Friday, February 08, 2008

Singapore Zoo's Ah Meng Dies Of Old Age

ah meng orangutanThe Singapore Zoo's most famous and well-loved Orang Utan, Ah Meng has passed away on Friday due to old age. She was approximately 48 years old.

She was born in Sumatra, Indonesia around 1960 and came to the Zoo in 1971 when she was about seven years old after being confiscated from the Chinese family who had kept her as an illegal pet.

In 1982, Ah Meng's big break came when she became the star attraction of the Zoo's 'Breakfast with an Orang Utan' programme.

The loveable Orang Utan rose to fame quickly, and has been featured in numerous travel films and print articles.

In 1992, Ah Meng became the first and only non-human recipient of the Singapore Tourism Promotion Board's (STB) Special Ambassador award for her contributions.

In her lifetime, Ah Meng has also rubbed shoulders with foreign dignitaries and famous celebrities including Prince Philip and Michael Jackson.

The Zoo's curator, Mr Alagappasamy (aka Sam) has taken care of Ah Meng since she first came to the Zoo.

He is extremely saddened by her departure and though it may 'take a long time' for him to adjust not having her around, he is 'very happy to have had the opportunity to take care of Ah Meng and her family all these years'.

Group CEO of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Ms Fanny Lai said: 'We mourn the passing of Ah Meng. She has touched the hearts of everyone who has met her and contributed immensely in helping promote awareness of how each and every one of us can play a role in anti-poaching, anti-deforestation and conservation matters'.

Ah Meng leaves behind two sons Hsing Hsing, Satria, and two daughers, Medan and Sayang and six grandchildren.

She will be reposed at the Zoo's Garden with a View from 9-11am on Feb 10 where the public can visit her for the last time. Her memorial service will take place shortly after at 11am.

Story here.

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