NEW STRIPES, SPOTS AND A MANE EVENT AT SINGAPORE ZOO

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Charismatic additions to cat collection are getting preened to welcome visitors

Singapore Zoo’s new white tigers Pasha (below) and Keysa (above) enjoy an afternoon prowl in their habitat as part of a conditioning session to get them settled in their new home. The two-year-old brother and sister pair are part of an animal exchange programme with Indonesia’s Maharani Zoo. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Singapore Zoo’s new white tigers Pasha (below) and Keysa (above) enjoy an afternoon prowl in their habitat as part of a conditioning session to get them settled in their new home. The two-year-old brother and sister pair are part of an animal exchange programme with Indonesia’s Maharani Zoo. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Singapore, 3 March 2015 – Cat lovers are in for a roaring fur-filled experience as Singapore Zoo introduces a flurry of felines in the coming months. The new additions will include white tigers, cheetahs and an African lion.

First to make their public debut will be white tiger siblings Pasha and Keysa. The duo arrived from Indonesia’s Maharani Zoo on 15 January this year, and has since completed their month-long quarantine period. They are now being conditioned to the exhibit most afternoons, and spend their time sniffing and stalking every inch of the habitat. Once keepers are confident they are comfortable in their new home, they will be displayed on a regular basis.

Pasha the white tiger pauses to enjoy a sip of water, before continuing to explore his new habitat at Singapore Zoo. The 2-year old male and his sister Keysa are one of three feline species that have recently arrived at the park. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Pasha the white tiger pauses to enjoy a sip of water, before continuing to explore his new habitat at Singapore Zoo. The 2-year old male and his sister Keysa are one of three feline species that have recently arrived at the park. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

The two-year-old brother and sister pair will take turns with Omar, the zoo’s 15-year-old white tiger, to prowl the tiger habitat at different times of the day. As Omar is in his senior years, there are plans to further enhance the collection in the event he passes on.

Singapore Zoo welcomed four sleek and stunning cheetahs from De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre in South Africa in January 2015. Two of the four peer curiously at their surroundings during their month-long quarantine. Visitors will soon get to see these charismatic cats at Singapore Zoo’s Wild Africa section. Cheetahs are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Singapore Zoo welcomed four sleek and stunning cheetahs from De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre in South Africa in January 2015. Two of the four peer curiously at their surroundings during their month-long quarantine. Visitors will soon get to see these charismatic cats at Singapore Zoo’s Wild Africa section. Cheetahs are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Prepping themselves for their first appearance too, are two pairs of cheetahs. The two males Indiana and Obi, and two sisters Maya and Herculina, arrived from the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre on 14 January. The males will be introduced to the exhibit in early March, while the new females are being acquainted with Kima, the older cat in the Singapore Zoo collection. When they are eventually released into the habitat, visitors will likely only spot two or three cheetahs at any one time, as the sexes will be displayed separately in preparation for future breeding opportunities.

Visitors will have to wait a little longer for the mane event at the Zoo’s Wild Africa section. Timba, a two-year-old African male lion from Dierenpark Emmen in the Netherlands, is awaiting his harem of females, and will only be exhibited at a later date this year. The three females are scheduled to arrive in March.

Male African lion Timba may not be on display yet, but he is being kept occupied with operant conditioning sessions, including target training and whistle training, in the off-exhibit den. These sessions will make it easier for keepers and vets to conduct regular health checks in the future. African lions are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Male African lion Timba may not be on display yet, but he is being kept occupied with operant conditioning sessions, including target training and whistle training, in the off-exhibit den. These sessions will make it easier for keepers and vets to conduct regular health checks in the future. African lions are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

In the meantime, keepers have commenced the all-important medical training for Timba in the off-exhibit den. Aside from keeping him occupied and stimulated, the training is an important aspect of animal care in a modern zoo as it makes routine health checks less stressful for the animals, and is great for keeper-animal bonding.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “As part of our collection planning process, we routinely exchange captive-bred animals with other zoological institutions to ensure we have the appropriate numbers for exhibition and education purposes. New bloodlines are also essential to maintain genetic diversity which is all important for zoos to ensure sustainable captive populations.”

