The Golden ZOObilee festivities continue to enchant visitors at Singapore Zoo as the iconic wildlife institution commemorates its 50th anniversary. Today, the spotlight shines on the incredible individuals who have dedicated themselves to nature, wildlife protection, and the growth of this renowned zoological haven.
A special community event, graced by the presence of Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Deputy Chairman of Mandai Park Holdings, brought together the zoo’s volunteers, local students, and staff members. Their shared passion for conservation and unwavering commitment to Singapore Zoo’s mission were celebrated in a heartwarming ceremony, culminating in the unveiling of a captivating commemorative art piece. Three talented artists from the Animal Care team poured their creativity onto the canvas, bringing to life a masterpiece that captures the essence of Singapore Zoo’s half-century journey.
Embracing the spirit of sustainability, attendees also penned their well-wishes for the zoo on plantable seed paper, ensuring that their hopes for the future take root within the park’s vibrant ecosystem.
Mike Barclay, Group CEO of Mandai Wildlife Group, expressed his gratitude to the remarkable community of volunteers and sponsors who have played an integral role in Singapore Zoo’s success. Their tireless efforts have contributed nearly 160,000 man-hours and an astounding $30 million in the past decade alone, making them a positive force for wildlife conservation.
Since the inception of Mandai Wildlife Group’s first volunteer initiative, the docent programme, in 1997, opportunities for volunteerism across the wildlife parks have expanded significantly. Today, the group boasts nearly 400 dedicated volunteers, including 250 docents and 120 Conservation Ambassadors. Among them is an inspiring 86-year-old volunteer who has spent 26 years engaging park guests on the importance of wildlife conservation. On average, these passionate volunteers devote at least four years of their lives to the Mandai Wildlife Group. This year alone, the group has welcomed 90 new volunteers, with another 80 expected to join in the coming months, fostering a continuous influx of passionate individuals eager to contribute to the cause.
The volunteers’ indispensable work harmonizes with the dedicated staff members who ensure the well-being and development of the wildlife at Singapore Zoo. From humble beginnings with just two dozen keepers in 1973, the zoo now boasts a team of over 100 animal caretakers, all of whom are cherished members of the zoo’s extended family.
The profound sense of unity, driven by a shared purpose, is captured in the stunning black-and-white art piece titled ‘A World With Wildlife Is A Better World.’ Crafted thoughtfully by Junior Keepers Lim Jia Ning and Krystofer Loh, along with Senior Keeper Ong Chew Chuan, the artwork showcases Singapore Zoo’s iconic residents, including Ah Meng the Sumatran Orangutan, Komali the Asian Elephant, and Jubilee the Rothschild’s Giraffe, alongside other species under the artists’ care. The intricate details seamlessly blend the individual artistic styles of the keepers, symbolizing the beauty of diversity and the zoo’s steadfast commitment to wildlife protection.
This symbolic commemorative piece will be prominently displayed outside the Singapore Zoo retail shop, near the park’s entrance, serving as a reminder of this historic milestone and the unwavering dedication of Singapore Zoo and its community.
Visitors are encouraged to participate in the celebration by sharing their well-wishes for Singapore Zoo. At a drop-in activity station near the Babirusa exhibit, guests can pen their messages of hope on plantable seed paper, which will eventually find a home within the zoo grounds, symbolizing the growth of their collective aspirations.
As the Golden Jubilee celebrations at Singapore Zoo continue, there are several exciting events not to be missed. ART-ZOO Happy ZOObilee will be ongoing until August 27, offering a whimsical experience for all visitors. Additionally, bookings have opened for the highly anticipated Zoo Adventure Tour: ZOObilee edition, taking place from June 27 to August 27, 2023. Keep an eye out for the upcoming Backstage Pass – Incredible Invertebrates tour, with sales beginning on July 6, 2023, and the Mandai Wildlife Run, where registration opens on June 27, 2023.
Join Singapore Zoo in celebrating 50 years of extraordinary conservation efforts, where the tireless dedication of individuals and the power of community have made a significant impact on the world of wildlife preservation.