Jurong Bird Park was an aviary and tourist attraction in Jurong, Singapore between 1971 and 2023. The largest such bird park in Asia,[3] it covered an area of 0.2 square kilometres (49 acres) on the western slope of Jurong Hill, the highest point in the Jurong region. It was one of the parks managed by Mandai Wildlife Reserve, which are also the managers of Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Wonders.

Jurong Bird Park
Map
1°19′05″N 103°42′26″E / 1.31806°N 103.70722°E / 1.31806; 103.70722
Date opened3 January 1971; 53 years ago (1971-01-03)
Date closed3 January 2023; 16 months ago (2023-01-03) (succeeded by Bird Paradise)
LocationJurong, Singapore
2 Jurong Hill, Singapore 628925
Land area20.2 ha (50 acres)
No. of animals5000[1]
No. of species400[1]
Annual visitors768,933 (FY 2019/20)[2]
OwnerMandai Wildlife Reserve
Public transit accessBus transport 194
Location
Map
Websitewww.mandai.com/en/bird-paradise.html Edit this at Wikidata

In 2016, the Mandai Wildlife Group announced that the Jurong Bird Park would be relocated to a much larger park at Mandai Lake Road by 2020, consolidating with the three existing wildlife parks together with a new Rainforest Park to form an integrated nature and wildlife precinct known as the Mandai Wildlife Reserve.[4][5] In 2021, the group announced that the park's successor in Mandai would be named Bird Paradise.[6] In 2022, it was announced that Jurong Bird Park would close on 3 January 2023 to finalise its move to Bird Paradise at Mandai.[7][8]

History edit

 
American flamingo at Jurong Bird Park

The idea of a permanent aviary was first conceived by Goh Keng Swee, then Minister for Finance, in 1968. During a World Bank meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Goh visited its zoological garden and was impressed with its free-flight aviary. He set out to ensure that Singaporeans would have a place where they could escape from urban life and relax with nature.[9][10]

Work on the aviary started in January 1969.[11] A 14-hectare (35-acre) site on the western slope of Bukit Peropok in Jurong was chosen for the project. The bird park was expected to be completed by the end of 1969.[12]

On 3 January 1971, Jurong Bird Park, built at a cost of S$3.5 million, was opened to the public.[13]

Jurong Bird Park became a world-famous bird zoo holding specimens of magnificent bird life from around the world, including a large flock of flamingos. At the time of its closing in 2023 it was the world's largest bird park in terms of the number of birds, and second largest both in the number of bird species and land area (after Germany's Walsrode World Bird Park). There are 5,000 birds of 400 species in Jurong Bird Park, of which 24% are of threatened species,[1] the highest percentage in any zoo worldwide.[14]

In 2006, Jurong Bird Park completed a S$10 million makeover. As a result of the upgrade, the park got a new entrance plaza, a park-owned and managed Bongo Burgers restaurant, an ice cream parlour, a gift shop and a bird hospital.[15]

Potential uses for the Jurong site after the bird park's closure include residential or recreational space. Memorable features such as the waterfall are expected to be retained.[16]

Animals and exhibits edit

Penguin Coast

The Penguin Coast opened on 1 December 2010 as an upgrade of the outdated Penguin Parade habitat. African penguins were able to live in an outdoor pool meant to recreate a South African coastline with artificially created waves on the lagoon. Inside a Portuguese galleon facade, gentoo penguins, Humboldt penguins, king penguins and northern rockhopper penguins were kept in a climate-controlled enclosure kept at 10–15 °C (50–59 °F).[17]

Flamingo Pool

Caribbean flamingos and lesser flamingos lived in two enclosures that opened in 1984.

Flamingo Lake

The park boasted a large flock of greater flamingos that had been breeding successfully since 1972.

Wings of Asia

500 birds from 135 species were housed in this aviary. The aviary housed and had successfully bred many endangered birds, such as the Bali myna, black-winged starling, Edwards's pheasant, Malayan peacock-pheasant, Mindanao bleeding-heart, Santa Cruz ground dove and straw-headed bulbul.[18]

Heliconia Walk

The Jurong Bird Park had the largest collection of Heliconias in Southeast Asia with over 167 species. Many different aviaries housed a variety of rare and endangered birds.

Wetlands

Guests could observe a variety of waterbirds including black-bellied whistling ducks, black-faced spoonbills, boat-billed herons, cattle egrets, Eurasian spoonbills, hamerkops, Meller's ducks, roseate spoonbills, straw-necked ibises and white-faced whistling ducks. The park received a breeding pair of shoebills from Qatar.[19] A wave machine prevented the build-up of algae in the water.[20]

Royal Ramble

A series of three walkthrough aviaries with Victoria crowned pigeons and a variety of other birds.

