Singapore’s Magnificent Jurong Bird Park
Singapore’s Jurong Bird Park can be found on the western slope of Jurong Hill, within the Boon Lay Planning Area of the country’s Jurong district. With a surface of no less than 50 acres, this stunning bird haven is currently the world’s largest park of its kind when it comes to the sheer number of specimens. With its numerous exhibits and unique shows, the Jurong Bird Park is one of Singapore’s most popular tourist destinations, since it provides endless opportunities for sightseeing and fun for children and adults alike.
The first one to come up with the idea of a bird exhibit in Singapore was Dr. Goh Ken Swee, who was Minister of Finance in 1968. Dr Goh visited the zoological garden of Rio de Janeiro during one of his trips, and he was deeply impressed with the zoo’s free-flight aviary. When he returned, he wanted to transform Jurong into a place where Singapore’s citizens could unwind and relax while being surrounded by nature and animals. The Jurong Bird Park was eventually built in 1971, and it has been enjoying great popularity ever since.
The park houses a large number of bird species from all over the world, including the rare and majestic flamingos. There are a total of 5,000 birds in the park spread across 380 species, out of which 29 are unfortunately endangered. In 2006, the Jurong Bird Park was the focus of a large renovation project that involved a new entrance plaza, a bird hospital, a gift shop and a Bongo Burgers restaurant. The park boasts several exhibits, each featuring its own bird species and unique attractions. The Pelican Cove houses 7 species of pelicans, including the Dalmatian Pelican, which is sadly endangered.
The World of Darkness exhibit is the first nocturnal bird house in Asia, and it impresses with an intricate reverse lighting system that is capable of transforming day into night and the other way around. This particular exhibit features 60 birds from 17 species, including Snowy Owls, Night Herons and Fish Owls. The Penguin coast has a total area of 1,600 square meters that house 5 species of penguins. The Lory Loft is the world’s largest walk-in flight aviary for lories and lorikeets – beautifully colored arboreal parrots that feed on the nectar of berries.
This exhibit is approximately 9 stories tall and covers an area of 32,000 square feet, while the overall ambience resembles a tropical rainforest from Northern Australia. The Southeast Asian Birds Aviary includes a generous collection of Southeast Asian birds, 200 species to be precise. The Dinosaurs Descendants exhibit houses flightless birds such as emus, rheas and ostriches. Finally, the African Waterfall Aviary is the largest walk-in aviary in the world, flaunting over 600 free-flying birds. This impressive exhibit also boasts the world’s tallest artificial waterfall in an aviary, which measures 98 feet in height.
Apart from the exhibits themselves, the Jurong Bird Park offers a series of special bird shows. The Lunch with the parrots, Kings of the Skies or High Flyers shows are some of the most impressive by far. Those who were fortunate enough to visit this incredible landmark described their experience as unique and breathtaking. You should definitely spend some time at this incredible establishment at least once in a lifetime.