* IUCN stands for International Union for Conservation of Nature

HUMAN RACE FOR ANIMALS ATTRACTS OVER 9,000 AT SAFARI ZOO RUN 2015

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Double the fun in seventh installment of popular run, with dedicated days for competitive and fun runners

(Centre, on stage) Guest-of-Honour Mrs Claire Nazar, Council Member, Families for Life, flags off the Safari Zoo Run Fastest Kid Race. Flanking her are Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore and Ms Isabel Cheng, CMO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore. Mrs Nazar and her family later joined the 6,000-strong crowd for the 6km Safari Zoo Fun Run, in a show of sporting fun and family bonding. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

(Centre, on stage) Guest-of-Honour Mrs Claire Nazar, Council Member, Families for Life, flags off the Safari Zoo Run Fastest Kid Race. Flanking her are Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore and Ms Isabel Cheng, CMO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore. Mrs Nazar and her family later joined the 6,000-strong crowd for the 6km Safari Zoo Fun Run, in a show of sporting fun and family bonding. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 9 February 2015 — A human herd of more than 9,000 dashed, loped and strode down Mandai’s lush corridors in this weekend’s Safari Zoo Run 2015, which was conceived seven years ago to commemorate Ah Meng, Singapore Zoo’s iconic Sumatran orang utan.

For the first time ever, Safari Zoo Run was held over two days. Over 3,000 avid runners took on the 12km or 6km Safari Zoo Challenge on Saturday, while a 6,000 strong crowd of enthusiastic participants enjoyed the Fun Run route through Night Safari and Singapore Zoo at a more leisurely pace this morning.

Families taking part in the Safari Zoo Run Stroller Walk slowed their pace to get a closer look at Singapore Zoo’s giraffes during Safari Zoo Run 2015. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Families taking part in the Safari Zoo Run Stroller Walk slowed their pace to get a closer look at Singapore Zoo’s giraffes during Safari Zoo Run 2015. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Another new feature this year was the roaring finale that awaited Sunday’s runners — the family-friendly Safari Zoo Run Carnival, which brought together exciting stage acts, a bazaar, educational stations and animal photography with some of the parks’ animal stars.

Safari Zoo Run is dedicated to the memory of Ah Meng, the zoo’s iconic Sumatran orangutan, who died of old age in February 2008. A part of the proceeds from the event will benefit the endangered wildlife under the care of Night Safari and Singapore Zoo.

As participants of Safari Zoo Run’s Fun Run stopped to take photos of the orang utans, the cheeky primates had a vertical race of their own, to their treetop playground. Safari Zoo Run is dedicated to the memory of Ah Meng, the zoo’s iconic Sumatran orangutan, who died of old age in February 2008. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

As participants of Safari Zoo Run’s Fun Run stopped to take photos of the orang utans, the cheeky primates had a vertical race of their own, to their treetop playground. Safari Zoo Run is dedicated to the memory of Ah Meng, the zoo’s iconic Sumatran orangutan, who died of old age in February 2008. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

WHITE TIGER OMAR UNDERGOES BLOOD TEST

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Regular vet checks for Singapore Zoo’s 15-year-old white tiger to keep tabs on his health

Image 1: A team of three from the zoology and veterinary department of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (parent company of Singapore Zoo) preparing 15-year-old male white tiger Omar for a blood draw. Here, head vet Dr Serena Oh (right) prepares a syringe as junior keeper Hamidan Mislan holds steady the tail, while deputy head Keeper Kumar Vall (centre) distracts Omar on the other side of the conditioning chute with calming words and chunks of meat. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Image 1: A team of three from the zoology and veterinary department of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (parent company of Singapore Zoo) preparing 15-year-old male white tiger Omar for a blood draw. Here, head vet Dr Serena Oh (right) prepares a syringe as junior keeper Hamidan Mislan holds steady the tail, while deputy head Keeper Kumar Vall (centre) distracts Omar on the other side of the conditioning chute with calming words and chunks of meat. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Singapore, 29 January 2015 – The usually active white tiger Omar lay down quietly in his conditioning chute as deputy head keeper Kumar Vall spoke in calming tones and fed him meaty treats. On the other side of the chute, head vet Dr Serena Oh and junior keeper Hamidan Mislan quietly and quickly drew blood from the 15-year-old male tiger’s tail. The procedure, a blood draw to determine Omar’s health, was over in less than 10 minutes.

