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DKNY SS17 CAMPAIGN FEATURING BELLA HADID

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If you’ve been to New York, you’ve felt it. It’s the unmistakable vibrancy and kinetic energy of our city’s streets—the place where hierarchies fade and together we stride fearlessly to and from. Our campaign depicts a contemporary DKNY heroine, Bella Hadid, darting through midtown Manhattan on a vivid spring day. Pensive yet confident, powerful yet ever-shifting, she is like her city an icon of strength and resilience. To the unknowing, she might be just a girl on the street. But to us, she rises like a New York star ascendant.

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EventsPromotionTravelWorld

The Remaking of an Icon: New Luxury Hotel Group Niccolo Hotels Announces Flagship Hotel in Hong Kong

The Murray, Hong Kong, a Niccolo Hotel – Exterior Night View

Niccolo Hotels, the new luxury hotel brand, is set to catapult into the limelight with the announcement of its exciting new flagship property in Hong Kong. The Murray, a Niccolo Hotel, Hong Kong, being part of the government’s Conserving Central Project will open in October 2017, on Cotton Tree Drive in Central.

As well as being the first significant new luxury hotel to open in Hong Kong for several years, The Murray will breathe new life into one of Hong Kong’s most iconic and historic buildings.

The tall white landmark structure, with its distinctive arches and unique recessed windows, was built in 1969 and has since won many awards for its ground-breaking and energy-efficient design.

World-renowned architects Foster and Partners, whose works in Hong Kong include The Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank headquarters and the Hong Kong International Airport, have been engaged as designers for the project.

With its unique location in a stand-alone building positioned between the Central business district and the green oasis of Hong Kong Park, the 336-room hotel will offer a sophisticated, urban chic sanctuary in the heart of the city.

Among its unique features will be a stunning rooftop bar with some of the most breathtaking views of the city. A series of signature restaurants are also being planned.

Seasoned British-born hotelier Duncan Palmer has been appointed as the hotel’s Managing Director, and will bring his many years of experience with The Savoy, The Connaught, Mandarin Oriental and Langham Hotels amongst others to create a truly world-class new hotel for Hong Kong.

“I am quietly confident this will become the preferred hotel in Hong Kong for visiting dignitaries, captains of industry and leaders in style. They will appreciate the sophisticated and international standard of hospitality that the Niccolo brand delivers.” said Mr Palmer.

The first hotel under the brand, the stylish Niccolo Chengdu opened in April 2015 and has quickly been recognised as the city’s leading centre for luxury accommodation, fine dining and events. It is superbly located as part of the International Finance Square (IFS) a mixed-use retail and commercial centre which has become the epicentre of Chengdu’s events.

The new Niccolo Hotels brand was conceived and designed to cater to the growing maturity and sophistication of the luxury hotel sector in China, and Chengdu was chosen as the setting for the brand’s first hotel since it has become the most successful economy of any city in mainland China. Niccolo Hotels was recently recognised as the “Best Luxury Hotel Brand of the Year” at the 2016 Asia Hotel Awards held in the mid of September, adding yet another illustrious accolade to the brand’s growing list of honours.

Dr. Jennifer Cronin, President of Niccolo Hotels, stated: “The Chengdu property is a great success and we are very excited to be able to announce another even more exciting landmark project for Hong Kong. The Murray, a Niccolo Hotel, Hong Kong will certainly establish our Niccolo brand and the excellence it stands for firmly in the minds of international travellers.”

For more information on The Murray, please visit themurrayaniccolohotel.com

 

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EventsWorld

Philippines hospitality makes worldwide debut at the highest level

Marco Polo Ortigas Manila Facade

Forbes Travel Guide, the global authority on luxury travel since 1958, has announced the recipients of the 2017 Global Star Ratings and for the first time ever in six decades, Manila made it to the list.

Considered as the Olympics in the hotel industry, Forbes Travel Guide is a prestigious award giving body that recognizes the most luxurious hotels, restaurants, and spas worldwide. Marco Polo Ortigas Manila earned the coveted Five-Star rating — the mark of ‘outstanding, iconic properties with virtually flawless service and amazing facilities.’

Forbes Travel Guide gives accurate and objective ratings through its 800 worldwide standards. Its incognito inspectors ‘use a proprietary algorithm that weighs service at 75 percent and the quality of the facility at 25 percent.’ These standards are the most stringent in the industry and according to Forbes Travel Guide, only the best properties in the world earn the coveted Five-Star rating.

