Singapore Zoo: 40 Years of the World’s Best Rainforest Zoo

This year, the world’s best rainforest zoo is celebrating its 40th birthday! Citizens of Singapore that were born in 1973, along with four family and/or friends will be entitled for a 40% discount on admission when visiting the zoo on their birth month. Hurry! Promo ends in December 2013.

The Singapore Zoo indeed marked another milestone for the country’s environmental-efforts to conserve the flora and fauna. So it is but worthy that we discuss the zoo’s long history in providing education to locals and home to animals.

It was in the year 1969 when Singapore’s Public Utilities Board led by Dr. Ong Swee Law the conceptualization of building and opening parks and recreational facilities at the areas surrounding the country’s reservoirs. An estimated 69 acres of land along Upper Seletar Reservoir and a cost of S$ 9 million were allocated in 1970 – the Singapore Zoo was officially opened to public in 1973.

Initially a home to 270 animals of 72 different species and habitats, the Singapore Zoo is now a home to close to 3,000 animals that represents 300 animal species. While receiving close to 2 million visitors yearly, the Singapore Zoo is also one of the country’s most awarded leisure attractions by the Singapore Tourism Board. It continues to ensure providing quality service and experience to its visitors. Its latest win was in 2008 with the Best Leisure Attraction Experience award for that year.

As with providing world-class environmental and leisure experience, the Singapore Zoo’s effort on conserving the wildlife is contributed through their captive breeding programs to some of the world’s threatened animals that are housed in the zoo. Estimates of over 140 animals were bred through these programs in 2012 – many of which are said to be of the threatened and endangered species.

Also an advocate of education, the Singapore Zoo aimed to transform the park to be Learning Zoo, where kids of all ages who are interested in learning more about the animals and their habitats are given the opportunity to participate through programs such as overnight camps, group guided tours and workshops to wildlife education.

Of all its many achievements, the highlight of Singapore Zoo’s 40 years would still be their expertise in providing home to animals and being a family to them. A good example would be its free-ranging orang utan habitat that was actually that zoo’s flagship specie and feature.

In 2006, a U$ 3.6 million worth of funds were granted for opening Wildlife Healthcare and Research Centre that was aimed to comprehensively treat animals while visitors are allowed to view it through viewing facilities.

The Singapore Zoo is operated by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, the agency that also manages its neighbour, Night Safari and Jurong Bird Park. Currently, there are over 300 species of animals in the 40 year-old zoo and 16% of which are considered threatened species.

 

Feature Image Source: Pelican @ Flickr

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