Jurong Bird Park, one of Singapore’s oldest and most iconic attractions, has announced that it will cease operations and shut its doors after more than 50 years.
However, there is some good news.
The world-famous park – home to some 3,500 birds including parrots, flamingos, penguins and eagles – will join the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, as well as a new luxury Banyan Tree resort, to form an eco-tourism hub in northern Singapore.
Jurong Bird Park’s last day of operations at its current location will be January 3, 2023, 52 years to the day since opening in 1971. The upcoming Mandai eco hub is slated to open in 2023.
“There are many of us who joined the organization in its early days and have been here over the decades,” the park’s vice president Daisy Ling said in a statement on Tuesday, August 30, announcing the closure.
Built at an initial cost of $2.5 million, the 20.2-hectare park draws about 850,000 visitors annually who flock to see its famed waterfall aviary, bird shows and exhibits. According to Singapore Tourism, it’s the largest bird park in Asia.
Since its 1971 opening, when there were just 1,000 birds from 60 species, the bird park’s capacity has expanded greatly and is now believed to house birds from more than 400 species.
Park officers have also been involved in several high profile rescues and rehabilitation efforts over the years.
In 2018, one of its hornbills battling an aggressive form of cancer received a 3D-printed prosthesis, which park veterinarians fitted on top of its bill.
The park’s flamingo flock also received public attention when a chick named Squish was spotted walking around the breeding and research center in a pair of shiny blue shoes to develop its leg strength and protect its foot pads from the hard ground.
A rare wild cinereous vulture was the subject of national attention when it veered off its migratory path and landed in Singapore last December.
Despite no visible injuries, the hefty bird found itself unable to fly. After receiving treatment at the park’s on-site hospital, the vulture eventually took flight thanks to the encouragement it received from bird park staff.
The park will continue regular operations up until its planned closure in January. In the meantime, staff will arrange a series of activities, tours and heritage trails focused on Jurong Bird Park’s history.
Top image: Macaws in the Jurong Bird Park in Singapore. Credit: Jon G. Fuller/VWPics/Universal Images Group/Getty Images