Couples can have their marriages solemnised in front of the 30m-tall, man-made waterfall, the world’s highest inside an aviary. The Bird Park has tried to attract more locals with regular talks in schools, and credit card promotions. — ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Fancy getting married with a bird’s eye view over a kaleidoscope of exotic birds from around the world?
Couples can do so at the Jurong Bird Park, which relaunched its Waterfall Aviary yesterday with a new elevated terrace that caters to public viewing as well as private events such as weddings.
The $250,000 terrace – converted from a monorail platform – can host 100 people at a standing reception or buffet. The ground-floor area can fit another 50 guests.
In the past, while couples could say their vows there, they had to go elsewhere for the reception and dinner. Other “flighty” wedding touches the park provides for nature-loving couples include having a cockatoo fly the wedding bands to them.
Solemnisations may also be done in front of its man-made waterfall, which at 30m, is the world’s highest such waterfall inside an aviary.
Home to at-risk sun parakeets from South America and western crowned pigeons from Papua, the aviary has more than 600 birds spanning about 50 species.
The refurbishment of the aviary, which took six months, is part of a move to re-introduce the 43-year-old Jurong Bird Park to local residents.
They know it exists, but may not visit regularly, said Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) chief executive Lee Meng Tat.
“Everybody is familiar with (the park). What we want to do is rejuvenate the place and get residents to come back,” he said.
Tourists make up the vast majority of the more than 900,000 visitors to the attraction every year.
The Bird Park has tried to attract more local residents with regular talks in schools as well as credit card promotions.
Mr Lee said it is looking into creating more open space for visitors to see the birds in “as natural a setting as possible”.
WRS is also working with the People’s Association to organise package tours of the park for heartland residents, he said. These will be launched on Feb 1.
Similar tours to other WRS attractions such as the zoo are also being planned.
Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee, who relaunched the aviary, said he hopes that more Singaporeans, young and old, will visit the attraction to be inspired by the bird life up close.
“(At) most parks around the world, you are separated by a fence… but here, you can reach out and almost touch the wildlife.”
This article was first run in The Straits Times newspaper on January 24, 2014. For similar stories, go tosph.straitstimes.com/premium/singapore. You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.