Get ready for a rare treat at zoo's new exhibit RepTopia

Right: Dr Amy Khor, who was present at the launch of RepTopia yesterday, touching a rainbow boa held by deputy head keeper Jose Cairos. Far right: The critically endangered Electric Blue Gecko, which in the wild exists only in a small, isolated pocke
Dr Amy Khor, who was present at the launch of RepTopia yesterday, touching a rainbow boa held by deputy head keeper Jose Cairos. PHOTOS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Right: Dr Amy Khor, who was present at the launch of RepTopia yesterday, touching a rainbow boa held by deputy head keeper Jose Cairos. Far right: The critically endangered Electric Blue Gecko, which in the wild exists only in a small, isolated pocke
The critically endangered Electric Blue Gecko, which in the wild exists only in a small, isolated pocket of forest in Tanzania, Africa, is one of the inhabitants at the new exhibit.PHOTOS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
RepTopia houses over 60 of the world's most threatened reptiles.
RepTopia houses over 60 of the world's most threatened reptiles. PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
RepTopia houses over 60 of the world's most threatened reptiles.
RepTopia houses over 60 of the world's most threatened reptiles.PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
RepTopia houses over 60 of the world's most threatened reptiles.
RepTopia houses over 60 of the world's most threatened reptiles.PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
RepTopia houses over 60 of the world's most threatened reptiles.
RepTopia houses over 60 of the world's most threatened reptiles.PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
RepTopia houses over 60 of the world's most threatened reptiles.
RepTopia houses over 60 of the world's most threatened reptiles.PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Whether they make your blood run cold, or make you hiss with delight, the stars of the Singapore Zoo's latest attraction are bound to elicit a reaction.

The striking Electric Blue Gecko and the ever-smiling Chinese Alligator are among the rare creatures inhabiting the zoo's latest exhibit RepTopia, which opened yesterday.

The 1,500 sq m space, roughly the size of two football fields, houses more than 60 of the world's most threatened reptiles and replaces the 35-year-old Snake House.

Almost a third of its animals, which also include amphibians (like frogs) and arthropods (such as spiders), have never been seen in Singapore before, said the zoo.

Mr Mike Barclay, group chief executive officer of Mandai Park Holdings, operator of the Singapore Zoo, said: "With our newest attraction RepTopia, we have placed an increased emphasis on featuring critically endangered species and making the exhibit more interactive for our guests."

Apart from RepTopia, there will also be a behind-the-scenes facility, soon to be completed, for visitors to gain insight into the work that goes into caring for the animals. They will also be able to view a hatchery and observe the life cycle of animals through glass walls.

 

Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, who was at the launch of RepTopia, said: "I hope this new exhibit will encourage more people to visit the zoo to immerse themselves in the wonders of nature and, at the same time, learn more about how we can help in efforts to protect and conserve these animals."

Mr Barclay said the Singapore Zoo, known globally for its conservation initiatives and breeding programmes, hopes to further educate the public about the dangers of the wildlife trade and continue to work in areas such as biodiversity.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2017, with the headline 'Get ready for a rare treat at zoo's new exhibit RepTopia'. Print Edition | Subscribe