THE REASON FOR OUR EXISTENCE
Modern zoos provide more than just entertainment for people of all ages. Zoos also bear the responsibility of education the public and creationg awareness for the dwinding numbers in the animal kingdom. In line with these aims, the Singapore Zoological Gardens is one of the most aggressive and successful conservation parks in the region.
Education is a vital aspect of visting the Zoo - an important contribution to conservatrion. Visiting the Zoo is about relaxing and having fun, which includes learning about wildlife and conservation. This is why the Zoo has organised a variety of animal presentations, token-feeding programs, and of course, its world-renowned Breakfast and Tea With An Orang Utan.
These provide opportunities for an up close and personal look at wildlife, allowing the Zoo to get across its conservation messages effectively. Through contact with these animals - closer than that provided by the usual means of the media-people tend to ampathise. Giving the animals names and witnessing their behavior with their keepers also help visitors relate to them in an inspiring manner.
Breeding of endangered animals is another important aspect of conervation. While for many reasons it may not be possible to reintroduce captive-bred endangered animals into the wild, such animals can be used in exchange programmes among zoos. Hence, animals nedd not be removed from the wild. The Singapore Zoo has bred a long list of endangered animals such as the orang utan, golden lion tamarin, white rhino, douc langur, king cobra, rhino iguana, tiger and Malayan tapir.
27 orang utans have been bred in captivity - the highest in the world. The Zoo also houses the largest social colony of orang utans in the world as well. Incidentally, the orang utan is the flagship species of the Singapore Zoo.
Other records include four extremely rare proboscis monkeys and four African white rhinos-the most successful in the world as well. The Zoo has also seen the birth of 22 Malaysan tigers, 28 chimpanzees, 3 highly endangered douc langurs and 14 pygmy hippos. These are all part of the Zoo's often lauded international in-captive breeding programmes.
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