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Ocean Park Animal Discovery Fest 2019 Officially Kicks Off

2019-04-16

Veterinary Centre open to public for first time to celebrate 10th anniversary and help visitors learn more about the Park’s animal clinic facilities

Ocean Park today held the kick-off ceremony for Animal Discovery Fest 2019, which will run from 19 April to 1 May presenting a series of free Interactive Animal Workshops and Backstage Explorer Tours. As the Ocean Park Veterinary Centre celebrates its 10th anniversary, it will be open to the public for the first time to offer special guided tours, in which the veterinary staff will share details about their daily routine, the centre’s facilities and successful but never been disclosed surgical cases.  At the same time, Water Fun Fest 2019, which is initiated by The University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Social Sciences and funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, also kicked-off today to promote the importance of water conservation and sustainability.
 
Open to the public for first time – Veterinary Centre Guided Tours
Ever since the Ocean Park Veterinary Centre was put into service in December 2008, the veterinary team has been committed to taking care of the health of all Park animals, as well as providing rehabilitation and medical support for rescued animals. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Ocean Park will open the Veterinary Centre to the public during Animal Discovery Fest for the first time ever, with guided tours* for guests to learn more about the daily routine of the veterinary team, their outstanding achievements of treating animals from inside and outside of the Park, and their contribution to in-situ and ex-situ conservation.
 
Over the past ten years, the veterinary team has handled over 42,000 medical cases, which include performing cataract surgeries for the Park’s aged birds, as well as developing micro-surgical skills to correct an eye defect for a Napoleon Wrasse named “Hyun Bin”, who was suffering from social isolation because of its vision impairment. The fish has since regained a normal social life after the surgery. The veterinary team has also been working with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department to sterilise local wild boars and macaques so that their population and birth rate can be controlled, while collaborating with more than 17 countries around the world on over 40 projects.
 
Lau Ming-wai, Deputy Chairman of Ocean Park, said, “The aim of holding Animal Discovery Fest is to allow guests to learn about the characteristics and habits of different kinds of animals through a series of limited-time activities and up-close encounters with Ocean Park’s animal ambassadors. This year, we will be opening our Veterinary Centre to help guests understand more about the veterinary team’s work and their stories of treating animals. We hope that family guests can enjoy an edutainment-filled Easter holiday at Ocean Park while raising their awareness of animal conservation.”
 
Promoting Water Conservation – JC-WISE Water Fun Fest 2019
Ocean Park and The University of Hong Kong (HKU) recently signed a memorandum of understanding to deepen their collaboration in innovative education and research initiatives. Water Fun Fest, the highlight of public education campaign of the “Jockey Club Water Initiative on Sustainability and Engagement” initiated by HKU’s Faculty of Social Sciences and funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, will be held at Ocean Park Waterfront Plaza. Through game booths with interactive technology to draw and explore 3D rivers, a fisherman experience game, AR intelligent sandbox, and informative exhibition displays, guests will be able to learn more about the Water Footprint concept and the multiple values of local rivers, and to raise their awareness of water conservation and sustainability. 
 
Faster and More Convenient Online Enrolment for ADF Activities
While Animal Discovery Fest is being held from 19 April to 1 May, guests can enrol for free Interactive Animal Workshops and Backstage Explorer Tours online or register on-site on the day they visit the Park. This means the chance to get up-close with kinkajou, steppe eagle and other Park animals, as well as exploring the backstage of animal exhibits such as those of penguins, giant pandas and dolphins to uncover interesting facts about them. The Park is also launching an all-new limited-time “Meet the Walrus” experience programme (Paid programme) for guests to go deep into the living base of the walrus for the first time. Besides preparing nutritious meals for the walrus, guests can even touch their skin and learn about the structure of their massive body, peculiar habits and funny stories from their animal caretakers. All the above initiatives aim to raise conservation awareness through understanding how the Park’s myriad of resident land, air and sea animal ambassadors relates to our ecosystem and the work performed by the Park’s animal team.
 
Special Campaign: Animal Buddy Challenge
During Animal Discovery Fest, Ocean Park will be holding a special campaign called “Animal Buddy Challenge” to encourage people to take photos of their beloved animals. They can post a cute photo of themselves and their animal buddy on their social media platform, listing out the animal’s species, how long they have known each other, and nominate five friends to take this challenge. By encouraging more friends to join this heart-warming and meaningful challenge, this will help promote the close relationship between humans and animals while inspiring more people to care for the animals around them.
 
Encouraging a Green and Sustainable Lifestyle with Vegetarian Dishes
Ocean Park is collaborating for the first time ever with Green Monday, a social enterprise promoting green living, to offer limited-time vegetarian dishes at designated Park outlets, featuring “omnipork” and “plant-based meat” products, vegetables and other nutritious Chinese and Western cuisine for guests to feast on. Guests will also be able to try the vegan patty “Beyond Meat”, which is well-known in Europe and the US for its unbelievable beef-like texture and taste, but produced without the methane that cows release, in an effort to reduce ecological damage and help promote environmental protection. Eco-friendly merchandise will also be available at selected souvenir shops at the Park for a limited time, such as Grab’n’Go reusable food bags, eco coffee mugs, collapsible food containers and family t-shirts with eco-friendly designs.