Are you 40 this year?

The legacy of Ah Meng, icon of the
Singapore Zoo, lives on in grand-daughter
Chomel, seen here carrying her son, Bino
Were you born on 27 June 1973?  It’s the birthday of the Singapore Zoo and if you share the same birthday, then you should be their 40th Birthday Buddy and join the Singapore Zoo Birthday Bash to enjoy an exclusive tour with a zoo pioneer.  To commemorate its 40th birthday, Singapore Zoo is rolling out celebratory activities from now till the end of the year. 

All who turn 40 in 2013 will also enjoy 40% off ticket admission prices along with four friends when they visit the Singapore Zoo during their birthday month.  The fun kicks off with the 40th Birthday Bash Zoo Hunt over the March 16 – 17 weekend for the young and the young at heart.  Participants in this exciting hunt will complete a trail that will take them through some of the Zoo’s most notable sites and exhibits. 

“Turning 40 is a time for us to reflect and look ahead.  We have learnt much along the way and grown with our visitors who have come to appreciate and recognise our efforts in conservation, education and recreation,” said Claire Chiang, Chairman of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.   “We hope, in our way of striving to provide exciting and meaningful experiences, we have managed to inspire in our visitors, an appreciation of nature and wildlife,” she added.

File photo of kids visiting Singapore Zoo in the 1970s;
Are they imitating the orang utan, or is it the other way around?
Since the 1970s, Johor residents have joined millions of tourists to enjoy recreational and educational day-long visits to the Singapore Zoo.  It is an evergreen destination which many visitors discovered as children with their parents or in school excursions and have made repeat visits as parents with their families and again as grandparents with their grandchildren.  

The coming school holidays are an excellent opportunity to continue the tradition of introducing children and even grandchildren to the wonders of wildlife in the Singapore Zoo. 

Visitors are often awed when they come face-to-face with
more than 90 Hamadryas baboons in the award-winning
Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia exhibition
Generations of visitors have walked the paths of Singapore Zoo, enjoying its icons like Ah Meng, a Sumatran female orang utan, who had breakfast with dignitaries and celebrities like Prince Philip and Michael Jackson. 

In 1992, she was the first non-human recipient of a Special Tourism Ambassador award from the Singapore Tourism Promotion Board.  This poster girl of the Singapore Zoo, featured in travel films and more than 300 articles, died of old age in 2008 but her legacy lives on in her offspring. 

Cotton Top Tamarins are the first primates visitors will
see in the free-ranging environment of Rainforest Walk
So if you were born on 27 June 1973, email to for your invitation to the special Singapore Zoo Birthday Bash and exclusive tour.  For more info and latest updates on the 40th anniversary celebrations, visit website: or Singapore Zoo’s Facebook page.  Wildlife Reserves Singapore ( is the parent company of award-winning attractions – Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, Singapore Zoo and the upcoming River Safari.

A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Johor Streets on 12 March 2013

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