RHINOS IN TROUBLE: LEARN THE HORNEST TRUTH AT SINGAPORE ZOO’S RHINO CONSERVATION AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

Singapore Zoo aims to raise awareness on the plight of rhinoceroses in the wild;
Campaign kick-starts with expert forum including speakers from TRAFFIC and WCS

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s rhinoceros keepers join guests in clipping their fingernails to symbolise their commitment to rhino conservation ahead of the month-long Rhinos in Trouble awareness campaign at Singapore Zoo, which starts on 20 September 2014. Rhinos’ horns are made of keratin, the same material found in human hair and nails. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.
Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s rhinoceros keepers join guests in clipping their fingernails to symbolise their commitment to rhino conservation ahead of the month-long Rhinos in Trouble awareness campaign at Singapore Zoo, which starts on 20 September 2014. Rhinos’ horns are made of keratin, the same material found in human hair and nails. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.)

Singapore, 19 Sept 2014Singapore Zoo will launch a rhinoceros conservation awareness campaign, titled Rhinos in Trouble: The Hornest Truth, from 20 September to 20 October 2014 to raise awareness about the plight of rhinoceroses in the wild, and is working closely with TRAFFIC Southeast Asia and Wildlife Conservation Society (Vietnam) to stamp out illegal trade of rhino horns.

The month-long campaign is held in conjunction with World Rhino Day, which falls on 22 September. Visitors to Singapore Zoo are encouraged to donate their nail clippings to symbolise their commitment to rhino conservation.

International trade of rhinoceros horn has been illegal since the 80s, yet the market is still thriving today even though science has proven that rhino horn is only as useful as a medicine as human hair and nails are. Rhino horns are made of keratin, the same material found in human hair and nails.

Recent studies by TRAFFIC and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have revealed that current consumption of products made from rhino horn has gone beyond perceived medicinal purposes. Rhino horn has become a luxury item and a status symbol. With the recent increase in wealthy individuals in Southeast Asia, rhino horn is also being used as a “hangover cure” after excessive alcohol consumption by the affluent.

The year 2013 set a record for rhino poaching in South Africa – home to around 75 per cent of the world’s total rhino population, with 1,004 killed. As of 10 September 2014, poachers had already butchered 769 rhinos in the country. If the current trend continues for the rest of 2014, the number of rhinos killed is likely to exceed record set in 2013 by another 100.

Even in Singapore, where the trade of endangered species and animal parts is strictly regulated, there had been cases where its ports were used as transit points. On 10 January 2014, eight pieces of rhinoceros horns weighing a total of about 21.5kg were confiscated at Changi Airport by the Singapore authorities.

With Rhinos in Trouble: The Hornest Truth, Singapore Zoo hopes to raise public awareness and engage Singaporeans to help in the efforts to save the rhinoceros in the wild.

Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “We urge the public to refuse any rhino horn or rhino horn products should they be offered any, and to please inform all their friends and relatives to do the same. If we don’t buy the product, demand will fall, and rhinoceroses will not suffer needless deaths. Together, we have to, and we can, ensure there is a future for these magnificent creatures.”

In a statement, Mr David Seow, Secretary General of the Singapore Chinese Druggists Association, appeals to Singaporeans to comply with the Government’s ban on the sale of any rhinoceros products and wishes to convey that there are many alternative medicinal material and products that can replace rhinoceros horns. Members of Singapore Chinese Druggists Association also fully support international conservation agreements and efforts to save the rhinoceros from extinction.

Pre-school guests at Singapore Zoo eager to show their support for rhinos lined up to drop their nail clippings into the Jar of Nails. The children, from Odyssey, the Global Pre-school, enjoyed a preview of the Rhinos in Trouble conservation awareness campaign which starts on 20 September 2014. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.
Pre-school guests at Singapore Zoo eager to show their support for rhinos lined up to drop their nail clippings into the Jar of Nails. The children, from Odyssey, the Global Pre-school, enjoyed a preview of the Rhinos in Trouble conservation awareness campaign which starts on 20 September 2014. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.)

Rhinos in Trouble: The Hornest Truth kick-starts with a public seminar on 20 Sept from 1pm – 5.30pm, and topics include:
– “Rhino Revolution from Africa to Asia” talk by Ms Jennifer Fox, Co-founder and partner, Thornybush Private Game Reserve, South Africa
– “Rhino Horn Trade in Vietnam” talk by Ms Duong Viet Hong, Communications Manager, Wildlife Conservation Society, Vietnam programme
– “Changing minds to save Rhinos: Demand reduction through behaviour change in Vietnam” talk by Dr Naomi Doak, Coordinator, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Greater Mekong Programme
The seminar also features a photography exhibition of the critically endangered Sumatran rhino, taken by wildlife photographer Mr Stephen Belcher. Proceeds from the sale of photographs will go towards wildlife conservation efforts.