Window on Paradise

This building had three free-flight aviaries for rare birds-of-paradise.[21]

Hornbills and Toucans

The area consisted of 27 large aviaries containing the world's largest collection of hornbills. The Jurong Bird Park was the first to successfully breed the black hornbill in captivity. Species housed in this area are African grey hornbills, black hornbills, great hornbills, Oriental pied hornbills, Papuan hornbills, red-billed toucans, rhinoceros hornbills, rufous hornbills, silvery-cheeked hornbills, southern ground hornbills, toco toucans, trumpeter hornbills, western long-tailed hornbills, white-crowned hornbills, wreathed hornbills and wrinkled hornbills[22]

African Treetops

This walkthrough aviary stimulated the canopy layer of a rainforest and features various birds from the rainforests of Africa. It featured elevated walkways and a suspension bridge to provide an immersive experience, including ashy starlings, greater blue-eared starlings, great blue turacos, golden-breasted starlings, long-tailed glossy starlings, purple starlings, red-crested turacos, red-winged starlings, superb starlings, violet-backed starlings and Von der Decken's hornbills. [23] The African Treetops aviary was formerly the Lory Loft, which was moved to the former Jungle Jewels site.

 
The former Lory Loft aviary, then the African Treetops aviary
Lory Loft

Guests could feed 10 species of lorikeets and lories. The attraction was chosen as a "Top 10 Best Family Experience" by the Singapore Tourism Board.[24]

Birds of Prey

A series of large aviaries that housed different species of birds of prey including Andean condors and king vultures. On 27 November 2019, a pair of critically endangered Philippine eagles named Geothermica and Sambisig were sent to the park as part of a recovery programme.[25]

Dinosaur Descendants

Larger ground-dwelling birds such as cassowaries, saddle-billed storks and sarus crane were housed in this area. Around the enclosures were four huts containing interactive displays like elephant bird egg replicas and a cassowary's casque as well as a dig site play area for children where they could excavate dinosaur fossils.

Pelican Cove

The park housed multiple species of pelicans: Australian pelicans, Dalmatian pelicans, great white pelicans, pink-backed pelicans and spot-billed pelicans; having housed all pelican species in the past. It was also the world's first pelican underwater viewing gallery.[26]

Parrot Paradise

Located at the far north of the park, this 1-hectare (2.5-acre) complex had cages containing several species of parrots from Australia, Asia and South America, including blue-eyed cockatoos, blue-throated macaws, blue-winged macaws, burrowing parrots, dusky parrots, galahs, golden conures, green-cheeked amazons, grey parrots, hyacinth macaws, red-bellied macaws, red-and-green macaws, red-fronted macaws, red-tailed black cockatoos, salmon-crested cockatoos, scarlet macaws, sun parakeets and yellow-shouldered amazons.[27]

Waterfall Aviary
 
The waterfall in the Waterfall Aviary was once the tallest artificial waterfall at 35 metres (115 ft) tall

The Waterfall Aviary was 2 hectares (4.9 acres) in area and 35 metres (115 ft) tall, and had one of the world's tallest artificial waterfalls. At the time of its construction in the early 1970s the Waterfall Aviary was the world's largest aviary with the world's tallest aviary.[28] Guests crossed a suspended bridge to watch the many different birds. It housed a large variety of birds among which include black crowned cranes, helmeted guineafowl, milky storks, Nicobar pigeons, pied imperial pigeons, roseate spoonbills and scarlet macaws and several other species. [29]

Shows edit

The "High Flyers Show" showcased the natural abilities and skills of various different birds including their yellow-naped amazon named Amigo who could sing in three different languages. At the end of the show, visitors were allowed to take pictures with a flock of pelicans and flamingos.[30]

The "Kings of the Skies Show" featured the park's birds of prey.[31]

Awards edit

Awarded to Jurong Bird Park:[32]

  • Michelin 2-star rating, 2008
  • Conservation & Research Award, International Symposium on Breeding Birds in Captivity, 2006 and 2007
  • Excellence Award, Association of Southeast Asian Nations Tourism Association, 2004 and 2007
  • Best Loved Pro-Family Business, Singapore, 2006
  • Superstar Winner of the Excellent Service Awards, Singapore Tourism Board, 2004
  • Tourism Host of the Year, Singapore Tourism Board, 2003
  • Breeders Award, American Pheasant and Waterfowl Society, 2001
  • Highly Commended, Tourism For Tomorrow International Awards, 1993
  • First Breeders Award by the American Pheasant & Waterfowl Society, 2001

Transportation edit

Throughout its existence, Jurong Bird Park was never directly served by any MRT line, with the nearest station being Boon Lay MRT station.

There is a bus service operated by SBS Transit which calls at the bus stop outside the former park.[33]

The park itself was once served by the Jurong Bird Park Panorail, a 1.7-kilometre (1.1 mi) loop monorail system which ran within the park. The system was constructed by Vonroll Transport Systems of Switzerland, which also built the Sentosa Monorail and Singapore Cable Car. The monorail system used four fully air-conditioned four-car trains which travelled around the park in approximately 11 minutes. It ceased operations in 2012 and was replaced by a trackless tram service similar to the ones found at the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari.