“We are delighted to recognize the 2017 Star Rating recipients, an exceptional collection of hotels, restaurants and spas that demonstrates a strong culture of service,” said Gerard J. Inzerillo, Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Travel Guide.

“In an online environment of confusion and clutter, Forbes Travel Guide is the most trusted source of information to assist guests in making informed decisions,” Inzerillo said. “These properties, the largest and most global group in the company’s history, achieve an impeccable standard of excellence in hospitality, underscoring our overall mission of positively contributing to the international tourism industry as well as individual hotel experience. We are proud to congratulate everyone associated with the prestigious properties recognized today.”

In response, Frank Reichenbach, General Manager of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila and recipient of the 2016 General Manager of the Year (ASEAN Region) Award said “Warm hospitality with a modern touch is what we have always been proud to showcase. We take pride in the exceptional service that we provide for every guest who wish to find a sanctuary in the city with premium accommodations and award-winning dining destinations. You will definitely have your best hotel experience with us. This award is the fulfilment of our hard work and passion for service,”

Going boldly on its third year, Marco Polo Ortigas Manila is only getting started.

Mr. Reichenbach adds, “The success of bringing the team together to raise to the level of service and consistency of the Forbes Travel Guide Five Star level means a lot to us. It also gives us satisfaction to know that with passion and dedication we can measure up with larger hospitality groups in the industry”

With 316 well-appointed guest rooms and suites, exclusive Continental Club facilities and perks, and unparalleled service with a smile, this towering gem in the heart of bustling Ortigas has been recognized worldwide. This recognition is a great milestone not just for Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, but also for the corporate brand and the Philippines’ entire hospitality industry.

“To be one of the two hotels in Manila that received the Five Star rating is a great pride for the hotel, the Marco Polo Hotels group, and the hospitality industry in Manila and the Philippines. This definitely raises the bar on how we provide luxury services to our clients. We will continue to live and exceed guest expectations in terms of service and facilities. Our Forbes Travel Guide Five Star ranking will definitely boost business and will give us the marketing advantage, which will have a positive impact in all aspects of the hotel,” Mr. Reichenbach said.

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NatureTravelWorld

SINGAPORE WILDLIFE PARKS WELCOME OVER 600 BABIES IN 2016

WRS NS – Fennec fox – 2

Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo have reported over 600 animal births and hatchings in 2016, and among them are highly threatened Southeast Asian animals. These include the Sunda pangolin, painted terrapin, proboscis monkey, Bali mynah and black-winged starling, all of which are on the brink of extinction.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Deputy CEO and Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “We have a mission to protect and conserve biodiversity in Singapore and the region, and are happy to report that our animal care team did well in breeding some of the rarest Southeast Asian animals in 2016. This is but one of the many ways we work on to help save these animals from extinction. We also actively support conservation and research efforts in the animals’ native habitats.”

Southeast Asian animal babies

Nine painted terrapins, one of Southeast Asia’s most endangered freshwater turtle species, hatched in April in Singapore Zoo. The park also welcomed another proboscis monkey baby in April, an endangered primate native to the island of Borneo. Since 1999, Singapore Zoo has seen 30 proboscis monkey births and Singapore lays claim to the highest number of proboscis monkey births outside of their native Indonesia.

Southeast Asian animal births in Night Safari include Neha, the juvenile Asian elephant born on 12 May who charmed her way to fame with her playful antics. The park also welcomed a fifth successful birth of the critically endangered Sunda pangolin since 2011, on 7 October. This makes Night Safari one of the most successful wildlife parks in the world in caring for and breeding the world’s most

trafficked mammal. Two Malayan tapirs born in October and December brought up the park’s impressive track record to 30 successful births to date.

Threatened Southeast Asian species continue to thrive at Jurong Bird Park, with the hatchings of three black-winged starlings and four Bali mynahs, both species critically endangered due to their popularity in the illegal songbird trade. The park works closely with organisations like Begawan Foundation and Cikananga Conservation Breeding Centre in Indonesia who are striving to safeguard a population of these rare birds, and hope to eventually reintroduce them to their native habitats.

