Singapore Zoo gives birthday treats as it turns 40

THE Singapore Zoo is marking its 40th birthday this year, having welcomed an all-time high of more than 1.7 million visitors in 2012, and wants all 40-year-olds to join in.

From now till December, Singaporeans and Permanent Residents born in 1973 who visit during their birthday month will get a 40 per cent discount on zoo tickets for themselves and four friends.

Those whose birthdays match that of the zoo, June 27, are invited to a party and a special tour on that day.

To pick up an invite, they will have to e-mail the zoo at

Activities for children have also been planned for March 16 and 17, during the school holidays.

Said Ms Claire Chiang, chairman of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, which manages the zoo: "Generations of Singaporeans have... visited first as schoolchildren, then as adults with their own families.

"We are honoured to be a part of Singapore life."

The number of visitors has doubled from about 850,000 in 1973.

Most were Singaporeans, not tourists, the zoo said. Last year, they made up two-thirds of visitors.

Ms Chiang said: "We do hope our visitors will continue the tradition of introducing their children, and even grandchildren, to the wonders of wildlife."

Film-maker Ashton Tan, 25, says he visits the zoo every time a new exhibit opens.

"I feel like I can learn something each time I step into the zoo," he said.

The 26ha zoo has more than 2,800 specimens from over 300 species, over a quarter of which are threatened.

A new attraction, the Frozen Tundra exhibit, is expected to open later this month, with polar bear Inuka as the main highlight.