LIST OF ACTIVITIES FOR RHINOS IN TROUBLE: THE HORNEST TRUTH

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For more information, visit http://www.zoo.com.sg/events-promos/rhino-month-14.html 
To make your stand against the rhino horn trade, go to www.zoo.com.sg/thehornesttruth

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

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.

LIGHT THE WAY FOR GIANT PANDAS WITH RIVER SAFARI THIS SEPTEMBER

Panda Party aims to increase conservation awareness through week-long interactive programmes and a new behind-the scenes tour

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Singapore, 14 August 2014 – Plant pledges and ‘grow’ a bamboo forest for pandas, sign up for a new behind-the-scenes experience, read about Kai Kai and Jia Jia’s adventures in Singapore, and be part of a Panda Lantern Parade – these are some 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.

Panda Party 2014 marks the second anniversary of giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia in Singapore, and celebrates Jia Jia turning six on 3 September and Kai Kai turning seven on 14 September. This year’s theme “Light The Way” highlights the threats that pandas face and encourages individuals to take actions to ensure a brighter future for this iconic animal.

Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “As ambassadors of one of the world’s most endangered species, giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia have brought joy to many visitors in the last two years. We hope the love for pandas can be transformed into initiatives to protect the species, and help light the way for their future. The Panda Party is an excellent occasion to invite the public to celebrate with a cause and be inspired to protect not just pandas, but threatened wildlife all around the world.”

Aside from the one million visitors who come to River Safari annually, the park aims to spread conservation messages beyond its gates. This year, giant panda mascots will be making special appearances at two CapitaMalls to spread the festive cheer and collect conservation pledges to spur the public into action.

To kickstart the festivities during the Panda Party week, River Safari will organise a private birthday bash for Kai Kai and Jia Jia on 5 September. This occasion will also mark the launch of a new children’s book that tells the adventures of the two pandas in Singapore. In addition to invited guests, 50 lucky members of the public will be able to partake in this event which includes a Panda Lantern Parade to shine lanterns of hope for the future of giant pandas.

During the Panda Party week from 6 to 14 September, visitors to River Safari can expect a line-up of festivities from free guided tours at the Giant Panda Forest to interactive show & tell sessions where they will get the opportunity to feel a panda skull replica and get a whiff of panda poop. Visitors can also plant pledges to help symbolically ‘grow’ a lush bamboo forest for the bears. Kids can enjoy panda art and craft, from face painting to clay modelling activities.

To commemorate this year’s Panda Party, River Safari will launch a new behind-the-scenes tour where participants can get up-close with pandas before the park opens and assist keepers in preparing breakfast for Kai Kai and Jia Jia. This premium experience brings participants to back-of-house areas such as the pandas’ dens, kitchen and bamboo storage room.

As part of the festivities during the Panda Party week, visitors can bring home a free panda lantern with purchases at River Safari’s retail and F&B outlets. In addition to this birthday treat, visitors can look forward to new panda-licious treats such as Panda Chocolate Mousse and wild discounts on panda merchandise.

1. Pandamonium at CapitaMalls (August)
Bask in the pre-party atmosphere this August as pandamonium hits selected CapitaMalls managed by CapitaMalls Asia, CapitaLand’s shopping mall business. CapitaLand is the Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor of the Giant Panda Collaborative Programme. Panda mascots Kai Kai and Jia Jia will be making public appearances to surprise panda fans with lots of birthday treats, including a chance to win instant tickets to the Panda Party in a lucky draw and a contest for the best-dressed panda outfit. Members of the public are invited to make conservation pledges, from conserving fuel by taking public transport to refraining from using products that may endanger animals. Shoppers can also take home free panda masks* and partake in a Panda Parade!

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*While stocks last

2. Exclusive Panda Party Launch Event (5 September)
Light up with us as we launch Panda Party week with an evening of exclusive celebration at River Safari. 50 lucky visitors will get to share a special moment with our VIPs (Very Important Pandas) with giant birthday cakes and exciting performances. The highlight of the evening is a festive Panda Lantern Parade where visitors will shine lanterns of hope for the future of giant pandas.

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3. Panda Party Week at River Safari (6-14 September)

All About Pandas

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All New Panda-Themed Bites

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Wild Discounts on Panda Merchandise

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For more information, visit pandas.riversafari.com.sg 

KAI KAI AND JIA JIA IN SINGAPORE, ONE YEAR ON

– Wildlife Reserves Singapore and CapitaLand celebrate giant pandas’ birthdays and first anniversary in Singapore; Visitors to enjoy slew of pandastic activities from 7 to 15 September.

Singapore, 6 September 2013
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 and Jia Jia today, with a specially-made cake and toy for the birthday duo. The birthday bash marks the start of week-long festivities at River Safari from 7 to 15 September to commemorate the pandas’ one-year anniversary in Singapore and celebrate Jia Jia turning five on 3 September and Kai Kai turning six on 14 September.

Male panda Kai Kai received a three-tiered birthday cake made of ice, bamboo and his favourite treats, while his female counterpart, Jia Jia, received a chime toy made of bamboo stems. The birthday presents were specially created and presented by 10 Panda Party Planners – lucky members of the public, including five readers of the CapitaLand Inside Different Geographies e-publication, who went behind-the-scenes with panda keepers to prepare these treats for the pandas to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.

Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “The past year has been an exciting one as we discover more about the personalities of our pandas. Kai Kai and Jia Jia are ambassadors for their own kind, and we hope that visitors who meet them will learn more about these endangered bears and be inspired to protect these magnificent creatures.”

Almost 600,000 panda lovers have visited Kai Kai and Jia Jia since the Giant Panda Forest opened to the public last year. Kai Kai, who is usually laid-back, has recently been spotted climbing up a tree at 5pm every day to look out for his keepers, and preparing to retreat to his den for evening treats. He is curious when keepers implement enrichment activities such as introducing new scents, or wrapping treats with leaves for him to find.

Jia Jia, on the other hand, is the shyer of the two. A closed-circuit television was installed in February so that visitors can see Jia Jia during moments when she chooses to stay in her den. In recent months, Jia Jia started showing her playful side and can be seen tumbling down slopes and knocking down nearly 10 trees, which horticulturists have had to replant.

Mr S R Nathan, Chairman, CapitaLand Hope Foundation, CapitaLand’s philanthropic arm, said: “We are pleased to see that Kai Kai and Jia Jia have settled in well in their Singapore home since they arrived a year ago. In the past year, Kai Kai and Jia Jia have brought Singapore much joy with their adorable antics and heightened awareness towards wildlife conservation. As we commemorate Kai Kai and Jia Jia’s first year in Singapore and celebrate their birthdays today, we hope to continue our emphasis on educating younger Singaporeans on caring for the eco-system.”

Mr Lim Ming Yan, President & Group CEO of CapitaLand Limited, said: “Today’s celebration marks Kai Kai and Jia Jia’s birthdays as well as an important milestone for their 10-year stay in Singapore. We are happy to partner WRS in celebrating this delightful occasion as the Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor of the Giant Panda Collaborative Programme. To further CapitaLand’s commitment towards wildlife conservation education, we have also actively engaged our stakeholders including readers of our CapitaLand Inside Different Geographies e-publication in the search for Panda Party Planners and our shoppers during the ‘Pandamonium at CapitaMalls’ roadshows in Singapore held last month.”

Inside the Giant Panda Forest, a few home improvements have been added to ensure the pandas’ comfort. Among the new features are:
– Additional branches for Kai Kai and Jia Jia to climb
– Wooden platforms raised above ground level for the pandas to sit and rest on
– Caves in Jia Jia’s exhibit for the shy bear to hide in

Visitors can enjoy the celebratory activities at River Safari during the panda party week from 7 to 15 September. These include free guided tours at the Giant Panda Forest as well as panda awareness booths where you can feel the teeth of a giant panda or get a whiff of panda poop! Face painters will be around to turn you into a panda before meeting the birthday duo, and party animals can go on a frenzy at our panda-themed photo booth!

For more information, visit http://www.riversafari.com.sg

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 giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia at River Safari today. Kai Kai, who will turn six on 14 September this year, enjoyed a three-tiered birthday cake made of ice, bamboo, flowers and his favourite treats.
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 giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia at River Safari today. Kai Kai, who will turn six on 14 September this year, enjoyed a three-tiered birthday cake made of ice, bamboo, flowers and his favourite treats.
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 giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia at River Safari today. Jia Jia received a chime toy made of bamboo stems.
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 giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia at River Safari today. Jia Jia received a chime toy made of bamboo stems.
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 giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia at River Safari today. The birthday bash marks the start of week-long festivities at River Safari from 7 to 15 September to commemorate the pandas’ one-year anniversary in Singapore and celebrate the birthdays of Jia Jia who turned five on 3 September and Kai Kai turning six on 14 September this year. From left: Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; His Excellency Mr Duan Jielong, Ambassador, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Singapore; Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Mr S R Nathan, Sixth President of Singapore; and Chairman, CapitaLand Hope Foundation; Mr Lim Ming Yan, President and Group CEO CapitaLand Limited, Ms Jennie Chua, Director, CapitaLand Hope Foundation.
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 giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia at River Safari today. The birthday bash marks the start of week-long festivities at River Safari from 7 to 15 September to commemorate the pandas’ one-year anniversary in Singapore and celebrate the birthdays of Jia Jia who turned five on 3 September and Kai Kai turning six on 14 September this year.
From left: Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; His Excellency Mr Duan Jielong, Ambassador, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Singapore; Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Mr S R Nathan, Sixth President of Singapore; and Chairman, CapitaLand Hope Foundation; Mr Lim Ming Yan, President and Group CEO CapitaLand Limited, Ms Jennie Chua, Director, CapitaLand Hope Foundation.
Visitors watched in anticipation as female panda, Jia Jia, who recently turned five, made her way towards her birthday treat.
Visitors watched in anticipation as female panda, Jia Jia, who recently turned five, made her way towards her birthday treat.
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 today, kicking off the programme with a lively panda-themed dance item.
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 today, kicking off the programme with a lively panda-themed dance item.

CELEBRATE KAI KAI AND JIA JIA’S ANNIVERSARY AND BIRTHDAYS WITH PANDA PARTY WEEK AT RIVER SAFARI

– Week-long festivities at River Safari this September.

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Singapore, 14 August 2013 – Get ready for pandamonium this September as giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia celebrate their birthdays and first anniversary in Singapore. In this triple celebration, River Safari will commemorate the pandas’ one-year anniversary in Singapore since their arrival on 6 September last year, and celebrate Jia Jia turning five on 3 September and Kai Kai turning six on 14 September.

Party animals can look forward to a lineup of festivities at River Safari from 7 to 15 September. Leading up to this festive occasion is the search for 10 lucky Panda Party Planners who will go behind the scenes with panda keepers to prepare a special birthday cake and toy for Kai Kai and Jia Jia.

1. Search for Panda Party Planners (August)
For the first time, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) is inviting the public to go behind the scenes at River Safari with Kai Kai and Jia Jia’s keepers to be ‘Panda Party Planners’ and prepare a special birthday cake and toy for the two giant pandas. Ten lucky individuals will get to learn more about panda care, and enjoy a priceless experience that includes visiting River Safari’s bamboo nursery, food preparation at the Giant Panda Forest Kitchen, and making enrichment toys to keep the pandas mentally and physically stimulated.

WRS is partnering CapitaLand Limited (CapitaLand), the Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor of the 10-year Giant Panda Collaborative Programme, in the search for the Panda Party Planners. Five CapitaLand Inside Different Geographies readers will be given the exclusive opportunity to be part of Kai Kai and Jia Jia’s birthday party preparation. Simply follow @CL_Inside on Twitter, tell us why you should be chosen as a Panda Party Planner and hashtag CL_Inside (#CL_Inside) on the tweet to win this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Log on to www.capitaland.com/inside to find out more.

2. Pandamonium at CapitaMalls (August)
Bask in the pre-party atmosphere this August as pandamonium hits selected CapitaMalls managed by CapitaMalls Asia, CapitaLand’s shopping mall business. Panda mascots Kai Kai and Jia Jia will be making their public appearances outside the wildlife parks to surprise panda fans with lots of birthday treats, including a chance to win tickets to the panda party through our photo contest^.

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^Shoot & Win Tickets to Panda Party
1. Shoot a photo together with the adorable panda mascots
2. Upload the photo onto Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
3. Hashtag #PandaParty
4. Stand a chance to win tickets for a private panda party on 6 September

3. Panda Party Week at River Safari (7-15 September)*
From 7-15 September, visitors to River Safari can participate in free guided tours at the lush Giant Panda Forest, home to Kai Kai and Jia Jia. Learn more about these endangered bears from wildlife volunteers at the panda awareness booth, and feel the teeth of a giant panda or get a whiff of panda poop! Face painters will be around to turn you into a panda before meeting the birthday duo, and party animals can go on a frenzy at our panda-themed photo booth!

A birthday party will never be complete without a cake. Visitors can enjoy a slice of panda birthday cake with every set meal purchased at Mama Panda Kitchen. To herald the festivities, Mama Panda Kitchen will whip out new panda-themed bites, including a chocolate custard panda pau, panda cookies, pineapple shortcakes, and cupcakes.

Go wild at House of Kai Kai and Jia Jia with a new range of panda plush toys all decked out in colourful multi-racial costumes. In addition, visitors can take home birthday edition towels and other exclusive panda merchandise – all offered at discounted rates in celebration of the panda party week.

PANDA PARTY WEEK ACTIVITY DETAILS (Daily from 7-15 September)

All About Pandas
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All New Panda-Themed Bites
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Wild Discounts on Panda Merchandise
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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.