Penguin Paradise: Mandai Wildlife Reserve welcomes flightless birds to their luxurious dig

·2-min read

Singapore’s penguins have safely waddled into their new home at the soon-to-be-opened Bird Paradise.

A colony of 32 penguins (including newcomers) from four species – Gentoo, Humboldt, King and Northern Rockhopper Penguins – have migrated to the new bird park located in Mandai Wildlife Reserve that is soft launching on May 8.

They came all the way from the now-defunct Jurong Bird Park’s Penguin Coast.

Park operator Mandai Wildlife Group said they had their team of vets conduct physical checks on the treasured penguins to make sure they were fit to be transported over in the customized crates that were packed with ice and then loaded into a below-12-degrees Celsius truck.

Their new home, Ocean Network Express Penguin Cove, spans 3,000 square meters and is thrice the size of their previous exhibit.

It features two saltwater acrylic tanks with a water depth of seven meters that occupies two floors. Both are right next to restaurants where visitors have a clear view of them while dining in.

The penguins themselves also have sights to see as the habitat is equipped with Southern Lights aka Aurora Australis that is projected in the dome. It is done to mimic the day and night cycles of the Sub-Antarctic Falkland Islands that the birds are used to.

<em>The colony of penguins. Photo: Mandai Wildlife Group</em><br>
The colony of penguins. Photo: Mandai Wildlife Group
<em>A Humboldt Penguin taking in all the attention. Photo: Mandai Wildlife Group</em><br>
A Humboldt Penguin taking in all the attention. Photo: Mandai Wildlife Group

Some adventurous penguins have already dived and explored the deepest parts of the tank, said park operators.

But for those still hesitant on exploring, special feeding devices that spew out fish are used to encourage them to dive deeper.

With the upgraded habitat, Mandai Wildlife Group already has plans to expand its penguin colony by bringing in more birds from other member zoos. Eight Gentoo Penguins which arrived from a European zoo in February is its latest addition to the family.

Once they have settled in their new environment (hopefully by opening day), there will be feeding sessions and visitors can participate in the Penguin Keeper Talk where they can find out more about the flightless birds with the keepers.

The park will also launch an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour experience where you can get up close with the birds in the near future.

<em>The upper floor of the habitat. Photo: Mandai Wildlife Group</em><br>
The upper floor of the habitat. Photo: Mandai Wildlife Group

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