their collection to Pulau Ubin on 10 July.

“Increasing the genetic pool of Oriental Pied Hornbills or any other bird is important to the conservation of the species because it allows for a healthier population of these birds. With more genetic diversity, the species is less susceptible to diseases,” said Dr Minerva Bongco-Nuqui, Curator, Avian, Jurong Bird Park.

Jurong Bird Park is the first institution globally to successfully incubate and hatch Oriental Pied Hornbills. The park has one of the largest collections of hornbills globally, with 17 species represented.
Jurong Bird Park is the first institution globally to successfully incubate and hatch Oriental Pied Hornbills. The park has one of the largest collections of hornbills globally, with 17 species represented.

Earlier in March, the Bird Park became the first institution globally to successfully artificially incubate and hatch three Oriental pied hornbill eggs, which had been rescued from Pulau Ubin by officers from the National Parks Board (NParks). These three chicks have been absorbed into the Park’s collection. Retaining these three chicks enables the Park to increase the breeding genetic pool of the existing collection. Similarly, releasing three other birds to Pulau Ubin gives the wild population of Oriental Pied Hornbills greater diversity in the genetic pool.

The Oriental Pied Hornbills selected for release include a bonded pair which are captive bred and a male which was donated to the Park. In preparation for the release and to allow these birds to acclimatise, whole fruit found on the island have been introduced into their diet. These birds were also tested to be free from diseases before the release.

Ahead of the release, the Oriental Pied Hornbills have undergone a physical measurement and health check. Data like the microchip number, sex, age, body length and casque length were recorded and kept for conservation and research purposes. Conservationists can extrapolate from this data as a reference point and make inferences to the general overview of the population, to understand the group’s dynamics, leading to better management of the population.

On 10 July, the bonded pair and one male hornbill will set forth from Jurong Bird Park for Pulau Ubin to be released. They will join an estimated 60 Oriental Pied Hornbills on the offshore island. The release site was chosen as it is the same location from which three Oriental pied hornbill eggs were rescued in January this year.

“NParks has been working closely with Jurong Bird Park and the Singapore Avian Conservation Project team in hornbill conservation since 2004. Due to the concerted efforts of the parties involved, the population of Oriental Pied Hornbills in the wild has increased from a few individuals to about 100 hornbills all over Singapore. In addition to being a part of Singapore’s natural heritage, Oriental Pied Hornbills are also natural dispersers of seeds. As such, the birds reach various areas in Singapore, including remote forested areas in our nature reserves, re-populating the island with plants. This adds to the rich biodiversity of flora and fauna in our City in a Garden. Today, we are very excited with another step in our ex-situ conservation efforts and the release of three Oriental Pied Hornbills,” said Wong Tuan Wah, Director (Conservation), NParks.

The Oriental Pied Hornbill disappeared from Singapore in the mid-1800s, possibly due to hunting and loss of suitable habitats. In 1994, a pair was sighted on Pulau Ubin. Once virtually disappeared from Singapore, the bird is today re-establishing healthy colonies here, thanks to the collective efforts of the NParks, Jurong Bird Park, and Singapore Avian Conservation Project (SACP).

Jurong Bird Park has one of the largest collections of hornbills globally, with 17 species represented. The Park has 17 Oriental Pied Hornbills, some of which can be seen at the Hornbills & Toucans exhibit. During breeding season which takes place from November to March, cameras will be installed in the Oriental Pied Hornbill exhibit, and visitors can catch a glimpse of nesting activities through television screens placed at the exhibit.

SINGAPORE ZOO TURNS 40 WITH WILD BIRTHDAY BASH

CELEBRATIONS CONTINUE WITH YEAR-ROUND ACTIVITIES. ZOO THANKS NATION WITH SPECIAL 40% OFF ADMISSION PRICE FOR SINGAPOREANS IN JULY.