Gallery edit

See also edit

Current Status edit

The park is now closed and blocked off with barriers making it inaccessible to the public.

News stays that it will stay like this until 2025, when the site ownership will return to JTC. It is unclear what it will be used in the future. Most likely it will be turned into a nature park with it existing features, such as the waterfall.

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Park experience". Jurong Bird Park. Archived from the original on 1 November 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  2. ^ "WRS Yearbook 2018/2019" (PDF). Wildlife Reserves Singapore. Archived (PDF) from the original on 31 August 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  3. ^ Hamzah, Firdaus (30 August 2022). "Jurong Bird Park: Key milestones of the iconic Singapore attraction". CNA. Archived from the original on 30 August 2022. Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  4. ^ "Mandai Area Set for Major Redevelopment". Today. 5 September 2014. Archived from the original on 2 June 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Mandai nature precinct will house two new wildlife parks". Channel NewsAsia. 1 June 2016. Archived from the original on 3 June 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  6. ^ "River Safari, Jurong Bird Park renamed in Mandai Wildlife Group rebranding". TODAYonline. Archived from the original on 29 October 2021. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  7. ^ Auto, Hermes (30 August 2022). "1971-2023: Jurong Bird Park's last day of operations was on Jan 3 2022 as it prepares to move to Mandai". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 31 August 2022. Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  8. ^ "Rain fails to dampen spirits on Jurong Bird Park's last day of operations". CNA. 4 January 2023. Archived from the original on 4 January 2023. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  9. ^ "Goh tells why the bird park was built". The Straits Times. 4 January 1971. pp. 15–16. Archived from the original on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2016 – via NewspaperSG.
  10. ^ "Sociologists Have a Point, Says Dr. Goh". Archived from the original on 26 October 2021. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  11. ^ Yeo, Toon Joo (3 January 1969). "Work on $1 mil. aviary at Jurong". The Straits Times. p. 6. Archived from the original on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2016 – via NewspaperSG.
  12. ^ "Ready by end of year: Jurong's Bird Park". The Straits Times. 11 August 1969. p. 11. Archived from the original on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2016 – via NewspaperSG.
  13. ^ "Dr. Goh Opens Park". The Straits Times. 4 January 1971. p. 1. Archived from the original on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2016 – via NewspaperSG.
  14. ^ "Avian Wonders of the World to Nest in New Homes at Singapore's Bird Paradise". The New Age Parents. Archived from the original on 17 December 2022. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  15. ^ "The pecking order". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 2 March 2007.
  16. ^ "More than 3,000 birds to be moved from Jurong park to Bird Paradise in Mandai". CNA. Archived from the original on 19 February 2023. Retrieved 19 February 2023.
  17. ^ "ZooLex Exhibit - Penguin Coast". zoolex.org. Archived from the original on 3 October 2022. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  18. ^ "Wings of Asia - Jurong Bird Park". mandai.com. Archived from the original on 1 June 2022. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  19. ^ "Press Room - Prehistoric-looking bird stages a comeback".
  20. ^ "Wetlands - Jurong Bird Park". mandai.com. Archived from the original on 1 June 2022. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  21. ^ "Birds of Paradise - Jurong Bird Park". mandai.com. Archived from the original on 27 June 2022. Retrieved 2 June 2022.
  22. ^ "Hornbills and Toucans - Jurong Bird Park". mandai.com. Archived from the original on 1 June 2022. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  23. ^ "African Treetops - Jurong Bird Park". mandai.com. Archived from the original on 1 June 2022. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  24. ^ "Lory Loft - Jurong Bird Park". mandai.com. Archived from the original on 1 June 2022. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  25. ^ "Pair of Philippine Eagles at Jurong Bird Park Officially Presented to the Public and Media". philippine-embassy.org. 3 December 2019. Archived from the original on 28 May 2022. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  26. ^ "Pelican Cove - Jurong Bird Park". mandai.com. Archived from the original on 1 June 2022. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  27. ^ "Parrot Paradise - Jurong Bird Park". mandai.com. Archived from the original on 1 June 2022. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  28. ^ Singapore's Fabulous Jurong Bird Park. Singapore: Winston Williams. 1983.
  29. ^ "Waterfall Aviary - Jurong Bird Park". mandai.com. Archived from the original on 1 June 2022. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  30. ^ "High Flyers Show - Jurong Bird Park". mandai.com. Archived from the original on 27 May 2022. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  31. ^ "Kings of the Skies Show - Jurong Bird Park". mandai.com. Archived from the original on 27 May 2022. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  32. ^ "Accreditation and accolades". Wildlife Reserves Singapore. Archived from the original on 22 January 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  33. ^ "Getting Here". Mandai Wildlife Group. Archived from the original on 22 October 2021. Retrieved 14 October 2021.

Bibliography edit

External links edit