As Omar progresses into his senior years, keepers and vets are keeping a closer eye on the white tiger to ensure they stay on top of his healthcare needs. Blood test results showed that his liver and kidneys are functioning normally. He is also receiving treatment for keratisis in his left eye, a condition in which the cornea becomes inflamed or dry.

Image 2: About 3ml of blood was drawn from Omar through his tail. His blood test results revealed that he is generally in good health for a tiger well into his geriatric life stage. His liver and kidneys are found to be functioning normally. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Image 2: About 3ml of blood was drawn from Omar through his tail. His blood test results revealed that he is generally in good health for a tiger well into his geriatric life stage. His liver and kidneys are found to be functioning normally. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Unlike health checks for some of the zoo’s animals which require sedation, Omar’s was conducted through operant conditioning, a method that allows keepers to train and obtain desired behaviours from animals under their care. This technique is less stressful for the animal, keepers and vets when conducting veterinary and animal management procedures.

Image 3: The white tiger has been conditioned to respond to certain commands which allow zoo keepers and vets to perform regular check-ups without putting him through the stressful process of sedation. Here, Omar responds to deputy head keeper Kumar Vall’s hand signal to open his mouth to check on the condition of his gums and teeth. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Image 3: The white tiger has been conditioned to respond to certain commands which allow zoo keepers and vets to perform regular check-ups without putting him through the stressful process of sedation. Here, Omar responds to deputy head keeper Kumar Vall’s hand signal to open his mouth to check on the condition of his gums and teeth. Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Through this method, Omar was conditioned to respond to commands such as sitting and opening his mouth, allowing zoo staff to keep an eye on his health more regularly while strengthening the bond between him and his keepers.

Popular with visitors, Omar has charmed visitors since arriving in Singapore Zoo on 6 April 2001. Born in Indonesia’s Taman Safari, Omar and his two sisters Winnie and Jippie arrived in Singapore when they were 19 months old. Winnie and Jippie have since passed on.

In the wild, tigers have an average lifespan of between 10 to 15 years while those in zoological institutions live 16-20 years on average.

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

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First polar bear born in the tropics celebrates birthday in true Singapore style

Singapore, 26 December 2014 – Inuka, the first polar bear born in the tropics, turns 24 today at Singapore Zoo.

Inuka’s birthday celebration started bright and early as keepers presented him with a giant ice kachang* cake made of the bear’s favourite food like salmon, blueberries, watermelon and strawberries topped with whipped cream.

In the wee hours of 26 December 1990, Inuka was born in his mother’s den at Singapore Zoo and keepers have referred to him since as their ‘best Christmas present ever’. At 24, Inuka is well into his senior years and lives comfortably in his Frozen Tundra home which features climate-controlled resting areas and a large pool for him to swim in.

*Ice kachang is a dessert popular in Singapore, traditionally comprising ice shavings, syrup, and sweet treats like red beans, sweet corn and jelly.

Singapore Zoo’s beloved Inuka, the first polar bear born in the tropics, was presented a giant ice kachang cake embedded with his favourite food as he celebrated his 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore Zoo’s beloved Inuka, the first polar bear born in the tropics, was presented a giant ice kachang cake embedded with his favourite food as he celebrated his 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

In the wee hours of 26 Dec 1990, Inuka was born in his mother’s den at Singapore Zoo, and keepers have referred to him since as their ‘best Christmas present ever’. The bear turned 24 on 26 Dec 2014. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