Singapore, 27 June 2013Singapore Zoo turned 40 today and a party was thrown in her honour to mark the momentous occasion. Mr S.R. Nathan, Sixth President of Singapore, was present for the celebrations alongside those who have helped in her growth as a world-renowned zoo, including popular animal stars such as the orang utans.

Guest of Honour Mr S R Nathan at Elephant garlanding
Guest of Honour Mr S R Nathan at Elephant garlanding

“Singapore Zoo turning 40 is a very significant occasion for us at Wildlife Reserves Singapore. In the past 40 years, Singapore Zoo has become a fun and educational institution that both Singaporeans and international friends love. Many of us have grown up with her and many more have fond memories of coming to the zoo with our families, friends and teachers,” said Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore. “This journey has been one filled with much excitement along the way and we have treasured every minute of it because we want people from around the world to be inspired by nature and develop a deep appreciation for wildlife.”

Mr S R Nathan and Ms Claire Chiang officiated Singapore Zoo's 40th Birthday Celebrations
Mr S R Nathan and Ms Claire Chiang officiated Singapore Zoo’s 40th Birthday Celebrations

Singapore Zoo first opened its doors to visitors on 27 June 1973 with a collection of 272 animals representing 72 species. This was after five years of development work which began in 1968 when Dr Ong Swee Law, Chairman of Singapore’s Public Utilities Board, conceived the idea of locating the zoo in the catchment forests around the Upper Seletar Reservoir.

Since then, the Zoo has established herself as one of the world’s finest, not only for her unique collection of animals and immersive exhibits, but also for her leadership in conservation, education and recreation. Some of her fondest memories include the first orang utan birth in 1975, the opening of the Children’s Zoo and Adventureland in 1980, and the release of the first free-ranging animals – the squirrel monkeys, cotton-top tamarins and cotton-eared marmosets – in the zoo in 1992. Today, she has a collection of over 2,800 animals of over 300 species, 26 per cent of which are threatened.

Orang Utan Chomel meets Mr S R Nathan
Orang Utan Chomel meets Mr S R Nathan
Orang Utans enjoying the Singapore Zoo 40th Birthday Fruit cake
Orang Utans enjoying the Singapore Zoo 40th Birthday Fruit cake

Annually, over 1.7 million Singapore and international visitors enjoy experiential learning journeys at the award-winning zoo. Singapore Zoo has become an evergreen destination which many visitors discover as children. As years pass, they re-visit as parents when their own little ones are growing up, and eventually return as grandparents with their grandchildren.

“As our world continues to urbanise, we have an even more important and urgent task at hand of educating the public to appreciate, protect and secure the future of our most valued assets – wildlife – because once gone, we won’t get to enjoy that anymore. Singapore Zoo will continue its mission to inspire its visitors to develop an appreciation for nature and wildlife. We look forward to stronger collaborations with our partners to bring fun and value to our visitors, especially the young ones,” said Ms Chiang.

Mr S R Nathan signing on the Singapore Zoo 40th Birthday Card
Mr S R Nathan signing on the Singapore Zoo 40th Birthday Card

As a gesture of thanks to the local community, 40th birthday surprises will continue all year round, starting with a 40% discount on admission throughout July for all Singaporeans and permanent residents to join in the merriment and celebrate the park’s milestone birthday.

In addition, guests can take part in the 40 Wild Years Trail, and redeem retail and F&B offers upon completion. The trail will run from 27 June – 31 July 2013 and consists of five questions that will take visitors to some iconic sites within Singapore Zoo. Activity sheets will be available at all Singapore Zoo ticket counters.

For more information and the latest updates on Singapore Zoo’s 40th anniversary celebrations, visit www.zoo40.zoo.com.sg, or www.facebook.com/wrs.sg.

CONSERVATION OF PANGOLINS GIVEN HOPE AT INAUGURAL ‘SCALING UP PANGOLIN CONSERVATION’ CONFERENCE

First ever conference by IUCN Pangolin Specialist Group and Wildlife Reserves Singapore to be a global voice in the protection and conservation of pangolins.

