This Christmas, Ocean Park spreads winter joy and holiday cheer to guests by presenting the Kaleidoscope Ice Spectacular, an extravaganza on ice performed by a world-class and international ice skating team. The Park’s animal caretakers also filled the homes of animal ambassadors with love and good cheer by preparing a variety of enrichment items as special gifts for Christmas. In addition, Ocean Park welcomes the birth of 16 new animal ambassadors, including an Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin calf and 15 gentoo penguin chicks.
At the Rainforest, pygmy marmosets, the world’s smallest monkeys, enthusiastically unwrapped their presents, a snowman and gingerbread man made with fresh fruit, vegetables and high-fibre biscuits by their caretakers. Asian small-clawed otters at the Amazing Asian Animals exhibit also received their Christmas gift, a Christmas tree assembled using bamboo, fruit and pine cones. Upon seeing the Christmas tree, they curiously sniffed and played with it using their snout and nimble paws. A laughing kookaburra, residing at the Adventures in Australia exhibit, settled on a specially-made Christmas wreath to get into the holiday spirit, as it spends its first Christmas at Ocean Park. At the North Pole Encounter, animal keepers decorated the home of two Pacific walruses, Rock and Miru, with coloured ice, while California sea lions at Pacific Pier joined a fun-filled Christmas party with their animal keepers.
In September this year, the 15-year-old Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin Rita gave birth to a male calf named Rati. The delivery was smooth, and both the mother and calf are doing well. Although being a first-time mother, Rita is able to nurse the new-born calf with love and care. Being gentle and calm, Rati gets along well with other dolphins and likes to interact with his animal caretakers. He is now being nursed by his mother at the Marine Mammal Breeding and Research Centre, and is expected to begin weaning at the age of three. Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins breed every four years, and spend at least three years nursing their offsprings.
Also joining the Ocean Park family are 15 gentoo penguin chicks who hatched from their eggs in November and December this year. They are now taken care of by their parents and can be seen by guests strolling through the South Pole Spectacular exhibit during Christmas. Gentoo penguins usually fledge when they are about 60 days old, and are later forced to leave the nests by their parents so they can begin to live independently. Guests may be able to catch a glimpse of these fledged juveniles swimming with their new waterproof feathers at the exhibit starting February 2016.
Not only can guests celebrate Christmas with our animal ambassadors, they can also enjoy a series of exciting festive shows and activities on offer at the Park. This year, Ocean Park collaborates with a world-class and international ice skating team to present the Kaleidoscope Ice Spectacular at Appluase Pavilion from 12 December 2015 to 21 February 2016 (from 4 January to 5 February 2016, presentations are available on Saturdays and Sundays only). Produced by Willy Bietak, a two-time Olympic competitor and nine-time Austrian Figure Skating Pair Champion, and choreographed by Sarah Kawahara, an Emmy award-winning figure skater and the choreographer of the 2002 Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, the show is presented by a team of international ice skaters performing elegant ice skating and stunning aerial acts to offer a feast for the eyes during the holiday season. Guests can also take photos in front of the Hong Kong’s tallest outdoor Christmas tree at 70 feet high at the Waterfront Plaza, and join the Twinkling Christmas Tree Ceremony at 5:45pm every evening. Kid’s Kaleidoscope Workshop at Whiskers Harbour is the best place for kids to unleash their creativity by making their own kaleidoscope, which they can take home as a memento of fun times at Ocean Park.