In the wee hours of 26 Dec 1990, Inuka was born in his mother’s den at Singapore Zoo, and keepers have referred to him since as their ‘best Christmas present ever’. The bear turned 24 on 26 Dec 2014. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Polar bear Inuka weighed only 400 grams at birth and he is currently over 500 kilograms. Singapore Zoo celebrated Inuka’s 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014 with a giant ice kachang containing some of his favourite food like salmon, blueberries, watermelon and strawberries. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Polar bear Inuka weighed only 400 grams at birth and he is currently over 500 kilograms. Singapore Zoo celebrated Inuka’s 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014 with a giant ice kachang containing some of his favourite food like salmon, blueberries, watermelon and strawberries. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Singapore Zoo celebrated Inuka’s 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014 with a giant ice kachang cake containing some of the bear’s favourite food. At 24, Inuka is well into his senior years and lives comfortably in his Frozen Tundra home which features climate-controlled resting areas and a large pool for him to swim in. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore Zoo celebrated Inuka’s 24th birthday on 26 Dec 2014 with a giant ice kachang cake containing some of the bear’s favourite food. At 24, Inuka is well into his senior years and lives comfortably in his Frozen Tundra home which features climate-controlled resting areas and a large pool for him to swim in. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE TO ADOPT NEW ELEPHANT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

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New system deemed to provide higher degree of safety; Overhaul to be implemented in phases

Singapore, 15 December 2014 – Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) will be phasing in the protected contact elephant management system for all elephants in Night Safari and Singapore Zoo over the next few years.

When fully in place, all staff training and interaction with elephants under the protected contact system will be conducted through a physical safety barrier. The protected contact management system is based on positive reinforcement where animals are motivated by rewards such as food.

The two parks will be among the first zoological institutions in Asia to implement the protected contact management system for all elephants in its collection. Among the modern zoo community, this method is currently deemed to be the safest way to manage elephants while ensuring proper animal care and welfare.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, WRS, said, “The decision to adopt the protected contact management system was made after an internal review by our elephant managers and healthcare experts, who found that this system of management offers a safer work environment for the elephant keepers. Importantly, the new system will continue to allow our keepers access to the elephants for their daily care, although separated by a safety barrier.”

The complete implementation of the protected contact system will take three to five years as it will involve major redesign and construction of the elephant exhibits, back-of-house facilities as well as re-training of our elephants and elephant keepers.

The first phase of moving towards the protected contact system will be the cessation of programmes involving direct visitor contact with the elephants. From 5 January 2015, elephant rides and other activities where elephants are taken out of their exhibits will cease at the zoo. This is to allow the elephants to spend more time in the exhibits and to socialise among themselves.

Visitors to Singapore Zoo will still be able to enjoy the Elephants at Work and Play show (available twice daily at 11.30am and 3.30pm), and take part in elephant feeding sessions which happens after each show.

Dr Cheng continued, “Providing meaningful interactive opportunities with our animals is one of the most valuable services we bring to our visitors. Our new elephant exhibits will be designed to enable up-close encounters, and give us the chance to offer new behind-the-scenes experiences.”

SAFARI ZOO RUN 2015 SET TO BE WILDER THAN BEFORE!

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Seventh installment of popular run will be double the fun, with dedicated days

for competitive and fun runners over the weekend of 7 and 8 February 2015

Photo Credit: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Photo Credit: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 3 December 2014Safari Zoo Run 2015 will be an even wilder affair compared to previous years, with activities spread across two days for the first time in the run’s seven-year history.

Next year’s run will see competitive runners racing on 7 February while 8 February will be the fun run where the runners will also get the opportunity to participate in a ‘Best Dressed Runner’ contest and get a chance to enjoy a whole host of carnival festivities.

The races, both competitive and fun, will transport runners past animal exhibits through meandering paths lined by greenery in Night Safari and Singapore Zoo.

Safari Zoo Run was conceived to commemorate Singapore Zoo’s famous matriarch and one of Singapore’s most adored personalities — Ah Meng the Sumatran orang utan. The iconic personality died of old age in February 2008.

