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Ocean Park Animal Discovery Fest and Conservation Day Invite Family Explorers to Uncover Amazing Hidden Animal Secrets

2018-03-22

Limited-time up-close animal encounters, experiential workshops and fun games bring conservation concepts to life

Ocean Park invites families to enjoy an exciting holiday filled with edu-tainment and activities which will test their knowledge of a wide array of land, air and sea animals at Ocean Park Animal Discovery Fest 2018 to be held from 24 March to 6 May 2018. Jam-packed with brain-stimulating quizzes and experiential activities, the event looks to help family explorers decode myths like how to tell apart shark eggs, why birds build nests and the different types of nest they build, how sloths eat, how to rescue sea turtles, and more. For observant visitors who notice the colourful wristbands around the flippers of the Park's penguins, not only can they crack the secret behind the colour coding, they can also customise a wristband to take home!

Even more exciting, families can get up-close with the capybara, the world's largest rodent and red-handed tamarins, a group of small monkeys from the Amazon Rainforest with contrasting reddish-orange hair on their feet and hands, for the first time in a limited-time "Get Closer to the Animals" programme. Besides helping prepare snacks for them, guests will be able to feed and observe them at a close distance, and get first-hand information from their keepers about their lifestyles, diets, day-to-day care, and other inside stories.

Leo Kung, Chairman of Ocean Park, said, "Animal Discovery Fest makes for the perfect family outing over the Easter holidays and on weekends. It uses Ocean Park's interactive natural environment and offers many creative ways to inspire children to learn, respect and appreciate mother nature. To invite more Hong Kong families to join in the fun,  we are happy to offer a 12% discount to guests on the same day they purchase regular-priced adult or child daytime tickets at the Park's Ticketing Office from now until 6 May 2018." This promotion is open to Hong Kong residents with valid Hong Kong identify proof. Terms and conditions apply. The full details of Animal Discovery Fest 2018 and special offers can be viewed at https://www.oceanpark.com.hk/en/park-experience/animal-discovery-fest-2018.

Chu Tsz-wing, Principal of Baptist Rainbow Primary School and son Sherlock Chu Shun Lok were among the first to experience the limited-time "Get Closer to the Animals" programme and meet the Park's capybara and red-handed tamarins. Principal Chu said, "My son and I got up-close with capybara and tamarins and fed them. It was fun and we could observe them and ask their keepers questions. This kind of experiential learning enables children to experience new things, broaden their horizons, and inspire innovative thinking. It also enhances their sense of engagement and makes learning more effective through self-analysis and communicating with other people."

A clearly impressed Sherlock Chu Shun Lok added, "The Tamarins were very cute and they kept jumping around. I'm so surprised to learn that their mother is the head of the family! What I noticed most about the capybara is that their eyes, ears, mouth and nose are all at the top of their head as they need to dive into water."

Meanwhile on 24 and 25 March, Ocean Park Conservation Day will be held to engage visitors to help protect the habitats of animals from the fatal threats of plastic waste and marine debris by making small changes in everyday life. "Guests who come to the Park on 24 March will be supporting the conservation and research efforts of Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK), as Ocean Park will donate the entirety of its admission revenue on that day to OPCFHK," continued Kung. Proceeds from the Ocean Park Conservation Day on 20 May 2017 amounted to a whopping HK$3.9 million. 

"Whiskers Express & the Miraculous Journey" featuring songs by Mark Lui

In addition to checking out limited-time animal programmes and workshops, families can go on an exciting adventure with the Park’s new characters – Whiskers & Friends. The Whiskers Theatre will transform into a train station for the "Whiskers Express & the Miraculous Journey", in which Whiskers & Friends will take everyone on a thrilling adventure. With a captivating storyline, dances, juggling acts, interactive games, special stage effects and music, including songs written by famous composer Mark Lui, children can learn about how everyone has a role to play in protecting the environment for both humans and animals. Mark Lui is also working with Ocean Park on a new edu-taining 3D animation series on Whiskers & Friends' exciting adventures.

For those who are eager for more opportunities to see Whiskers & Friends during Animal Discovery Fest, the new mascots can also be found in limited-time delicacies at the Park's restaurants. These include Hot Cake with Whiskers Butter and Fruits and Egg Puff with Ice Cream and Whiskers Jelly at Aqua City Bakery, as well as Whiskers & Friends Jumbo Goblet at Rainforest Snacks to enjoy on-the-go. To promote a green and healthy lifestyle, Whiskers & Friends merchandise is also available, including tableware, backpacks and shoulder bags. Those attending the "Whiskers Express & the Miraculous Journey" at Whiskers Theatre will receive a 25% discount coupon for the purchase of new Whiskers & Friends merchandise at the Park’s Waterfront Express Shop at Waterfront Ocean Express Station (excluding consignment and discounted items).

Another activity not to be missed during Animal Discovery Fest is the Sea Life Digi-paint Workshop at Whiskers Harbour, where children can turn their creative paper paintings into 3D images on a gigantic digital panel. They will then be challenged to remove plastics and other rubbish from their digital paintings of the sea to make them beautiful again.

Discover more at the Ocean Park Adventure Camp

For children who would like to build upon the Animal Discovery Fest experience and take their exploration of animals and nature to the next level, the Ocean Park Spring Adventure programmes combine science experiments, animal observation, personal and collaborative challenges, as well as take investigative tasks to all corners of Ocean Park for participants to learn cool things about science while developing their communication, interpersonal, logical thinking, problem-solving and cooperation skills. For Spring Adventure programme highlights and schedules, visit: https://www.oceanpark.com.hk/en/education/adventure-programme-2017-18.

Ocean Park Conservation Day calls for reduction in disposable plastics

To further raise public awareness about nature conservation, the 23rd Ocean Park Conservation Day – the annual signature event of Ocean Park and OPCFHK, will be held on the weekend of 24 and 25 March. This year's theme is "Save Oceans, Save Lives. Let's Say Goodbye to Disposable Plastics", which is centered on the vicious cycle of marine debris that are causing harm to the world's marine environments. Guests will get to know more about how debris ends up in the ocean and affects the marine environment and organisms living in it. To inspire guests to rethink and change some daily habits, there will be a series of themed games put on, and those who finish all of them will win a beautifully designed souvenir to help lower the amount of disposable plastics they use.

During the launch event, Judy Chen, Chair of OPCFHK mentioned that the very first No Straw Day on World Oceans Day had received support from 600 restaurants in Hong Kong. This year, OPCFHK is also expanding its No Straw Campaign to mobilise schools and restaurants to serve disposable plastic straws only upon request. Currently more than 40 schools and universities have pledged in to help create a more sustainable environment by going No Straw every day,  every Friday or on the eighth of every month.