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Ocean Park Brings Loving and Adorable Start to Year of Rabbit with Hong Kong’s First-ever Penguin Birth Hong Kong’s People’s Park Soon to Welcome 100 millionth Guest Since Inception

2011-02-14

(Hong Kong – 14 February 2011) Further adding to the festive spirit during the first month of the Year of the Rabbit, Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park, today announced the exciting news that Hong Kong has recently witnessed its first-ever penguin birth at Ocean Park. Thanks to the overwhelming success of Ocean Park’s new flagship theme zone Aqua City and record-breaking attendance over the Chinese New Year holiday period, which achieved an increase of approximately 30% year-on-year, Ocean Park has significantly quickened its pace towards reaching the milestone of having welcomed 100 million guests since opening in 1977. The much-anticipated historic moment is expected to arrive within the next two weeks.

Dr. Zeman said, “The launch of Aqua City has given Hong Kong a new landmark and international travel destination, which combines conservation advocacy and top-notch themed park experiences. Ocean Park is deeply grateful to the Hong Kong public and all the visitors from overseas for their overwhelming support during the Chinese New Year period. Over the Park’s 34-year history, we have brought to Hong Kong numerous remarkable animal ambassadors to convey important conservation messages and developed the Park into one of the most respected conservation institutions with the highest standards in animal care and husbandry practices. The newly-fledged penguin, which will be featured in our planned Polar Adventure theme zone to help the public learn about global warming, actions at home affecting the polar region, the plight of Antarctic species and their habitats, is truly a timely and most wonderful New Year gift for Ocean Park and Hong Kong.”

Howard Chuk, Senior Curator for Terrestrial Life Sciences, said, “The Gentoo penguin mother laid the egg in late November 2010 and the egg was guarded zealously by its parents until it was hatched on 31 December 2010, weighing in at about 68 grams. This newest animal ambassador is under the care of its parents. As a new father myself, I cannot help but develop paternal feelings towards the penguin chick, excited by its every move and eagerly anticipating its next phase of development.”

During the Chinese New Year (3-13 February), Ocean Park welcomed around 380,000 guests – an increase of approximately 30% compared to the previous year. While 74% of guests during the CNY period are visitors from outside Hong Kong, local guests accounted for a significant portion of the increased attendance as the Park saw an increase of over 70% in local guests for the year over year comparative period. To ensure the best possible experience for guests and minimize queuing time during the busy festive holidays, Ocean Park has been maintaining in-park capacity to about 10% below the maximum instantaneous in-park capacity of 36,300. The overwhelming public response to the opening of Aqua City has helped Ocean Park advance more briskly towards the attendance figure of over 100 million guests since inception. It is expected that the milestone will be reached within the next two weeks. The 100 millionth guest, together with his/her family members, will all receive lifetime Ocean Park passes, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Grand Aquarium and enjoy a sumptuous dinner at Neptune’s Restaurant.
 
Dr. Zeman added, “Ocean Park has been blessed with the support of the Government and the people of Hong Kong. We, in turn, have worked hard to present our guests with a world-class attraction. The upcoming attendance milestone will truly be an historic moment that testifies to the enduring values we offer our guests each and every day we open. We eagerly await the opening of more new attractions under our Master Redevelopment Plan this year and next year, which will enable more guests to connect with nature. Also, anyone looking to help us make history by visiting the Park over the next two weeks is encouraged to book tickets ahead of time.”