Photo Credit: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Photo Credit: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Avid runners can look forward to competitive races such as the 12km or 6km Safari Zoo Challenge on 7 February. The top three winners in each of the competitive categories will stand to win prizes worth up to $300.

Little ones between 4-8 years of age can encourage their parents to sign up for the 2.8km Parent & Child Run, while kids between 8-12 years can take part in the 2.8km Fastest Kid race. Families looking to bond over a healthy walk amidst nature can enjoy a more leisurely pace with the 6km Safari Zoo Fun Run. All family-friendly activities are scheduled for 8 February.

For the first time in the run’s history, fun runners will be able to enjoy a Safari Zoo Run Carnival after their race, where festivities, such as a bazaar, mascots’ meet and greet sessions, fun fair stations, educational stations, and exciting performances await.

Each participant will receive an exclusive dri-fit Safari Zoo Run singlet or T-shirt (worth $24.90) and other attractive goodies including discounted admission to Night Safari or a chance to stroll through River Safari in the evening. In addition, all runners will walk away with an exclusive animal-motif finisher medal and a one-day entry to Singapore Zoo on the day of the run.

Early bird registration is now open until 31 December 2014. For more information, log on to www.safarizoorun.com.sg.  Part of the proceeds from the Safari Zoo Run will go towards the care of threatened animals at Night Safari and Singapore Zoo.

Details at a glance

Dates and times    :    Safari Zoo Challenge

7 February 2015 (Saturday)

4.00pm – 7.00pm

Safari Zoo Fun Run

8 February 2015 (Sunday)

Races       : 9.00am – 12.00pm

Carnival    : 10.00am – 3.00pm

Venue                   :    Night Safari and Singapore Zoo

80 Mandai Lake Road

Singapore 729826

Race Categories

safari zoo run categories

*     Child defied as 3-12 years old

**   Free race participation for children below 3 years old. No runners’ entitlement for children below 3 years.

LITTLE ZOO HOO WILDLIFE WARRIORS CAN DISCOVER WAYS TO SAVE THE EARTH IN SINGAPORE ZOO THIS DECEMBER

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Visitors are invited to go wild with fun activities like token feeding surprises,
warrior trail stations and play sessions every weekend from 6 – 28 December

Snap a photo with the Zoo Hoo Mascots at Singapore Zoo this year-end holidays before going on the Wildlife Warrior Trail to learn more about loving and saving wildlife through play and game. Zoo Hoo 2014 at Singapore Zoo happens every weekend from 6-28 December.  PHOTO CREDIT: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Snap a photo with the Zoo Hoo Mascots at Singapore Zoo this year-end holidays before going on the Wildlife Warrior Trail to learn more about loving and saving wildlife through play and game. Zoo Hoo 2014 at Singapore Zoo happens every weekend from 6-28 December.
PHOTO CREDIT: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Singapore, 19 November 2014 – Let the little ones unleash their heroism and become Zoo Hoo Wildlife Warriors at Singapore Zoo every weekend from 6 – 28 December, which promises fun and educational activities such as game challenges, art and craft stations and an interactive play and storytelling experience.

Kids on the Wildlife Warrior Trail (WWT) will learn ways to protect and save threatened animal species such as the orang utan, white rhinoceros, and Asian elephant. The first 350 kids to complete the trail every activity day will be rewarded with a special WWT goodie!

Along the way, enjoy art and craft sessions and make bottle cap badges, stickers and even your own 2015 calendar. Zoo Hoo 2014 at Singapore Zoo happens every weekend from 6-28 December.  PHOTO CREDIT: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Along the way, enjoy art and craft sessions and make bottle cap badges, stickers and even your own 2015 calendar. Zoo Hoo 2014 at Singapore Zoo happens every weekend from 6-28 December.
PHOTO CREDIT: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Wildlife Warrior Trail

Date:          6-28 December 2014 (weekends only)

Venue:       Singapore Zoo (80 Mandai Lake Road Singapore 729826)

Fee:           Free of charge

Notes:       Singapore Zoo admission rates of $28.00 (adult) and $18.00 (child ages 3 to 12 years) apply

Highlights

Table of Activities

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