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Ambassador babies

Amidst recent reports that cheetahs are increasingly threatened with extinction with only 7,100 left in the wild, Singapore Zoo welcomed cheetah cub Deka. Born on 3 October, Deka was abandoned by her inexperienced first-time mother. Vets and keepers made the decision to save the cub by hand-raising her. Starting out weak and malnourished, Deka spent her first four days in the animal hospital. Vets and keepers worked tirelessly to provide round-the-clock care for the next two months until she was strong enough to be independent. Today, she is an active and healthy juvenile that enjoys sprinting about her play area.

Night Safari’s first pair of fennec foxes successfully bore three kits in November. Kit trio Nia, Nailah and Zaire were also hand-raised after exhibiting minor injuries from mishandling by their mother. Parents Zuri and Izem, the first fennec foxes in the collection across the four wildlife parks, were brought in as confiscations by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore. Singapore law prohibits the keeping of exotic animals such as fennec foxes. The illegal pet trade threatens the survival of wild species and amateur pet owners are often ill-equipped to manage the animals’ welfare. The fox family is set to make its debut in Night Safari’s Creatures of the Night show as animal ambassadors, to educate guests against keeping exotic pets illegally.

Dr Cheng said, “Each animal baby born and hatched in our parks is an ambassador in their own right. Individually, they represent their wild counterparts, but collectively they embody the need to conserve not just each individual species but the environment as a whole.”

Over at River Safari, the manatee herd welcomed Joella, a calf born in April. The park’s giant otter family continues to grow with four new additions in March, bringing the total to eight. The park also saw the births of an emperor tamarin, a small primate species, and a trio of ocellate river stingrays, both native to the Amazon Basin.

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LifestyleTravelWorld

Escape to the Genting Dream in Okinawa this summer

Miyakojima-03

Dream Cruises, the first-ever Asian luxury cruise line, today announced the summer 2017 cruise itineraries for its inaugural ship, Genting Dream. Beginning from April 2, 2017, Genting Dream will set sail from her dual homeports of Hong Kong and Nansha, Guangzhou on five-night voyages to the idyllic destinations of Naha and Miyakojima in Okinawa, Japan. Continuing through the summer, guests who are looking for a quick escape can also enjoy a two-night weekend cruise sailing from the cosmopolitan metropolis of Hong Kong.

“We are delighted to introduce Genting Dream’s first Summer Cruise Season which also marks her maiden cruise to Okinawa, Japan,” said Mr. Thatcher Brown, President of Dream Cruises.  “With the success of our current Vietnam cruises, we are further developing exhilarating itineraries that will capture the beauty and diversity of Asia and excite the passions of our guests. With pristine beaches, crystal clear water and myriad cultural and historic attractions, Okinawa Japan is a natural and popular choice for Genting Dream this summer.”

Guests will also be able to discover a whole new underwater world in two state-of-the-art submersibles on board Genting Dream. Designed to carry one pilot and four guests, passengers can explore the spectacular sights under the Okinawan waters and marvel at the dazzling array of marine life and seascapes for an unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience.

A Floating “Integrated Resort” At Sea

The ultimate in luxury at sea is redefined in the Dream Palace, a “ship within a ship’ experience featuring 142 suites with highly personalised European-style butler service, an exclusive pool and sundeck, fine dining in a private restaurant, and use of an exclusive gym. Leisure and lifestyle venues include one of the world’s largest Asian reflexology spas at sea, duty-free retail and an exciting range of recreation options including a waterslide park with six different slides, a stunning 610-metre wrap-around promenade, zip-line, mini-golf, a thrilling ropes course and rock climbing wall.

The dazzling array of entertainment includes the legendary Singaporean nightspot Zouk encompassing an indoor dance club, a sports bar with billiards and a four-lane glow-in-the-dark bowling alley, and an outdoor day and night party deck. Guests can also head to Bar 360 where the unique “theatre-in-the-round” design allows guests to enjoy live entertainment from all angles or they can unleash their inner rock star in five beautiful private karaoke rooms on board.

For more information, visit dreamcruiseline.com, call (852) 2317 7711, email Reservations@dreamcruiseline.com or visit them at Suite 1528 Ocean Centre, 5 Canton Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

 

Follow them on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/DreamCruisesHQ/)

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CelebrityEntertainmentFashionSportWorld

DUCATI AND DIESEL TOGETHER AGAIN FOR A NEW DIAVEL

DDD Ducati Diavel Diesel (2)

Ducati and Diesel unveil an important new initiative for their partnership: the exclusive Ducati Diavel Diesel, a bike that seamlessly merges elements of the past and future.

