Night safari park to be world first
By AMY CHEW
SINGAPORE plans to launch a S$60 million (about HK$281.7 million) night safari park early next year - the world's first.
Developed and operated by Singapore Zoo, the 40-hectare park will be next to the zoo in hilly secondary jungle.
The jungle will be left largely unspoilt and the animals will be allowed to roam as freely as possible across wide expanses without endangering the public.
The plan is that safety barriers, where needed to protect visitors from dangerous animals, should be subtly designed and concealed so as not to detract from the open park concept.
According to Dr Ong Swee Law, Singapore Zoological Gardens executive chairman, the night safari will help fill a need for evening entertainment for the family.
''The night safari will also develop into an important conservation centre for the breeding of rare and endangered species, especially of this region,'' he said.
''Besides providing an exciting and enthralling experience, it will also offer much of educational value.
''With the help of experienced guides stationed around the park, school children and adults will have the opportunity to observe and study the behaviour of a wide range of nocturnal animals in their natural environment.'' Dr Saw said the republic had undertaken the development as it had the ideal site, consistency of sunset time throughout the year, and the expertise.
There will be 47 different habitats, into which animals of different species will be integrated as naturally as possible to give the settings authenticity and variety.
A wildlife expert, Mr Lyn de Alwis, will co-ordinate the collection of species from around the world.
There will be particular emphasis on the protection and nurturing of endangered species.
Lighting will be designed to allow visitors to see clearly without interfering with the animals' routines.
Initially it is expected to attract about 600,000 visitors a year, 40 per cent of them Singaporeans.