- Night Safari
23 May, 1994
The Night Safari (Chinese: 夜间野生动物园) is the world's first
nocturnal zooand is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Singapore.
The concept of a nocturnal park in Singapore was mooted in the 1980s by the former executive chairman of the Singapore Zoo, Dr
Ong Swee Law. Constructed at a cost of S$63 million, the Night Safari was officially opened on 26 May 1994and occupies 40 hectares (0.4 km²) of secondary rainforestadjacent to the Singapore Zooand Upper Seletar Reservoir.
The Night Safari currently houses a total of 1,040
animals of 120 species, of which 29% are threatened species. The zoo is managed by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, and about 1.1 million visitors visit the safari per year. [ [http://www.nightsafari.com.sg/about/fastfacts.htm Night Safari - World's First in Singapore ] ] The Night Safari received its 11 millionth visitor on 29 May 2007.
Unlike traditional nocturnal houses, which reverse the day-night cycle of animals so they will be active by day, the Night Safari is an entire open-air zoo set in a
humid tropical forestthat is only open at night. It is divided into eight geographical zones, which can be explored either on foot via three walking trails, or by tram.
The animals of the Night Safari, ranging from
Indian rhinocerosto tarsiers, are made visible by lightingthat resembles moonlight(filmic blue). Although it is brighter than full moonlight by a few orders of maginitude, it is dim enough not to disturb nocturnal and crepuscularanimals' behaviour. Lighting experts such as Simon Corderwho lit " The Phantom of the Opera" musical in Londonwere consulted, and created special lighting for the trails.
Exhibits in the safari come from
South Americaand other parts of Asia. The naturalistic enclosures simulate the animals' native habitat. Animals are separated from visitors with natural barriers, rather than caged, similar to the Singapore Zoo's open concept. Instead of vertical prison-like cages, cattle grids were laid all over the park to prevent hoofed animals from moving one habitat to another. These are grille-like metal sheets with gaps wide enough for animals' legs to go through. Moats were designed to look like streams and rivers to enable fishing cats and servals to be put on show in open areas, and hot wires were designed to look like twigs to keep animals away from the boundaries of their enclosures.
Cultural performances are a regular feature at the safari, and include tribal dances,
blowpipedemonstrations and fire eatingdisplays. "Creatures of the Night Show" is a performance presented by the animals in the Night Safari.
There are a number of
food and beverageoutlets in the Night Safari which include Ulu Ulu Safari Restaurant, Bongo Burgers, and Ben & Jerry'sScoop Shop. Visitors can also experience dining on the move with the Cocktail Safari Express and Gourmet Safari Express.
*Singapore Tourism Awards [ [http://www.tourismawards.com/winners.htm Welcome to Singapore Tourism Awards 2008 ] ]
**Top 10 Best Family Experience (2006)
**Best Leisure Attraction Experience (2003, 2004, 2006)
**Leisure Attraction of the Year (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000)
*In September 1996, a
tigernamed Giggo escaped when the double doors in its yard were left open, and was put down.
*In April 2005, a Chinese
touristwas scratched by a cat during the "Creatures of the Night Show".
*In 2004, the Night Safari saw the birth of a giant flying squirrel, Asia's first.
*In 2006, the Night Safari marked
Southeast Asia's first in- captivitybirth of a giant anteater.
*In February 2008, Night Safari welcomes its park's 26th male
tapirand the two-month old baby is already out on exhibit.
*Lin Xinyi, "Night Safari: From trailblazer to tourism icon", "
The Straits Times", 31 May 2007
* [http://www.nightsafari.com.sg Singapore Night Safari Website]
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