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Ocean Park Unveils Exclusive Exhibits & Attractions for Animal Month – In High Definition

2010-03-31

Chairman shares conservation messages as Chinese emperor and trains dragon as Viking warrior

(31 March 2010, Hong Kong) Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park, showed his true colours as chameleon-in-chief today when he switched from being a Chinese emperor to a Viking Warrior midway through a kick-off event that unveiled some of the exotic lizards and exclusive attractions to be featured in this year’s Animal Month – In High Definition, which will run from 2 April to 2 May. Dr. Zeman said, “Ocean Park will be crawling with fun as we explore the theme of dragons by hosting Hong Kong’s largest exhibition of lizards—a kind of modern-day dragon, together with over ten daily sessions of educational programmes promoting the importance of reptile conservation. So, don’t drag your feet or your tail; and book your tickets now!”

A lucky group of kids were first treated to an eye-opening presentation by animal experts at the Mighty Dragon Academy in Tai Shue Wan Plaza, where they heard spell-binding stories about the connection between lizards and dragons, and learned a variety of weird and wonderful facts about these craggy creatures. During the event period, Mighty Dragons Academy will also feature a display of eggs from different oviparous animals, as well as interactive games, colouring and reptile-themed origami.

With freshly learned knowledge crawling in their head, the kids were then taken to the Hall of Mighty Dragons for a first-person high-definition encounter with the lizards showcased in this year’s Animal Month – In High Definition. Among the lizards on hand were: the funny frilled lizard, nicknamed “Bluffing Dragon”, which unfurls a spectacular crown when threatened; “Blue Spike”, a common iguana made special by its extremely rare colour and the world’s one and only black specimen of the tegu lizard.

Just when everyone was getting acquainted with the stony-faced animal ambassadors, a couple of reptile thieves suddenly showed up at the preview, hoping to make off with the precious species. Thankfully, Dr. Zeman, dressed in a traditional Dragon Robe for Chinese emperors, stopped them cold and drove them away. He also took the opportunity to underscore the importance of conservation and how humans directly and indirectly threaten the survival of reptiles, as well as how people can help with their conservation.

The media were then given the opportunity to be the first to experience the block-buster attraction - How to Train Your Dragon Live - at the Ha Ha Factory, Waterfront. Two Vikings led them through the 6-stage journey of interactive games and amazing zones themed after scenes from DreamWorks’ latest 3D animated feature. Dr. Zeman rejoined the visiting media at one stage of the attraction—this time dressed as a Viking warrior, while riding Gronckle the dragon. He also invited everyone to extend their movie-going experience at this exciting attraction as the Park is offering 10% discount for movie ticket holders. This journey promises to take guests’ enjoyment to a new level through the first-ever Hong Kong deployment of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology in a Park walk-through attraction. At the start of the journey, each guest would pick up a Viking shield with a specially programmed RFID chip, which enables each guest to register his/her progress along the journey.

Other fun-filled educational activities during the month-long event include: learning from experts at Dragon-pedia; water and inflatable games at Water Dragon Battle; encountering Chinese alligators in Gator Talk at Amazing Asian Animals – Gator Marsh, and much more. All told, there will be over one hundred attractions and performances each day during the event.

As Ocean Park's conservation arm, Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK) has been supporting research studies to help conserve endangered wildlife and habitats across Asia. Reptiles are one of the important wildlife in freshwater and terrestrial habitats for enriching biodiversity and ecological balance. However, due to a loss of habitat and food source because of human activities, a number of reptiles, including Chinese alligator, Komodo dragon, Philippine crocodile and Indian gharial are facing the dire challenge of extinction. OPCFHK has been partnering with local scientists to study their needs in the wild in order to formulate effective conservation plans to conserve these endangered species. “The people of Hong Kong should be proud of OPCFHK's efforts in helping preserve wildlife in Asia, so I urge everyone to support its work,” added Dr. Zeman.

In this connection, guests are encouraged to take photos with the reptile ambassadors at the education programme - Meet the Mighty Dragons – for a minimum donation of $10 to the OPCFHK. The Park is also committed to promoting the importance of reptile conservation to students in Hong Kong through a drawing/photo competition, which is currently underway (22 March to 7 May) to encourage primary school students to creatively combine drawing with photography to portray a reptile species living in an appropriate habitat. For every competition entry received, one dollar will be donated to OPCFHK.

Dr. Zeman said, “Once again, Ocean Park is wowing its guests with immersive experiences that are entertaining and educational. This makes Animal Month – in High Definition a must for parents planning Easter holiday activities for their kids. And as usual, we have put together a series of unique gift items and culinary delights—all dragon-themed for the occasion!”

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