A baby orang utan from the Singapore Zoo and a hornbill from the Jurong Bird Park

The Singapore Zoo, also known as the Mandai Zoo or Singapore Zoological Gardens, is a zoo situated along Mandai Lake Road in the Upper Seletar Reservoir catchment area. Dr. Ong Swee Law, then Chairman of the Public Utilities Board, pushed for the establishment of the zoo as a tourist attraction and to connect children growing up in a rapidly urbanising Singapore of the 1960s with animals. The zoo was officially opened in June 1973 and initially housed over 300 species of animals. One unique feature of the zoo’s design is its ‘open-zoo’ concept, pioneered by former zoo director Bernard Harrison to ensure that animals are kept in spacious enclosures and separated from visitors by unobtrusive barriers. Notable attractions at the zoo include Children’s World, established in 1973 for children to interact with animals, and the Night Safari, which was the world's first night-time wildlife park when it opened in 1994. The zoo also has a well-regarded conservation and breeding programme for endangered species such as proboscis monkeys and orang utans. Indeed, the zoo’s most famous ambassador is an orang utan called Ah Meng.The idea for establishing a bird park in Singapore was proposed in 1968 by Dr. Goh Keng Swee, then Minister for Finance, after he had visited the aviary at the Rio de Janeiro Zoo when he was in Brazil to attend a World Bank meeting a year before. Dr. Goh wanted the bird park to be a place in the industrial area of Jurong where people could visit to appreciate nature. Construction work on the bird park began in 1969 on a site near the western slope of Jurong Hill (also known as Bukit Peropok) and was completed in late 1970 at a cost of $3.5 million. The project was developed by the Jurong Town Corporation, a statutory board established in 1968 to develop and manage the Jurong Industrial Estate, in consultation with experts from the London Zoological Gardens. Officially opened in January 1971, the Jurong BirdPark has grown to become one of the largest parks of its kind in the world.