The Ducati Diavel Diesel – of which only 666 numbered units have been produced – is the fruit of collaboration between Andrea Rosso, Creative Director of Diesel Licences, and the Ducati Design Center.

To create the Ducati Diavel Diesel, the two style centres were inspired by a hyperkinetic dynamism of a post-apocalyptic, retro-futuristic world.

The result of this new collaboration was given an exclusive unveiling this evening, during the Milan Men’s Fashion Week, at an event whose emotion-charged setting and music (The Bloody Beetroots) provided the ideal backdrop for the new bike. The new Ducati Diavel Diesel will also be at the Motor Bike Expo from 20 to 22 January 2017. It will go on sale to the public, worldwide, in April 2017.

The Diavel Diesel isn’t the only new product coming up. Diesel has produced a capsule collection dedicated to Ducati reflecting the DNA and roots shared by the two brands: creativity and innovation are the key values that have made Ducati and Diesel two icons of Made in Italy. Also going on sale in April, this collection comprises one Jogg Jeans, a leather jacket and two T-shirts.

It’s an important bike that reflects the rock side of Diesel’s DNA,” explained Andrea Rosso. “The wording ‘Never look back’ engraved with the two logos encapsulates the significance of this collaboration: a timeless bike that catches the eye with so many unmistakable details, such as the brushed stainless steel with visible welding and rivets. Ducati, Diavel and Diesel, three words, six letters each, forming 666, the limited number of examples of this new collaboration.”

The collaboration with Diesel enabled us to explore original stylistic and technical aspects whilst staying within the Ducati brand and fully respecting its values,” said Ducati Motor Holding CEO Claudio Domenicali. “In this case we worked with Diesel on an already uniquely original bike like the Diavel and the result was surprising to put it mildly. The details characterizing the Diavel Diesel cannot fail to captivate connoisseurs of special bikes but also people from different walks of life, such as fashion. It’s always stimulating for us to move outside the world of motorcycling and widen our brand’s areas of interest.

Distinguishing features of the Ducati Diavel Diesel

The Ducati Diavel Diesel is characterized by hand-brushed stainless steel superstructure with visible welding and rivets that make it absolutely unmistakable and timeless. Details like the tank cover, front cowl and passenger saddle cover are examples of craftsmanship and style. The saddle, made of real leather, is unique to this Diavel, on which the pyramid element appears at various points: three identical faces embodying the three Ds of Ducati, Diavel and Diesel.

Other distinguishing features of this very special Diavel include the lateral air intake covers, made of red methacrylate with the Diesel logo on the inside. Red is also the colour of the Brembo front brake callipers, of five chain links and the LCD dashboard, which recalls vintage digital displays. The Ducati Diavel Diesel’s exhaust system is another little work of art, thanks to pipes graced by black Zircotec ceramic coating and black silencers with ends machined from solid, on which the new pyramid motif appears.

The Ducati Diavel Diesel is a bike that masters the road whilst being lightweight and agile, like all Ducatis. Its 162 HP Testastretta 11° DS engine combined with the Ducati Safety Pack (ABS and Ducati Traction Control) and Riding Mode offer a riding experience that’s thrilling and at the same time safe and intuitive. The 240 mm wide rear tyre is full of personality and, thanks to the efficacious chassis, also delivers high precision handling but also comfort for day to day use.

  • Tank cover in hand-brushed stainless steel with visible welding and rivets
  • Front cowl and passenger saddle cover with visible welding and rivets
  • Black lateral anodized air intakes with visible welding
  • Lateral air intake covers in red methacrylate with the Diesel logo on the inside
  • Red LCD dashboard
  • Exhaust pipes with black Zircotec ceramic coating
  • Black silencers with ends machined from solid
  • Exclusive design leather saddle with DDD pyramid
  • Numbered plate on frame
  • Matte black front mudguard with DDD pyramid
  • Rear-view mirrors with stem and cup machined from solid
  • Red Brembo front brake callipers
  • Chain with five red links
  • Bike cover and rear stand supplied standard

About Diesel

Diesel is an innovative international company that produces and distributes jeans, clothing and accessories. Since its creation in 1978, Diesel has evolved from pioneer in the denim segment to world leader in premium casual wear and a real alternative to the traditional luxury market. Despite its growth, Diesel’s philosophy has remained the same over the years: a brand that’s a by-word for passion, individuality and self-expression.

