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Double Celebration At Ocean Park as Local Icon Unveils Animal Close Encounters and New Main Entrance

2007-03-31

 (31 March 2007, Hong Kong) The Ocean Park Animal Conservation Month springs to “wildlife” today with the start of its ‘Animal Close Encounters’, which marks its fourth year this year! Making a grand entrance at the same time is the opening of the Park’s new Main Entrance.

At a ribbon-cutting to mark the opening of the new Main Entrance, Ocean Park chairman, Dr Allan Zeman, said, “The completion of this project is an exciting moment for us, as this new Main Entrance, with its modern and dynamic appointment, symbolically ushers in all the great attractions that will come along as we proceed with our Master Redevelopment Project. It will be the gateway to many unique Ocean Park experiences over the next two to three years.”

“Ocean Park, with all our animal ambassadors, such as the dolphins, sea lions, and the bird and fish families, is a place always full of pleasant surprises and fun activities for all in the family. We are grateful for our guests’ support for our events and programmes, such as Animal Close Encounters, which salutes animal conservation and education initiatives. With this, I am very happy to report that we’ve had a record-making first quarter in 2007, with over one million guests having visited us! In fact, in the calendar year of 2006, Ocean Park achieved well over five million guests, which is an all time record and first for the Park,” Dr Zeman said.

Starting today, and all through Easter and Golden Week up till 6 May, guests to Ocean Park will be greeted with over 50 regular and special attractions, including the chance to meet over 100 new animals especially brought in for the ‘Animal Close Encounters’ event. Making a Hong Kong debut are the Arctic Foxes and Arctic Wolves, on loan from the Dalian Marine and Mammal Park, plus the largest amphibian exhibit ever staged locally, featuring over 70 rare species from around the world! What’s more, an all-new selection of VIP ‘Animal Close Encounters’ packages have been launched, allowing guests to “cozy up” to our animals in spectacular style.

These include Aqua Camp, an exclusive program offering parents and children the chance to camp overnight beside a deep sea environment at the Atoll Reef, followed by a full day of Green Art activities at Ocean Park’s SkyFair!

Guests can also sign up for Breakfast at Ocean Theatre to enjoy a refreshing bite accompanied by lively dolphins, or join the Honorary Sea Lion Keeper Program to gain hands-on experience in taking care of the precious sea lions. There is also a Sea Jelly Exploration with a Meal at Bayview Restaurant, featuring an exclusive behind-the-scene tour of the Sea Jelly Spectacular exhibit followed by a sumptuous meal at the Bayview Restaurant, which overlooks the majestic South China Sea. All these special package deals are available on designated dates and part of the revenue from these programs will go to the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong to support its wildlife conservation projects.

“Ocean Park ‘Animal Close Encounters’ is always a big hit, and we believe bringing people closer to nature through meeting animals in real life is an important and effective way of promoting conservation and protecting the environment,” said Dr. Zeman. “We drew over 400,000 guests last year, raising HK$1 million for conservation causes through proceeds from the programs and raffle ticket sales. Everyone can effect positive changes for the environment, and remember – YOU can make a difference.”

“In fact, raffle tickets are on sale as of today, and our target is to raise HK$1.3 million with this campaign. The funds will help upgrade the Wolong Panda Conservation Hospital, and sponsor conservation and research projects on endangered animals in Asia. The raffle ticket costs just HK$10 and you have a chance to win great prizes including a trip to Tokyo for two traveling on Business class. Now that’s what I call a good deal for a great cause!” Dr Zeman said.

Ocean Park Animal Close Encounters is open from 31 March to 6 May 2007. Attractions include Glacial Animal Encounter, Amphibian Kingdom, Fluffy Animal Village, Green Earth Academy @ Kids’ World and Explore the Nature interactive SMS quiz, with fabulous prizes to be won. Admissions are HK$185 for adults and HK$93 for children (3-11 years of age). For further details please visit www.oceanpark.com.hk, or call our hotline on 3128 8122.

Raffle tickets for the Ocean Park Conservation Fund, Hong Kong will be sold from 31 March to 24 May, and the Lucky Draw will be held on 25 May. Each ticket costs HK$10, and includes a “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” coupon on Ocean Park Skill Games, and a 10%-off coupon on Ocean Park Souvenirs. Prizes include the Grand Prize of two Business Class return tickets from Hong Kong to Tokyo; a Chinese set dinner for 12 at Yin Yue Restaurant; a HK$2,000 Wing On Department Store Cash Coupon; Ocean Park SmartFun Annual Passes, and a selection of premium Nikko products. For details please visit our website, www.opcf.org.hk/eng/fundraising_raffle_ticket_2007.asp.

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About Ocean Park
Ocean Park is Hong Kong’s unique home-grown theme park with a heritage of delivering family fun and fond memories. Since its opening in January 1977 as a non-profit organization, Ocean Park has developed itself to be a world-class attraction connecting people with nature, and recognized for its animal husbandry, research and relationship with the community. Over 80 million people have visited Hong Kong's premier park since its inception and Ocean Park has remained committed to offer adults and children experiences that blend entertainment with education and conservation.