Set in the lush greenery of the Lion City, the Singapore Zoo is renowned worldwide for its commitment to conservation and its incredible diversity of species. In this blog, we explore some fascinating Singapore Zoo facts that make it a must-visit destination. From its groundbreaking initiatives in animal care and preservation to its rare and exotic inhabitants, we'll delve into the stories, facts, and secrets that make this zoo a beacon of conservation and education.
Singapore Zoo Facts
1. Large Enclosures instead of Cages
Singapore Zoo is a trailblazer in animal welfare, using expansive enclosures instead of traditional cages to house their animals. These generous living spaces allow animals to roam freely, mimicking their natural habitats. Visitors can witness animals in a more ethical and enriching environment, fostering a deeper connection with wildlife. It's a testament to their commitment to both the animals' well-being and the education of the public.
2. The Zoo houses a huge number of animals!
In 1973, the Singapore Zoo first opened its gates to the world with a modest collection of 272 animals representing 72 unique species. Fast forward to the present day, and the transformation is inspiring. Today, this remarkable institution proudly shelters an astounding 4,200 animals, representing over 300 diverse species.
3. Singapore Zoo touched 1 million visitors in 17 months only
On the auspicious day of Deepavali in 1974, just 17 months after its inauguration, the Singapore Zoo welcomed its one-millionth visitor. The lucky guest to achieve this milestone was Mr. Peter Tan, who was graciously awarded a brand-new Hitachi color TV set. In today's time, the zoo's popularity continues to soar, consistently attracting an average of 2 million visitors annually.
4. Ah Meng, the Sumatran Orangutan, was the poster girl of the Singapore Zoo
Ah Meng, the celebrated orangutan of Singapore Zoo, achieved a unique distinction in 1992 when she became the sole non-human recipient of the Special Tourism Ambassador award, presented by the then Singapore Tourist Promotion Board. Born around 1960 in Sumatra, Indonesia, Ah Meng's early life saw her kept as an illegal pet by a Chinese family before authorities confiscated her. Approximately at the age of 11 in 1971, she found her permanent home at the Singapore Zoo. Sadly, Ah Meng, estimated to be around 50 years old, passed away on February 8, 2008. Her legacy lives on, as thousands attended her heartfelt funeral to pay their respects.
5. The oldest animal at the zoo is 82 years old!
Astove, the Aldabra giant tortoise, holds the title of being the most senior inhabitant at the Singapore Zoo, with an impressive estimated age of 82 years. This gentle giant measures over 1 meter in length, weighing nearly 300 kilograms. As a herbivore, Astove enjoys a varied diet that includes different types of grass, sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Despite his grandeur, he is known for his docile and friendly nature.
6. The zoo focuses on environmental protection
With a commitment to environmental preservation, the Singapore Zoo emphasizes on protecting our planet's biodiversity. This renowned institution actively engages in conservation initiatives, playing a pivotal role in the successful breeding and subsequent reintroduction of numerous endangered species. Among these noteworthy contributions are the rehabilitation efforts for the orangutan, the white rhinoceros, and the cotton-top tamarin.
7. Unlike most zoos, the animals here are active
In contrast to other zoos, the Singapore Zoo presented a unique spectacle where a majority of its inhabitants are wide awake and engaged in natural, playful activities. The absence of conventional enclosures contributed to their heightened sense of contentment. Alternatively, the tropical climate of Singapore, akin to the natural habitats of many animals, plays a pivotal role in creating an environment conducive to their activity and well-being.
8. They have free Animal Presentations
The Singapore Zoo has an Amphitheatre dedicated to Animal Presentations, a facility built in 1985. This unique venue seamlessly blends the natural behaviors of the animals with an educational component focused on wildlife conservation, all presented in an engaging and entertaining manner. The best part? These presentations are open to the people with an entry ticket and come at no extra cost, providing a wonderful opportunity for them to learn about zoo's commitment to animal welfare and conservation education.
9. You can feed animals here
You have the chance to reserve feeding sessions for remarkable animals like Elephants, Giraffes, Goats, White Rhinoceros, Giant Tortoises, and Zebras, all on a first-come-first-serve basis.
10. The zoo houses many rare species
The Singapore Zoo is home to a diverse array of rare and endangered species, including the African Painted Dog, African Penguin, Brown Lemur, Cotton-top Tamarins, Roti Snake-necked Turtle, the White Tiger, and many other creatures!