 

About Ducati

Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. – A Sole Shareholder Company – A Company subject to the Management and Coordination activities of AUDI AG.

Founded in 1926, since 1946 Ducati has been manufacturing sport-inspired motorcycles characterised by high-performance Desmodromic engines, innovative design and cutting-edge technology. With its factory located in Bologna’s Borgo Panigale district, in 2016 Ducati celebrates 90 years since it was founded. The model range covers several market segments with the following families: Diavel, Hypermotard, Monster, Multistrada, Superbike and Super Sport. In 2015 Ducati presented the Ducati Scrambler: a new brand made of bikes, accessories and apparel that provide the last word in creativity and self-expression. These authentic icons representing what the world knows as “Made in Italy”, together with an extensive range of associated accessories and technical and lifestyle apparel, are distributed in 90 countries globally. Breaking all records for the company, in 2016 Ducati delivered to customers over 55,400 bikes to customers. Ducati competes in both the World Superbike and MotoGP World Championships. In Superbike, Ducati has won 17 Manufacturers’ titles and 14 Riders’ titles. Ducati has been competing in MotoGP since 2003, winning both the Manufacturers’ and Riders’ titles in 2007.

 

In the Philippines, Diesel is located at Bonifacio High Street Central, Greenbelt 3 and. Visit www.ssilife.com.ph for more information.

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NatureNewsWorld

National Strategy to Conserve Elusive Native Raffles’ Banded Langur Launched

Raffles Banded Langur

Raffles Banded Langur

SINGAPORE – Singapore’s Raffles’ Banded Langur (Presbytis femoralis femoralis) is getting a boost this National Day month, with the launch of a national conservation strategy for the critically endangered species. Ambassador-at-Large Professor Tommy Koh, who will serve as patron of the project, launched the initiative during a ceremony at Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Immediate priorities include managing the habitat and population through habitat enhancement such as establishing green corridors and exploring options for providing connectivity across forest fragments, focused enrichment plantings based on our understanding of the dietary requirements of the langurs, gathering data to understand more about the movements and habitat  preferences of the langurs, and securing the necessary commitment and resources to ensure the long-term conservation of the Raffles’ Banded Langur in Singapore and Malaysia.

A workshop was held at the Singapore Zoo in early August in which over 30 stakeholders from 15 organisations, including representatives from Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), National Parks Board (NParks), International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) Primate Specialist Group, Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia, conservation NGOs and universities came together to jointly develop a conservation strategy for the Raffles’ Banded Langur. The workshop was funded by WRS and facilitated by IUCN.

Securing a future for the Raffles’ Banded Langur will require targeted action in a number of areas. Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund will engage Ms. Andie Ang, who has studied the langurs since 2008, and is a member of IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group, to set up and chair a Raffles’ Banded Langur Working Group. The working group will glean outputs from the recent workshop to map out a Species Action Plan, which will be used to guide and implement the conservation work for this species in the coming years. The project is fully supported by Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund over the next two years.

One of only three non-human primates to be found locally, the Raffles’ Banded Langur was first discovered by Sir Stamford Raffles 194 years ago. Up to the 1920s, they were still reported to be common in Singapore across Changi, Tampines, Bukit Timah, Pandan and Tuas. Deforestation for urban development led to the shrinking of their habitat such that the Raffles’ Banded Langurs were confined to only the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (BTNR) and Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR) in the 1980s. In 1987, the last member of a troop living in BTNR was reportedly mauled to death by a pack of dogs.

By 2010, it was estimated that there were 40-60 Raffles’ Banded Langurs left in Singapore. This subspecies can also be found in southern Peninsular Malaysia, where a number of isolated populations continue to be threatened by habitat loss and conversion. Small and isolated populations have a heightened risk of extinction from the effects of genetic deterioration, extreme weather, disease outbreak and other catastrophic events.

Dr. Sonja Luz, Director, Conservation and Research, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said:

“It is a fitting time to embark on a consolidated, comprehensive and integrated conservation strategy for the Raffles’ Banded Langur, to ensure the continued survival of this highly charismatic primate. This conservation project is of national importance for Singapore, and together with NParks, we are fully committed to be a part of the pioneering approach to manage the species over the long-term so Singapore does not have a primate going extinct on our watch.”

