To encourage more people to help in the conservation of Mother Earth, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS)—creators of Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, Singapore Zoo and River Safari—unveiled its newest exhibit this month, Zoo-rassic Park.
Located at Singapore Zoo and River Safari, the attraction features life-like dinosaurs that roar and move; the dilophosaurus even spits.
Why is WRS bringing back dinosaurs?
May Lok, WRS’ director of education, explains: “Since the history of the Earth’s evolution, there have been five mass extinction, all caused by natural causes such as meteorites and climate change. The last one, the fifth mass extinction, was when most of the dinosaurs were wiped out, except for some bird-like dinosaurs, the smaller ones, which morphed into present-day birds.
“At the present,” Lok adds, “we are undergoing the sixth extinction and it is occurring at a very, very fast rate. It is all caused by human activity. We’re doing all the bad things.”
Lok notes that while extinction is a natural process, it is alarming how the populations of certain animals are dwindling at a faster and more unnatural rate than during the age of dinosaurs, when it took millions of years for a species to be wiped out.
“So we brought in the dinosaurs, using them as a platform, and we hope that through this interesting group of animals, we can talk about the sixth extinction,” Lok points out.
Zoo-rassic Park has Dinosaur Valley, where visitors are greeted by various dinos as you walk down a path with a jungle feel, without having to fear for your life. All the dinosaurs are handmade, and it took three months for the zoo’s creative team to build them, using fire retardant foam and women’s stockings. (Yep, you read that right.)
WRS also links its living collection with dinosaurs through the Same Same But Different trail, a feature on convergent evolution. “A lot of animals are unrelated, but because they are living in the same environment, they tend to have similar traits,” Lok explains.
She cites, as example, the giraffe, which has the same long neck and also feeds on treetops like the brachiosaurus.
Adjacent to Singapore Zoo is the River Safari, where guests are introduced to living fossils through the Extinction Escapees trail. Lok describes these animals as very, very ancient, they almost escaped extinction. Watch out for the Indian gharial and alligator snapping turtle when you check this trail out.
“They are very much like their ancestors, they have not changed very much. They are very adaptable animals that have lived through the ages,” says Lok of the animals featured in this trail.
To make the exhibit even more interesting—and, of course, fun—WRS created an app to keep you company on your walk through Dinosaur Valley. Download Blippar on your smartphone or tablet, scan the signage on a dino and see it come alive. Now this just might make you want to run for your life.
The augmented reality app will also unlock hidden secrets when you go through the Same Same But Different and Extinction Escapees trails.
WRS hopes to bring across the message of conservation through the Zoo-rassic Park and its different trails.
Catch the exhibit until March 2017. Visit zoo.com.sg.