Spectacular Species at Jurong BirdPark

June 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

Bird lovers looking for something new to try might consider visiting the beautiful and exciting country of Singapore. This colorful country is home to the Jurong BirdPark, a carefully landscaped park that spans an area of 202 000 square meters. The park is situated in the Jurong district on the western slope of Jurong Hill and is a delight to almost all bird enthusiasts who venture here.

This beautiful bird park was the brainchild of Dr Goh Keng Swee. He arrived at the idea of a place where people could relax with nature in Jurong, which was then just an industrial zone, in 1968 after visiting a zoological garden in Rio de Janeiro and viewing their free-flight aviary. Later that same year the western slope of Jurong Hill was selected as the site for the park and work began on the bird park. While this massive structure was busy being developed, park officials urged dignitaries and ambassadors to contribute birds for the park. By the time the park was opened on 3 January 1971, birds had arrived from 40 private donors and 7 zoos from 12 different countries. Jurong was built at a cost of S$3.5 million and is now the second largest bird park in the world in terms of land area. It has more birds than any other bird park on the planet and there are currently more than 9 000 individual birds living in the park. The birds that can be found in the park come from all over the world and there are approximately 600 different species of bird living in this protected environment. This includes 29 endangered bird species and 101 flamingos. To be sure, the selection of animals is absolutely magnificent and bird lovers will find themselves absolutely overwhelmed by the variety and abundance of birds in this beautiful park.

The park was updated to the cost of S$10 million in 2006, giving visitors access to newer facilities and ensuring that the birds enjoyed the most comfortable environs possible. The upgrade has also resulted in the park gaining a new entrance plaza, a gift shop, a restaurant and ice-cream parlor, a bird hospital and an African wetlands exhibit. The extensive renovations combined with the parks massive size and open-park concept makes it the best bird park in the world. While birds from across the globe can be found in the park, Jurong BirdPark mainly specializes in birds from Southeast Asia. Visitors will find that there are four main aviaries – including the largest walk-in aviary in the world complete with the tallest man-made waterfall. Bird shows are held regularly for the public at the Pool Amphitheatre and Fuji Hawk Walk and all the exhibits and aviaries are designed to closely mimic the natural habitats of the birds they house. All this is beautifully complimented by large, open, landscaped areas that are filled with colorful flowering plants. Little wonder then, that the bird park has been the recipient of several awards including the Aseanta Excellence Award in both 2004 and 2007. Clearly bird lovers will not be disappointed when visiting this exceptional bird park in Singapore!

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