More than 5,700 people take part in 10th Safari Zoo Run with a focus on conserving local animals

Chawang the majestic Asian elephant made an appearance to cheer runners on during this year’s Safari Zoo Run. PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
A Safari Zoo Run participant takes a selfie as a lioness lounges in the background at the Singapore Zoo. PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - The animals must have wondered what was going on - thousands of people were running through the Night Safari and the Singapore Zoo on Saturday (Jan 27).

Some people even stopped to take selfies with the zoo animals. The runners were part of a group of more than 5,700 people who took part in the Wildlife Reserves Singapore's 10th edition of the Safari Zoo Run.

Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin flagged off the first race in the early morning hours.

This year's run has a focus on raising awareness on conserving Singapore's native wildlife.

WRS spreads its message of conservation through its four animal icons: Singapore Zoo's Ah Meng the orang utan, Jurong Bird Park's Sunny the hornbill, Night Safari's Chawang the elephant and River Safari's Canola the manatee.

Participants were divided into four teams, each represented by the four park icons. The teams championed native species of endangered animals, including the Raffles' banded langur, Sunda pangolin, sharks and stingrays, as well as songbirds.

Close to 30 per cent of the runners chose to join Team Ah Meng, which came out tops. The team scored points for having the most winners in the competitive 10km category race, and on having the most number of Instagram posts uploaded during the runs.

Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin flags off the first run of the day - the 10km competitive race. PHOTO: WRS

Other than the 10km race, there were also 5.5km and 2.5km runs, and a competitive 2.5km Kids Dash for children.

Fringe events included appearances by animal mascots, educational show-and-tell sessions and animal photography sessions.

Singapore is home to animals such as pangolins, mousedeer, palm civets, long-tailed macaques, greater slow lorises and wild boars.

Runners stop to take photos of an orang utan. PHOTO: WRS

Last year, 540 animals were born to the WRS. Of these, 173 were born in the Singapore Zoo, 43 at the River Safari, 90 at the Night Safari and 234 at Jurong Bird Park.

The animals are from 145 species, 39 of which are listed as threatened.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.