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Animal Month – In High Definition “Connecting YOU with Chicks, Pups, Calves, and More!” Ocean Park Welcomes Public for the First Time to Marine Mammal Breeding and Research Centre & Other World-class Animal Husbandry Facilities


(Hong Kong, 19 March 2013) Ocean Park’s world-class zoological facilities and capabilities in animal care and husbandry, especially in marine mammal breeding, research and medicine, have continuously garnered international recognition, making Hong Kong people proud of its achievements. To further enhance the public’s appreciation of the Park’s on-going marine mammal work, Ocean Park will open its Marine Mammal Breeding and Research Centre (MMBRC) to the public for the first time. This will give guests a glimpse of the intimate family life of the Park’s dolphin ambassadors. From 29 March to 5 May 2013, the Park will also present its annual Animal Month – In High Definition with the theme of “Connecting YOU with Chicks, Pups, Calves, and More!”, showcasing amazing animal breeding processes through different educational attractions. With a donation of HK$30 or more to the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK), guests can join one of the Animal Nursery Tours to learn about husbandry for various species.

Ms. Suzanne Gendron, Executive Director of Ocean Park’s Zoological Operations and Education division, said, “Established in 2009, MMBRC is our dolphin breeding, research and care facility, as well as the home of nine Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin ambassadors. Ocean Park is a member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, an industry authority in marine mammal conservation, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a non-profit accreditation body. Our world-leading marine mammal facilities and capabilities are backed by experienced staff, including several veteran animal care experts, each with 40 years of experience.”

Perched high at the Summit of Ocean Park, the MMBRC, with six pools and a total water volume of 4,500 cubic metres, is home to nine Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. The centre’s ten animal care experts are responsible for conducting regular body checks, measurements of body temperature and weight, oral checks, ultrasound scans, blowhole checks, collecting and monitoring blood and faecal samples. Ultrasound scanning and blood sampling, in particular, are key to evaluating of the oestrous cycle of female dolphins for breeding purposes.

For research, Ocean Park has been in collaboration with the Acoustic Research Laboratory of the National University of Singapore since 2004, conducting research on the cognitive and acoustic capabilities of the bottlenose dolphins housed at Ocean Park. Researchers have successfully taught a dolphin in Ocean Park, Ginsan, a skill known as cross-modal matching. This is a complex task that requires the animal to match one of a set of complex shapes that are of the same material and reflective surface, using visual and auditory perception. This research can help advance radar and sonar technology and improve scanning devices for different medical conditions. During Animal Month – In High Definition, educational videos and display panels will be set up within MMBRC to convey conservation messages. Dolphin care experts will also present information about dolphins and their lives in the wild.

By making a donation of HK$30 or above, guests can also participate in one of several exclusive Animal Nursery Tours at various animal care facilities, including those at the Grand Aquarium, the Rainforest, Polar Adventure and Amazing Asian Animals, for a chance to learn about the breeding and care of different species, such as corals, penguins and other birds, giant pandas and sea jellies. Animal keepers will share their experience of nursing newly born animals. All proceeds from the tours will benefit OPCFHK in support of wildlife conservation in the region. Interested guests need to sign up on the day of their visit. Spaces are limited and available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Located near Old Hong Kong is the Animal Breeding Showcase, which features different zones to immerse guests in the life journey of different animals. Upon arriving at Reptile and Insect World, guests can meet yellow-footed tortoises and red-eyed tree frogs and, through various interactive games, learn about their amazing bodily transformations during different developmental stages. At the Egg Zone, guests can find out which animals lay eggs and how they differ from one another. Proceeding to the Bird Zone with interactive RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) games, guests can try to match baby birds with their respective parents – they might even get a surprise encounter with green-winged macaws and Eurasian eagle owls. Moving to the Talk Show with Tux, guests can listen to Tux, the Park’s penguin mascot, explain the early development of penguins. A trip to Marine World will treat guests to an encounter with spotted wobbegongs, bangal cardinalfish and nautilus at different depths of the marine environment and a presentation of the unique life cycle of moon jellies. This fascinating journey concludes with a photo-taking opportunity with the marine mammal statue for a lasting memento.

Panda Caring Workshop is another fun way for children to learn about animal care: kids can become star nannies by learning how to measure a giant panda’s weight and size and test the safety of toys for giant pandas. A special QR Living Trail around the Park will connect guests with the animal world through the Ocean Park smart phone app. By scanning the exclusive QR code, guests can download multimedia contents ranging from anecdotes and exclusive animal themed wallpapers. Together with daily Animal Talks and Trainer’s Talk and Old Hong Kong’s Groovy Love Story dance show, Ocean Park offers guests an educational and fun experience in animal conservation during the Easter holidays.

In addition, During Animal Month – In High Definition, the second participant of Seal Encounter, Penguin Encounter, Grand Aquarium Exploration, Dolphin Encounter, Honorary Pandas Keeper and Nighttime in the Ocean’s Depths can enjoy a 50% off on the original programme price. SmartFun Annual Pass holders can enjoy a 25% discount on single applications.

From 22 March to 4 April 2013, Ocean Park will join hands with Harbour City for Harbour City x Ocean Park ▪ Child Loves Animals, staged on KidX, Ocean Terminal. It features an exhibition of animal breeding in photos, videos and animal sculptures, and at the same time presents OPCFHK’s horseshoe crab conservation programme through a live display of the species. Admission tickets for Ocean Park will also be available on site at a discounted price. Educators from Ocean Park will also share their knowledge of the conservation of penguins, giant pandas and horseshoe crabs, and teach kids to become “little keepers” to help spread conservation messages.

Ocean Park Animal Month in High Definition Factsheets

Factsheet on Main Attraction
uploads/File/Animal month 2013/Animal Month_Attractions Factsheet (E)-final.pdf

Factsheet of Animal Nursery Tour at Amazing Asian Animals
uploads/File/Animal month 2013/Animal Month_AAA Panda (E)_final.pdf

Factsheet of Animal Nursery Tour at Bird House
uploads/File/Animal month 2013/Animal Month_Bird (E).pdf

Factsheet of Animal Nursery Tour at  theGrand Aquariyum- Coral
uploads/File/Animal month 2013/Animal Month_GA Coral (E)_final.pdf

Factsheet of Animal Nursery Tour at the Grand Aquariyum- Goldfish
uploads/File/Animal month 2013/Animal Month_GA Goldfish (E)_final.pdf

Factsheet of Animal Nursery Tour at Marine Mammal Breeding and Research Centre
uploads/File/Animal month 2013/Animal Month_MMBRC Factsheet (CE)_final.pdf

Factsheet of Animal Nursery Tour at Polar Adventure
uploads/File/Animal month 2013/Animal Month_Polar Adventure Factsheet (E)_final.pdf

Factsheet of Animal Nursery Tour at The Rainforest
uploads/File/Animal month 2013/Animal Month_Rainforest Factsheet (E)_final.pdf

Factsheet of Animal Nursery Tour at Sea Jelly Spectacular
uploads/File/Animal month 2013/Animal Month_Seajelly Factsheet (E)_final.pdf

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