The Singapore Zoo opened its gates

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The Singapore Zoo (offically & legally named: Singapore Zoological Gardens) opened to public with a collection of 270 animals from over 72 species, and a staff of 130. The opening was an instant hit, probably from the escape of the black panther, with the local population. Endless streams of people visited the Singapore Zoological Gardens over the next few months.

The conception of the Singapore Zoo dates from 1969. At the time, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) decided to use some of its land holdings around reservoirs for parks and open recreational facilities. The then Executive Chairman of PUB, Dr Ong Swee Law, set aside 88 hectares of land for the construction of a zoological garden. In 1970, consultants and staff were hired, and in 1971, the construction of the basic 50 enclosures started. Animals were collected from dealers and donated by sponsors. The Director of the Colombo Zoo in Sri Lanka, Lyn de Alwis, was hired as a special consultant to work out problems inherent in tropical zoos.

Trival: Why was the Singapore Zoo named Singapore Zoological Garden?

In the 60s, there was an individual who had a passion of keeping different kind of animals, both domestic and wild. And he had got to own a piece of rural land somewhere north of the island, he was the one who get to register his farmland as Singapore Zoo.

By then, there wasn’t any form of rules or regulation on keeping or farming of animals. The Singapore Government then main concern is to create jobs for the nation. So, until in the 70s, when the tourist board decided to build a zoo in Mandai area, only then they discovered that the Singapore Zoo has been registered business name (UEN:53079244C) to that individual. Much persuasion and discussion were conducted with this title owner. However, he was determined to keep that title.

So, having no choice, the name, Singapore Zoological Garden (UEN:197100104N) was chosen.

Until the 80s, when there comes the Singapore Land Authority and Ministry Of Environment (National Environment Agent) with all the strigent rules and regulations inplemented (global act on protected endanger animal specy), the owner of the “private zoo” finally gave up.

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