Pangolin and young
Pangolin and young

Singapore/London, 19 June 2013 – Wildlife Reserves Singapore and the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission (IUCN-SSC) Pangolin Specialist Group have come together to organise the first ever global conference on the rather shy, nocturnal pangolins which for years have been under threat from poachers for their meat and scales.

Themed ‘Scaling up Pangolin Conservation’, the four day conference from 24 – 27 June held at Night Safari aims to devise an overarching conservation strategy to improve their conservation efforts with specific and measurable initiatives, and to provide input into formal IUCN Red List assessments to reassess their status to further protect the species.

Professor Jonathan Baillie, Conservation Programmes Director at the Zoological Society of London and Co-Chair of the IUCN-SSC Pangolin Specialist Group said, “This is a landmark event in pangolin conservation, we will have 50 researchers from around the world gathered to set a road-map for conserving pangolins over the next decade. Especially important here is formulating ways to reduce demand for pangolins in Asia.”

While they may look like walking pine-cones, pangolins, or scaly-anteaters as they are also known, are one of the most trafficked mammals in Asia, and increasingly, in Africa. Globally, they are illegally traded in their tens of thousands each year.

This trade is primarily to China and Vietnam where they are considered a delicacy and their scales used in traditional medicines. In response to the magnitude of trade and other threats including loss of habitat and ill-considered land management practices, the IUCN-SSC Pangolin Specialist Group, an expert group of pangolin conservationists, was established in February 2012.

“Rapid action is urgently needed if pangolins in Africa and Asia are to be conserved given the rate at which they are being exploited for East Asian luxury markets,” commented Dan Challender, Co-Chair of the IUCN-SSC Pangolin Specialist Group and doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology.

The inaugural pangolin conference is part of Wildlife Reserves Conservation Fund’s (WRSCF) efforts to conserve endangered native wildlife. Since its inception in 2009, the Fund has supported various projects and conferences.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer at Wildlife Reserves Singapore said, “For years WRS has been working on helping our critically endangered species locally, via research and captive breeding. We are very pleased to co-organise and host this event, bringing together the foremost pangolin experts in the world, striving to find a strategy that will help this group of unique animals globally.”

To further raise public awareness to the plight faced by the pangolins, a free for public seminar will be held on 28 June from 12.30pm – 4pm at the Forest Lodge in Singapore Zoo with a series of four talks by experts:

  1. Trade in wildlife for meat and medicines pushing Southeast Asian species towards extinction by Chris Shepherd, Acting Regional Director for TRAFFIC in South-East Asia
  2. From the IUCN SSC and new technology for addressing illegal wildlife trade by Jonathan Baillie, Conservation Programmes Director at the Zoological Society of London and Co-Chair of the IUCN-SSC Pangolin Specialist Group
  3. The pangolin trade in Asia by Dan Challender, Co-Chair of the IUCN-SSC Pangolin Specialist Group and doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology
  4. Pangolins of Singapore: In situ and ex situ conservation efforts by Razak Jaffar, Assistant Curator, Night Safari, Wildlife Reserves Singapore

As there are limited seats to the public seminar available, interested participants are advised to RSVP by 21 June to Yap Xinli at xinli.yap@wrs.com.sg.

Additionally, to extend the message on pangolin conservation even further to the visitors at Night Safari, an outreach programme has been planned. Visitors to Night Safari on 21, 22, 28 and 29 June will be able to hear more about pangolins from the keepers at a short 15minute session starting from 9.15pm at the Pangolin Exhibit along the Fishing Cat Trail. Over the years, Night Safari has fine-tuned captive management of these unassuming creatures and has achieved a global first: The world’s first institution successfully to breed and raise the Sunda pangolin in captivity.

The ‘SCALING UP PANGOLIN CONSERVATION’ CONFERENCE has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund, the Zoological Society of London, San Antonio Zoo, the Houston Zoo, TRAFFIC and Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong.