BIRTHDAY SUSPENSE FOR GIANT PANDAS AT RIVER SAFARI

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Giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia celebrate birthdays and third anniversary in Singapore; Changes in Jia Jia’s hormones and behaviours keep caretakers on toes over possible pregnancy

Female panda Jia Jia, who was late for her birthday party, turns seven today. She enjoyed a colourful birthday cake made of ice, bamboo, apples and carrots at River Safari’s Panda Party. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Female panda Jia Jia, who was late for her birthday party, turns seven today. She enjoyed a colourful birthday cake made of ice, bamboo, apples and carrots at River Safari’s Panda Party. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

SINGAPORE, 3 September 2015 – As she quietly celebrated her 7th birthday this morning, River Safari’s female panda Jia Jia continues to keep a little secret which has been keeping vets and keepers on their toes over changes in her behaviours.

In the past two months, panda caretakers have been playing a guessing game on whether the bear is pregnant or going through pseudopregnancy, a common state in which pandas exhibit hormonal and behavioural changes that indicate they are pregnant when they are not.

After the panda underwent artificial insemination on 18 April, caretakers, including a panda specialist from China, have been closely monitoring her behaviours and hormone levels, watching for signs of pregnancy. Since July, Jia Jia has been eating less bamboo, sleeping more, spending more time in her den and her hormone levels are increasing – all signs consistent with pregnancy or pseudopregnancy. Giant pandas commonly display pseudopregnancies and experts worldwide are often not able to determine pandas’ pregnancy status until a late stage.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Under the watchful eyes of our vets and keepers, both Kai Kai and Jia Jia continue to develop well in their Singapore home. Both reached sexual maturity for the first time this year and we are now tracking Jia Jia closely. We hope the data and knowledge gathered from the study of Kai Kai and Jia Jia will add to the global understanding of this endangered species, and contribute to the conservation of giant pandas.”

Vets and keepers have been conducting weekly ultrasound scans to detect a foetus but the results have been inconclusive. Panda caretakers could not detect any foetus based on a recent ultrasound scan on 31 August. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Vets and keepers have been conducting weekly ultrasound scans to detect a foetus but the results have been inconclusive. Panda caretakers could not detect any foetus based on a recent ultrasound scan on 31 August.
PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Since 23 July, vets and keepers have been conducting weekly ultrasound scans in an attempt to detect a foetus but the results have been inconclusive. The gestation period for a giant panda is typically five months, and the foetus only starts to develop a few weeks before birth.

Dr Serena Oh, Assistant Director of Veterinary Services, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Her behaviours are in line with a rise in progesterone but it is not easy to confirm her pregnancy because the gestation period varies for each panda. Giant pandas have delayed implantation and it is difficult to see the small foetus during ultrasound scans. We can only definitively conclude she is not pregnant once her hormone levels return to normal and she has not delivered, but for now, it is still a guessing game.”

Classified as “endangered” with only 1,600 left in the wild, giant pandas are notoriously difficult to breed. River Safari’s pandas were brought together to mate in April, after vets and keepers had successfully triggered breeding behaviours through controlled lighting and temperature in Giant Panda Forest. As the mating session appeared unsuccessful, Jia Jia was artificially inseminated.

Vets and keepers will continue monitoring Jia Jia’s hormone levels and conduct ultrasound scans. The public can follow Jia Jia’s development via Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s Twitter account (@tweetWRS) with the hashtag #SGPanda.

Jia Jia’s mate, Kai Kai, was also presented with a cake today where he enjoyed the birthday treat in the company of 30 pre-school kids from PCF Zhenghua. The male panda will turn eight on 14 September.

The pandas’ birthdays will be marked with a Panda Party Week from 5 to 13 September, where both bears will receive daily treats as a form of enrichment. In addition, visitors can look forward to interactive booths to learn more about giant pandas, and get hands-on with arts and crafts. Visitors can also enjoy one-for-one promotions on exclusive panda merchandise, as well as panda-licious treats. To mark the pandas’ coming of age, children born in 2007 and 2008 enter River Safari for free in September. Free admission is extended to Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term visit pass holders.

GO WILD FOR SG50!

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Residents of Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo celebrate Jubilee Weekend in true Singapore-style with flags and celebratory songs; local visitors enjoy 50% admission discounts

The rarest, most adorable, and stunning residents of Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo got together to extend the wildest birthday greeting in celebration of Singapore’s 50th birthday. These included orang utans, a falabella, and a Malay fish owl native to the island. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

The rarest, most adorable, and stunning residents of Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo got together to extend the wildest birthday greeting in celebration of Singapore’s 50th birthday. These included orang utans, a falabella, and a Malay fish owl native to the island. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

3 August 2015, SINGAPORE – The wildest birthday greeting in celebration of Singapore’s 50th birthday came from the rarest, most adorable, and stunning residents of Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo. These included orang utans, a falabella, and a Malay fish owl native to the island.

For over four decades, animal residents in the wildlife parks have witnessed Singapore’s growth and development through changing faces of zoo-goers — skipping kids of yesteryears have now returned as parents and grandparents, bulky film cameras have been replaced by palm-sized smartphones, and even paper maps are making way for interactive apps. The open concept exhibits, which were already revolutionary when the Bird Park and Zoo opened in the ‘70s, became enhanced and more immersive.

Today, the animal residents not only hold special places in the hearts of many Singaporeans, they have also drawn crowds from all over the world.

During the Jubilee Weekend, visitors can expect some wild antics from the animals as they pay tribute to the nation:
– In Jurong Bird Park, Sassy the sulphur-crested cockatoo will fly the Singapore flag high while Amigo the yellow-naped Amazon parrot will sing ‘Happy Birthday’ in the High Flyers Show.

Amigo the yellow-naped Amazon parrot singing a heartfelt rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ for Singapore. The SG50-themed presentation will take place at Jurong Bird Park’s High Flyers Show at 11am and 3pm during the Jubilee Weekend from 7 to 10 August. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Amigo the yellow-naped Amazon parrot singing a heartfelt rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ for Singapore. The SG50-themed presentation will take place at Jurong Bird Park’s High Flyers Show at 11am and 3pm during the Jubilee Weekend from 7 to 10 August. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

– In Singapore Zoo, the largest residents of the park have perfected the art of flag-raising in the Elephants at Work and Play show, and the sea lions are ready for a little SG50 surprise in the Splash Safari show.

Jati and Gambir, Singapore Zoo’s female Asian elephants, raising the Singapore flag and WRS’ SG50-inspired logo with their trunks as a trumpeting salute to the nation’s 50th birthday. Visitors can catch these giants at the Elephants at Work and Play show at 11.30am and 3.30pm during the Jubilee Weekend from 7 to 10 August. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Jati and Gambir, Singapore Zoo’s female Asian elephants, raising the Singapore flag and WRS’ SG50-inspired logo with their trunks as a trumpeting salute to the nation’s 50th birthday. Visitors can catch these giants at the Elephants at Work and Play show at 11.30am and 3.30pm during the Jubilee Weekend from 7 to 10 August. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Singapore Zoo’s California sea lion proudly waving the Singapore flag at the Splash Safari show to wish everyone a Happy National Day. The SG50-themed presentation will take place at 10.30am and 5pm during the Jubilee Weekend from 7 to 10 August. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Singapore Zoo’s California sea lion proudly waving the Singapore flag at the Splash Safari show to wish everyone a Happy National Day. The SG50-themed presentation will take place at 10.30am and 5pm during the Jubilee Weekend from 7 to 10 August. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

As a treat for local residents, month-long admission discounts are available in August, in addition to the ongoing SG50 promotion for Feather Friends membership at Jurong Bird Park. Local residents enjoy 50% discount on admission at Jurong Bird Park, as well as 50% discount on same-day bundled tickets to River Safari and Singapore Zoo.

During the Jubilee Weekend from 7 to 10 August, visitors to Jurong Bird Park, River Safari and Singapore Zoo can also get their hands on a free limited edition SG50 animal-themed tote bag while stocks last.

SG50-Themed Animal Presentations
7 – 10 Aug 2015
Jurong Bird Park
High Flyers Show at Pools Amphitheatre
11.00am & 3.00pm

Singapore Zoo
Elephants at Work and Play at Elephants of Asia
11.30am & 3.30pm
Splash Safari at Shaw Foundation Amphitheatre
10.30am & 5.00pm

SG50 Promotions for Local Residents
Jurong Bird Park
1 – 31 Aug 2015
50% off admission to Jurong Bird Park
Singaporeans, permanent residents and employment pass holders enjoy 50% discount on admission by flashing coupons and proof of identity at Jurong Bird Park ticket counters. Visit www.birdpark.com.sg/ndp50 for more information.

River Safari and Singapore Zoo
1 – 31 Aug 2015
50% off bundled admission to River Safari and Singapore Zoo
Singaporeans, permanent residents and employment pass holders enjoy 50% discount on bundled admission to River Safari and Singapore Zoo. Proof of identity required. Valid for same-day visits only. Visit www.wrs.com.sg/sg50 for more information.

Jurong Bird Park, River Safari and Singapore Zoo
7 – 10 Aug 2015
Free SG50 animal-themed tote bag
Visitors to the three wildlife parks can get their hands on a free SG50 animal-themed woven tote bag (worth $3). Limited to 1 bag per visitor, while stocks last.

Jurong Bird Park
1 Dec 2014 – 31 Dec 2015
SG50 promotion for Feather Friends membership: Enjoy 1 year unlimited entry for the price of a 1 day ticket
For the price of a one day admission ticket, local residents can sign up for a special Feather Friends membership and enjoy unlimited year-round entry to Jurong Bird Park. Local residents can enjoy this special membership at S$28 for adults, and S$18 for children (aged 3 – 12 years) and senior citizens (aged 60 years and above). This on-going promotion was launched in Dec 2014 and will end on 31 Dec 2015. Those interested can sign up at the entrance of Jurong Bird Park, or online at members.wrs.com.sg to skip queues.
Feather Friends Jubilee Special
Receive a special fun pack with every Feather Friends membership sign-up. Promotion valid from 7 to 31 August. Terms and conditions apply.

RIVER CRITTERS SEEK YOUNG ALLIES THIS JUNE HOLIDAYS

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A shoal of River Games, up-close animal encounters and admission discounts await explorers at River Safari

Take part in River Games this June school holidays and stand a chance to meet River Safari’s furry duo – beavers Justin and Selena – in a first-ever behind-the-scenes playtime session to learn more about these fascinating animals from a friendly guide. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Take part in River Games this June school holidays and stand a chance to meet River Safari’s furry duo – beavers Justin and Selena – in a first-ever behind-the-scenes playtime session to learn more about these fascinating animals from a friendly guide. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

13 May 2015, SINGAPORERiver Safari will host River Games from 6 to 28 June and visitors can look forward to non-stop fun with animal-themed challenges, live game shows, up-close animal encounters, and unbeatable discounts on park admission.

Held on weekends, River Games offer brain-teasers for young minds as they play animal heroes, from saving drowning giant otter babies to helping crocodiles navigate through a maze to find their partners. Featuring various activity stations from remote-controlled games to carnival-style challenges, kids embark on a mission to help animal friends find their home, food and even protect the species.

Those hungry for more competition can participate in twice-daily game shows that test their wits on animal facts. Game show winners can revel in an unforgettable experience with binturong babies or two of River Safari’s furry couple – beavers Justin and Selena – in a first-ever behind-the-scenes playtime session where a guide will share more about these animals. Curious minds can get the guessing fun going with riddles splashed across the park and look forward to seeing animals receiving treats and toys designed to provide mentally and physically-enriching activities.

NTUC card holders enjoy special rates where kids (aged 3 to 12 years) enter at only $5 (usual price $18) with every adult admission ticket to River Safari. Singaporeans, permanent residents and employment pass holders enjoy 50% discount on River Safari tickets when purchasing Singapore Zoo or Night Safari tickets for visits on the same day.

Visitors looking for up-close animal encounters can join the park’s friendly guide in a River Trail and observe keepers feeding the animals, along with a live commentary on their diet and amazing natural behaviours. Lucky ones can also have a feel of some of the river critters during this trail!

JUNE HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES
Dates: 6-28 June (weekends only)
Time: 9am to 6.00pm (various timings)
Venue: River Safari (activities at various locations around the park)

GET YOUR GAME FACE ON & WIN WEEKLY PRIZES
Get your game face on in this Instagram contest and stand a chance to win River Safari passes and exclusive never-before animal encounters with binturong babies and beavers Justin and Selena!
1. Grab a loved one and show us your best game faces
2. Upload your photo on Instagram with #RiverGames2015
3. Get the most number of votes on www.rivergames.sg
*Terms and conditions apply for promotions. Visit http://www.riversafari.com.sg/eventspromos/promotions.html for details.

KEEPERS AND VETS PUT PANDAS IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE AT RIVER SAFARI

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Giant pandas Kai Kai & Jia Jia enter mating season for the first time; Panda caretakers successfully trigger breeding behaviours through controlled lighting and temperature in Giant Panda Forest

Giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia displayed breeding behaviours for the first time at River Safari and were brought together to mate in their den on Friday, 17 April. The 40-minute session did not appear to be successful, which is typical for first-time breeders as they may not know how to mate. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Giant pandas Kai Kai & Jia Jia displayed breeding behaviours for the first time at River Safari and were brought together to mate in their den on Friday, 17 April. The 40-minute session did not appear to be successful, which is typical for first-time breeders as they may not know how to mate. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

SINGAPORE, 21 April 2015 Giant pandas Kai Kai & Jia Jia have officially crossed their first mating season, a cause for jubilation for caretakers at River Safari as the endangered bears are notoriously difficult to breed.

Kai Kai & Jia Jia’s development has been an interesting case for researchers as they are the first pair of giant pandas living so close to the equator. The pubescent pandas were suitable for pairing last year but did not show signs of readiness to mate. Pandas’ mating instincts are brought on by hormonal changes in response to seasonal variations, such as temperature changes and increasing day length from winter to spring.

River Safari’s keepers and vets have employed a number of measures since last November to trigger the breeding cycles of the pandas. These included varying the daylight hours and temperature in the panda exhibit to simulate the transition from winter to spring in the pandas’ homeland in Sichuan, China.

Pubescent panda Kai Kai started showing increasing levels of interest in Jia Jia following efforts by keepers and vets in altering exhibit conditions to trigger breeding behaviours. In early April, the giant pandas were frequently seen peering through the gap in the closed gate linking their exhibits, scent-marking their areas and bleating at each other. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

The pandas responded. Seven-year-old Kai Kai started bleating and scent-marking more frequently to attract six-year-old Jia Jia, who showed the first sign of coming into estrous on 5 April, marked by her swollen genital, restless behaviour and hormonal analysis that indicated she was in heat. The two bears were also frequently seen calling out to each other and looking through a closed gate linking their exhibit.

River Safari’s keepers and vets have employed a number of measures since November 2014 to trigger the breeding cycles of the pandas, and the bears responded well. Since 5 April, six-year-old female Jia Jia started showing signs that she was in heat. She was restless, pacing in the exhibit, rolling on the ground and attempting to breach the gate connecting hers and Kai Kai’s exhibit. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

River Safari’s keepers and vets have employed a number of measures since November 2014 to trigger the breeding cycles of the pandas, and the bears responded well. Since 5 April, six-year-old female Jia Jia started showing signs that she was in heat. She was restless, pacing in the exhibit, rolling on the ground and attempting to breach the gate connecting hers and Kai Kai’s exhibit. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “The latest development with Kai Kai & Jia Jia spells exciting times for panda researchers. They are the first pair of giant pandas to live so close to the equator, and we have shown that we can provide the right conditions to elicit mating behaviours. Maintaining a sustainable population of these critically endangered animals under human care is a crucial part of their conservation plan.”

On the evening of 17 April, both pandas were brought together for the first time in their dens for natural mating. The 40-minute session did not appear to be successful, which is typical for first-time breeders as they may not know how to mate. A decision was made to carry out artificial insemination to increase Jia Jia’s chances of conceiving.

As it became evident that the giant pandas were ready for pairing, on 17 April, keepers brought Kai Kai and Jia Jia together for the first time in an attempt at natural mating. Kai Kai curiously sniffed Jia Jia during their first introduction without barriers. Previously, both pandas have never been in close physical contact with each other. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

As it became evident that the giant pandas were ready for pairing, on 17 April, keepers brought Kai Kai and Jia Jia together for the first time in an attempt at natural mating. Kai Kai curiously sniffed Jia Jia during their first introduction without barriers. Previously, both pandas have never been in close physical contact with each other. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Dr Serena Oh, Assistant Director of Veterinary Services, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Panda reproduction is a notoriously complex process, with females ovulating once a year, in which they are fertile for only 24 to 36 hours. Jia Jia’s hormones started falling on Friday and we needed to move quickly to artificial insemination due to the short window when female pandas are able to conceive.”

On 18 April, male panda Kai Kai was brought into the Wildlife Healthcare and Research Centre for a health check, followed by electroejaculation which is a technique commonly used for semen collection. To ensure a higher chance of conception, the dedicated team of veterinarians and giant panda keepers carried out artificial insemination after an unsuccessful mating session. From left to right (foreground): Head Veterinarian Dr Serena Oh, male panda Kai Kai, Senior Veterinarian Dr Abraham Matthews and Veterinarian Dr Anwar Ali. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

On 18 April, male panda Kai Kai was brought into the Wildlife Healthcare and Research Centre for a health check, followed by electroejaculation which is a technique commonly used for semen collection. To ensure a higher chance of conception, the dedicated team of veterinarians and giant panda keepers carried out artificial insemination after an unsuccessful mating session.
From left to right (foreground): Head Veterinarian Dr Serena Oh, male panda Kai Kai, Senior Veterinarian Dr Abraham Matthews and Veterinarian Dr Anwar Ali. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

She continued: “In the next few months, we will continue to monitor Jia Jia’s hormone levels and conduct ultrasounds to determine if she is pregnant. We will wait and hope for the best.”

In an attempt to increase her chances for a baby panda, Jia Jia was brought into the Wildlife Healthcare and Research Centre for artificial insemination. The vets will monitor Jia Jia for signs of pregnancy in the next few months. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

In an attempt to increase her chances for a baby panda, Jia Jia was brought into the Wildlife Healthcare and Research Centre for artificial insemination. The vets will monitor Jia Jia for signs of pregnancy in the next few months. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

The gestation period for a panda is typically five months, and one or two cubs are usually born.

HAND-RAISED BABY MANATEE CANOLA WINS HEARTS AT RIVER SAFARI

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Aquarists provide round-the-clock care for abandoned calf Canola and re-introduce her to manatee family

Neglected by her mother after birth, manatee calf Canola (foreground) can now be found swimming with the rest of the manatee herd at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit after receiving round-the-clock care and successful reintroduction by her human caregivers. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Neglected by her mother after birth, manatee calf Canola (foreground) can now be found swimming with the rest of the manatee herd at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit after receiving round-the-clock care and successful reintroduction by her human caregivers. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 8 April 2015 – The 33kg abandoned calf in River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest had to be watched 24 hours for the first few days, fed every two to three hours during the first three months, and re-introduced gradually to its family – a Herculean task that the team of aquarists dived into to give the baby, named Canola, a fighting chance to live.

Born on 6 August last year, Canola is the offspring of the Flooded Forest’s largest manatee – 23-year-old Eva which measures 3.5m and weighs more than 1,100kg. For unknown reasons, Eva abandoned her latest calf despite having successfully raised eight offspring in the past. Eva is also a proud grandmother of two.

To ensure that animals in River Safari retain their parental behaviours, zoologists strive to have the parents raise their offspring. In the case of Canola, there was no other option but to have aquarists hand-raise the newborn.

Deputy Head Aquarist Keith So bottle-feeds manatee calf Canola with a special milk formula infused with canola oil when she was abandoned by her mother after birth at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Deputy Head Aquarist Keith So bottle-feeds manatee calf Canola with a special milk formula infused with canola oil when she was abandoned by her mother after birth at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Mr Wah Yap Hon, Curator, Zoology, River Safari, said: “Hand-raised animals tend to imprint on their human caregivers. The babies will attach themselves to, and learn certain behaviours from their human foster parents, and may not have a chance to bond with their family or other members of their species. In the case of Eva and Canola, we stepped in as a last resort to ensure the survival of this precious baby.”

Similar to caring for a human baby, hand-raising an animal baby requires planning and hard work. For Canola, it involved bottle-feeding every two to three hours from 8am to 10pm daily for the first three months. To increase her fat intake and substitute her mother’s highly nutritious milk, Canola was given a special milk formula infused with canola oil, which inspired her name. To ensure Canola’s safety, the aquarists moved her to a shallow holding pool to minimise the risk of other manatees crowding her and making it challenging for her to rise to the water’s surface to breathe.

Neglected by her mother after birth, manatee calf Canola undergoes a weekly weigh-in at a holding pool in River Safari where aquarists also measure her body length to monitor her growth. Canola’s last recorded weight was a healthy 74kg. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Neglected by her mother after birth, manatee calf Canola undergoes a weekly weigh-in at a holding pool in River Safari where aquarists also measure her body length to monitor her growth. Canola’s last recorded weight was a healthy 74kg. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

“Under the doting care and great team effort of her human caregivers, Canola steadily gained weight and hit all the important developmental milestones of a healthy calf. By December, Canola started swimming with the rest of the herd in the main aquarium, forming close bonds with her species,” said Wah.

Deputy Head Aquarist Keith So conducts a physical check on manatee calf Canola at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest, the world’s largest freshwater aquarium. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Deputy Head Aquarist Keith So conducts a physical check on manatee calf Canola at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest, the world’s largest freshwater aquarium. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Since February, Canola’s caregivers have gradually cut down on her milk intake to four feedings a day to accommodate her increasing diet of vegetables. Manatees spend six to eight hours a day grazing on aquatic plants, which is why they are also known as sea cows. Adults typically consume 50-100kg of vegetation a day, equivalent to 10-15 percent of their body weight.

Manatees are listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species. Their numbers have declined in the last century due to hunting pressures, entrapment in commercial nets and collisions with propellers and motorboats. Through captive breeding, River Safari hopes to contribute to the population of threatened freshwater species such as the manatee. Canola’s birth is an important one as it contributes to the captive populations of manatees in zoological institutions.

Manatee calf Canola (left), which has been melting the hearts of River Safari’s aquarists since August last year, is set to charm visitors now that she is exploring the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit together with the manatee herd. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Manatee calf Canola (left), which has been melting the hearts of River Safari’s aquarists since August last year, is set to charm visitors now that she is exploring the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit together with the manatee herd. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

River Safari’s manatee herd of 12 comprises five males and seven females, making it one of the largest collections of manatees among zoological institutions. These slow-moving mammals can be found swimming gracefully amongst giant trees alongside other aquatic species, such as the arapaima and red-tailed catfish, in the world’s largest freshwater aquarium at the Amazon Flooded Forest.

* IUCN: International Union for the Conservation of Nature

2000-STRONG CROWD VISITS RIVER SAFARI AT NIGHT FOR INAUGURAL SAFARI BOO

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Images 1 to 3: Kids took centre stage as they turned up in costumes inspired by their favourite superheroes and storybook characters during the opening night of Safari Boo on 22 October. Safari Boo is River Safari’s first trick-or-treat event where kids aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Images 1 to 3: Kids took centre stage as they turned up in costumes inspired by their favourite superheroes and storybook characters during the opening night of Safari Boo on 22 October. Safari Boo is River Safari’s first trick-or-treat event where kids aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm.
Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

SINGAPORE, 24 October 2014 – River Safari’s inaugural trick-or-treat event, Safari Boo, saw over 2000 visitors dressed in the wildest costumes on opening night, a number that exceeded the projected turnout by threefold.

Kids took centre stage as they turned up in colourful costumes inspired by their favourite superheroes and storybook characters such as the winged Maleficent and the black and yellow Autobot Bumblebee.

Ms Isabel Cheng, Chief Marketing Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “Safari Boo is the first ticketed night-time event at River Safari. In addition to an after-dark experience in the park and educational activities created for the whole family, Safari Boo gives little ones and adults a chance to showcase their artistic flair with creative costumes for a night of merriment. We are thrilled by the strong turnout on opening night, and look forward to welcoming more families over the next two weekends.”

The opening night on 22 October proved to be a treat for the kids, primarily aged 12 years and below, who enjoyed free admission as part of the event highlights. Many were eager to take part in trick-or-treat challenges and get up-close with unique animals such as the bearded dragon and pygmy hedgehog. Even parents and grandparents joined in the fun and came dressed to impress.

Safari Boo features a special animal presentation on creepy crawlies and a host of mythical creatures. Held over five days on October 22, 25, 26 & November 1 and 2, the activities take place from 6pm to 9pm (last admission at 8pm). Kids aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm and are encouraged to dress up for this merry-not-scary event to stand a chance to win in a costume contest.

