A Zoo in the Garden (City)

In 1968, just three years after Singapore’s traumatic separation from Malaysia – and despite the urgent, competing needs of a new nation – a committee was formed to study the feasibility of creating a national zoo. Ong Swee Law, the chairman of the Public Utilities Board (PUB), headed this committee. As discussed previously, many animal […]

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Zoos in Singapore’s Past

As a regional and international trading nexus, Singapore has long been a point of transit for the exotic animal trade.[1] This trade was so rampant and so widespread that the colonial government was forced to pass an ordinance in 1930 banning the trafficking of orangutans through Singapore.[2] Exotic animal collections nonetheless flourished in Singapore. Many prominent […]

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Introductions: Studying Zoos

The practice of keeping and displaying animals has existed for millennia, from the “sacred menageries” of ancient Egypt to the “zoological gardens” of the nineteenth century.[1] Over time, their role and function has varied significantly. Modern “zoological gardens”, with their emphasis on science, education, recreation and conservation are hence simply the latest incarnations of institutions […]

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