After 51 years, the largest bird park in Asia is closing. Jurong Bird Park in Singapore will welcome its final guests in January 2023, exactly 52 years after opening its doors.
“Jurong Bird Park has been a place that holds special memories for multiple generations of Singaporeans who have grown up with the park. Many of us associate JBP as a venue for school excursions, family outings and even first dates. While the park has evolved over the decades, one thing has remained constant — JBP has always been a place where Singaporeans can enjoy and connect with nature. From its humble beginning as a place of recreation for the local community, JBP soon became celebrated as a well-loved international attraction. The park has also played an important, purposeful role in conserving threatened bird species, including the critically endangered Negros Bleeding-heart Dove and the Straw-headed Bulbul,” said Mike Barclay, Group CEO of Mandai Wildlife Group.
The birds who call Jurong Bird Park home and its staff will begin preparations to move to a brand-new home in Bird Paradise at Mandai Wildlife Reserve.
Jurong Bird Park
Opened in 1971, Jurong Bird Park has connected millions of people to the colorful and fascinating world of avian life. It’s considered one of the pioneer wildlife experiences in Singapore.
The Wings of Asia exhibit has over 500 birds from 135 species. The Penguin Coast exhibit is an up-close experience with one-third of the world’s penguin species. A crowd favorite is the “Waterfall Aviary,” which is an immersive walk-in aviary with one of the world’s tallest man-made indoor waterfalls, standing at 30-meters tall.
Jurong Bird Park welcomed its millionth visitor in August 1972 and over the years the park has seen 41 million guests walk through its gates.
A Flight To Remember
To celebrate its accomplishments and pay homage to the park’s legacy, Jurong Bird Park welcomes guests to relive the wonderful memories at the park. “A Flight To Remember” began in January 2022 with several activities to celebrate the park’s heritage. It includes a self-guided “Heritage Trail” of the park with stops displaying key milestones in the park’s 51-year history so guests can learn about the park’s transformation since its opening day.
“I have seen Jurong Bird Park through many transformations in my 40-year-history here, from new amphitheaters to aviaries, but this will be the most significant yet. There are still many of us who joined the organization in its early days and have been here over the decades,” shared Daisy Ling, Vice President, who started working in Jurong Bird Park in 1982 as an Education Officer. “Jurong Bird Park is like our second home, and it will be a bittersweet time for us. While we commemorate our fondest memories here in Jurong, we also look forward to new beginnings with the Bird Paradise in Mandai Wildlife Reserve and to be a part of another transformative phase of Singapore’s bird park. We hope the local community can join us in the coming months to make this a worthy closing chapter for the park before we turn the page.”
Holding On To History
There are several opportunities for guests to commemorate Jurong Bird Park. They can bring home a piece of the park with limited-edition merchandise such as terrariums and medallions. There will also be a limited-edition gift with every $40 spent.
When entering the park, guests will see a re-creation of the park’s old cuckoo clock tower, which is now a countdown timer to the park’s final day of operations. Guests are invited to contribute their favorite memories of Jurong Bird Park to a “living” Memory Wall at the Penguin Coast and watch them pop up on a screen in real-time.
Nostalgia In November
There are a few special events taking place in November. In the Nostalgic Signature Tour, guides will take you through the park and back in time through the park’s history. They’ll share little-known anecdotes and facts about the birds, architecture, and lead you through exclusive feeding sessions and avian encounters in African Treetops and Waterfall Aviary. Bookings open on October 19, 2022.
There will also be a dining experience with traditional push carts selling local hawker fare and carnival activities.
The Final Day
Jurong Bird Park’s last day of operations will be on January 3, 2023. Updates on the new bird park will be shared soon. The park is open from Thursdays to Sundays, eve of public holidays, public holidays, and selected holidays from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.