Guests mark pandas’ birthdays with giant cakes, new book and lanterns of hope for endangered species; More than 500 conservation pledges collected ahead of Panda Party 2014
Singapore, 5 September 2014– Giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia celebrated their birthdays and second anniversary in Singapore in style as over 150 guests joined their birthday bash at River Safari and participated in a Panda Lantern Parade to light the way for the future of the endangered species.
Guest-of-Honour Ms Sim Ann, Minister of State, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Communications and Information, was among the birthday party guests who were given the rare opportunity of touring River Safari at night as they shone lanterns of hope for the future of giant pandas, led by a blazing Chinese dragon dance that trailed across the park.
Male Kai Kai turns seven on 14 September, while his female partner, Jia Jia turned six on 3 September. The pair of pandas arrived in Singapore on 6 September 2012. The birthday duo was treated to birthday ‘cakes’ specially designed by students of ITE College West.
More than 500 conservation pledges were collected from birthday party guests and members of the public during events held at two of CapitaLand’s CapitaMalls, Westgate and ION Orchard, in August. The public pledged their commitment to protect pandas through various ways, from conserving fuel by taking public transport to refraining from using products that may endanger animals.
Wildlife Reserves Singapore Chairman Ms Claire Chiang said, “In the past two years Kai Kai and Jia Jia have brought much joy to visitors at River Safari and as we celebrate their birthdays, we hope to leverage their popularity to initiate education programmes to highlight the threats that pandas face and encourage individuals to take actions to ensure a brighter future for this iconic animal.”
Mr S R Nathan, Chairman, CapitaLand Hope Foundation, said, “CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF) will be taking part in the celebrations of Kai Kai and Jia Jia’s birthdays, as well as their second anniversary in Singapore. The arrival of Kai Kai and Jia Jia has created many opportunities for CHF to work in partnership with WRS to develop educational programmes and materials to engage our children beneficiaries in Singapore and to promote wildlife conservation, so that the young too, can learn to contribute towards biodiversity.”
Mr Tan Seng Chai, Group Chief Corporate Officer, CapitaLand Limited and Executive Director, CapitaLand Hope Foundation, said, “CapitaLand has always been committed to caring for and contributing to the economic, environmental and social development of communities. As the Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor of the Giant Panda Collaborative Programme, CapitaLand is pleased to support WRS’ efforts in wildlife conservation by also leveraging our real estate portfolio. To celebrate the birthdays of Kai Kai and Jia Jia this year, our extensive network of properties provided an excellent platform for the ‘Pandamonium at CapitaMalls’ activities, where Kai Kai & Jia Jia mascots made special appearances at our shopping malls to engage and educate thousands of shoppers on the importance of wildlife conservation.”
The birthday bash also saw the launch of a nursery rhyme book for pre-school children that tells the adventures of the two pandas in Singapore, officiated by Guest-of-Honour Ms Sim Ann. Written by five teachers (Refer to Appendix A), the book is in the Chinese language to help children learn their mother tongue in a fun and engaging manner.
The birthday bash kick-starts festivities happening during Panda Party week from 6-14 September (Refer to Appendix B). Visitors to River Safari can expect a line-up of activities from free guided tours at the Giant Panda Forest to interactive show & tell sessions where they will get the opportunity to feel a panda skull replica and get a whiff of panda poop. Visitors can also plant pledges to help symbolically ‘grow’ a lush bamboo forest for the bears. Kids can enjoy panda arts and crafts, from face painting to clay modelling activities.
To commemorate this year’s Panda Party, River Safari launched a new behind-the-scenes tour called Panda Rise & Shine where participants can get up-close with pandas before the park opens, and assist keepers in preparing breakfast for Kai Kai and Jia Jia. This premium experience brings participants to back-of-house areas such as the pandas’ dens, kitchen and bamboo storage room.
As part of the festivities during the Panda Party week, visitors can bring home a free panda lantern with purchases at River Safari’s retail and F&B outlets. In addition to this birthday treat, visitors can look forward to new panda-licious treats such as Panda Chocolate Mousse, and wild discounts on panda merchandise.
For more information, visit pandas.riversafari.com.sg