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  Channel NewsAsia 6 Sep 07
Singapore Zoo to invest close to S$9m in new children's attraction

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Zoo is pumping in S$8.8 million (US$5.8 million) to build an attraction called Rainforest Challenge. The new attraction will fuse ecological and conservation themes, becoming a living classroom for children.

"The urban kids can learn about the animals and our relationship with the animals. We want our next generation of kids to understand the importance of preserving the rainforest, so they learn as they play," said Fanny Lai, executive director of the Singapore Zoo.

The three-hectare Rainforest Challenge will replace the current Animal Land and Play Land, which used to be a kid's haunt when it was built 16 years ago. Construction of the new attraction, which will come with new animal rides, an animal petting centre and a rainforest-themed water playground, will start on Monday.

A new boat ride at nearby Seletar Reservoir will also end right at the Rainforest Challenge. This is the first time the zoo incorporates water features into its attraction on a large-scale.

"We think that waterway is a critical part of any rainforest. Besides serving as a feeder service to bring the people to the Rainforest Challenge, it also teaches the visitors about the conservation of native animals and the free-ranging animals around our reservoir. And most importantly, (we can) also use it as a medium to teach our visitors how to manage water pollution," said Ms Lai.

The Rainforest Challenge is expected to be ready by the middle of next year. It is expected to bring in an additional 100,000 visitors to the zoo. - CNA/ac

Related articles on Singapore: general environmental issues and water issues
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