Images 4 to 6: One of the winners of Safari Boo’s costume contest with an outfit inspired by Maleficent. Kids having a fangtastic time with a friendly Dracula, one of the many mystical characters in Safari Boo. Super Pooper little detectives, all dressed up and ready to check out the poop of different animals. Safari Boo is River Safari’s first trick-or-treat event where kids aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Images 4 to 6: One of the winners of Safari Boo’s costume contest with an outfit inspired by Maleficent. Kids having a fangtastic time with a friendly Dracula, one of the many mystical characters in Safari Boo. Super Pooper little detectives, all dressed up and ready to check out the poop of different animals. Safari Boo is River Safari’s first trick-or-treat event where kids aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm.
Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Other activities include interactive discovery stations where little ones can play archaeologist and uncover animal bones to solve mysteries. Those brave enough for some scaly encounters can feel the unique body covering of animals such as the pangolin and arapaima, and find out why these animals are threatened because of their scales. For more information, visit www.riversafari.com.sg/safariboo

PUMPKIN TREATS, UP-CLOSE ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS AND FREE ADMISSION FOR KIDS AT RIVER SAFARI’S INAUGURAL SAFARI BOO

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Safari Boo @River Safari - Red panda pumpkin treats 2 Safari Boo @River Safari - Giant panda pumpkin treats

Images 1 to 3: Animal residents at River Safari (from left: red panda and giant panda) enjoying pumpkins filled with their favourite treats as part of a special enrichment programme during the daytime Safari Boo festivities in October and November. Safari Boo is River Safari’s first trick-or-treat event where kids aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

SINGAPORE, 17 October 2014 – It was a night of wild trick-or-treat fun as close to 200 invited guests enjoyed a closed-door preview of River Safari’s first Safari Boo. Costume-clad visitors, including 60 preschoolers, were treated to a special animal presentation on creepy crawlies, up-close animal encounters, a host of mythical creatures as well as an after-dark experience with the park’s river monsters.
Held over five days on Oct 22, 25, 26 & Nov 1 and 2, Safari Boo festivities take place from 6pm to 9pm (last admission at 8pm). Kids aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm and are encouraged to dress up for this merry-not-scary event to stand a chance to win in a costume contest.
Safari Boo festivities include interactive discovery stations where little ones can play archaeologist and uncover animal bones to solve mysteries. Those brave for some scaly encounters can feel the unique body covering of animals such as the pangolin and arapaima, and find out why these animals are threatened because of their scales.
For more information, visit www.riversafari.com.sg/safariboo

Safari Boo @River Safari - Bearded dragon at River Talk Myths & Legends Safari Boo @River Safari - Pygmy hedgehog at River Talk Myths & Legends

Images 4 & 5: As part of the Safari Boo festivities in October and November, visitors can expect up-close encounters with animals such as the bearded dragon (left) and pygmy hedgehog (right) in a special animal presentation titled “River Talk: Myths and Legends”. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Image 6: Learn more about the scales of animals such as the pangolin and snake and find out why they are threatened at the “Scaly Encounters” booth at Safari Boo. Safari Boo is River Safari’s first trick-or-treat event where kids aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Image 6: Learn more about the scales of animals such as the pangolin and snake and find out why they are threatened at the “Scaly Encounters” booth at Safari Boo. Safari Boo is River Safari’s first trick-or-treat event where kids aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm.
Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Image 7: Kai Kai & Jia Jia mascots all decked out in their Safari Boo best as they surprise little ones with trick-or-treat bags as part of the Safari Boo festivities in October and November.  Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Image 7: Kai Kai & Jia Jia mascots all decked out in their Safari Boo best as they surprise little ones with trick-or-treat bags as part of the Safari Boo festivities in October and November.
Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Image 8: Mystical characters such as the mermaid come alive in the Enchanted Trail as part of the Safari Boo festivities in October and November. Safari Boo is River Safari’s first trick-or-treat event where kids aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Image 8: Mystical characters such as the mermaid come alive in the Enchanted Trail as part of the Safari Boo festivities in October and November. Safari Boo is River Safari’s first trick-or-treat event where kids aged 12 years and below enjoy free admission from 6pm.
Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

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