Jurong Bird Park officially closes for good on its 52nd anniversary

The new bird park, Bird Paradise, will open in the second quarter of 2023 at Mandai Wildlife Reserve.

Hannah Martens | January 04, 2023, 11:38 AM

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After 52 years, Jurong Bird Park is officially closed for good. The iconic bird park marked its final farewell on Jan. 3, precisely on its 52nd opening anniversary.

Over 30,000 guests visited the park over its last five days from Dec. 30, revelling in Jurong Bird Park's history and tribute to Asia's largest bird park.

On the last day, 2,600 came to bid the park goodbye.

"Jurong Bird Park has ingrained itself a place in Singapore's history and in the hearts of many. It is the end of a wonderful era that has been full of dear memories for staff and visitors alike," said Daisy Ling, vice president of Jurong Bird Park.

Rich History

Jurong Bird Park opened its gate in 1971 and has steadily grown into Asia's largest bird park.

The 20.2-hectare hillside houses 3,500 birds from 400 species. It is known for its immersive walk-in aviaries, such as Lory Loft, African Treetops and Waterfall Aviary.

The idea of Jurong Bird Park came from then Minister for Finance Goh Keng Swee. He got the inspiration for a bird park when he visited the Rio Aviary in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in Sept. 1967.

Goh visited the Bangkok Aviary in 1968 and was convinced that such a venture was possible in Singapore. He saw the value of having a bird park as a recreational attraction where Singaporeans can enjoy and connect with nature from time to time.

Goh proposed the creation of a bird park for Singapore in June 1968 at the first-ever meeting of the Jurong Town Corporation.

The park received contributions of birds from all over the world. 12 countries, seven zoos and 40 private donors had contributed birds to Jurong Bird Park's collection by its opening day in 1971.

Within the first 15 days of operations, Jurong Bird Park attracted 37,493 visitors.

Over the years, Jurong Bird Park also helped with avian care research and conservation and has successfully bred several species, such as the Great Hornbill.

It also has a designated rehabilitation centre for rescued wild birds in Singapore.

Moving to Mandai Wildlife Reserve

Even though the gates are closed to the public, Jurong Bird Park will continue to care for the avians amidst the preparations for the move to Bird Paradise.

The animals from Jurong Bird Park will move to the new park at Mandai Wildlife Reserve.

It is set to open in the second quarter of 2023.

"It is with excitement that we look to the future and the next chapter at Mandai Wildlife Reserve with the new Bird Paradise', Ling said.

Top photo from Mandai Wildlife Group