Dr. Adrian Loo, Director (Terrestrial), National Biodiversity Centre, National Parks Board, said:

“Reforestation, setting aside buffer parks such as the upcoming Tho.on Nature Park and enrichment planting over the years have improved the rainforest habitat of the endangered Raffles’ Banded Langur. This will further help increase the foraging area and connectivity for the species, which saw an increase since the early 1990s. Even so, a multi-pronged approach is required to ensure the full recovery of the species. Thus, NParks looks forward to working with our stakeholders to guide the development of long-term conservation and management strategies for this shy, elusive species. We hope to see these animals thrive in our forests one day.”

Primatologist Ms. Andie Ang, of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group said:

“The development of a regional Species Action Plan signifies a first collaboration between Singaporean and Malaysian authorities, universities, and NGOs in the research and conservation of the Raffles’ Banded Langurs. Besides ensuring that the habitat of the langurs is protected and restored, we hope that this joint effort can also help raise public awareness and appreciation of this primate and the natural heritage in both countries.”

— END —

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EventsNatureNewsWorld

River Safari’s Kai And Junior To Travel To The Carribbean For World’s First Manatee Repopulation Programme

Hafiz with Junior
River Safari aquarist Hafiz Rahmat conducting canvas conditioning for Junior, a 6-year-old male manatee, to prepare him for the 30-odd-hour journey from Singapore to Guadeloupe. Junior and his tank mate Kai are the first two manatees chosen to participate in the world’s first manatee repopulation programme.
River Safari aquarist Hafiz Rahmat conducting canvas conditioning for Junior, a 6-year-old male manatee, to prepare him for the 30-odd-hour journey from Singapore to Guadeloupe. Junior and his tank mate Kai are the first two manatees chosen to participate in the world’s first manatee repopulation programme.

SINGAPORE – River Safari’s Kai and Junior are set to become the first two manatees in over a century to arrive in Guadeloupe. The pair are pioneer animals for the world’s first manatee re-population programme.

Spearheaded by the National Park of Guadeloupe, the historic conservation project aims to reintroduce the Antillean manatees in Guadeloupe through a breeding programme with a founding group of 15 manatees from various zoological institutions. An important cultural symbol locally, the West Indian manatee species has been extinct in the waters of Guadeloupe since the beginning of the 20th century as a result of excessive hunting activities.

Sébastien Rives from the National Park of Guadeloupe hand-feeding Kai and Junior with high fibre pellets inside River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest, the world’s largest freshwater aquarium. Sébastien was on a study trip to River Safari to understand Kai and Junior’s personalities better and learn about their likes and dislikes, which will aid their care and well-being when the pair arrives in Guadeloupe.
Sébastien Rives from the National Park of Guadeloupe hand-feeding Kai and Junior with high fibre pellets inside River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest, the world’s largest freshwater aquarium. Sébastien was on a study trip to River Safari to understand Kai and Junior’s personalities better and learn about their likes and dislikes, which will aid their care and well-being when the pair arrives in Guadeloupe.

 

Kai and Junior will be the first to arrive at the Grand Cul-de-sac Marin, a protected bay which measures 15,000 hectares and would shield the manatees from boating traffic by way of an enforced no-entry zone. The future offspring from this founding group will be reintroduced to the wild, eventually repopulating the Caribbean region.

Dr. Cheng Wen-Haur, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “We have been very successful in breeding manatees in our care for the past 20 years. We are very happy that this success will now contribute to restocking part of the species’ historic range in the Caribbean where it has been extinct for the past century. Projects like this is one of many ways that we are contributing to the survival of species in the wild.”

Kai and Junior have been selected as they have reached sexual maturity, and are best pals inside the aquarium due to age similarity. Kai was born on 8 October 2009 and Junior was born on 2 February 2010. They are almost inseparable, and can often be spotted swimming and feeding together.

Kai and Junior’s flight to Guadeloupe will occur within the next few weeks, and is likely to take more than 30 hours with several pit stops. Although a date has not been set, aquarists have been busy conducting operant conditioning, and spending extra time with them before the final farewell. Canvas conditioning is required to ensure that both manatees are comfortable and familiar with the material on export day. Kai and Junior will take turns to be guided to rest on their canvases, and a hoist will then lift the canvas to place the manatees inside their open top traveling crates, custom-fitted to their lengths.

Seven-year-old male manatee, Kai, was chosen as he had reached sexual maturity and is best friends in the aquarium with Junior. Male manatees can reach sexual maturity from three to four years old onwards
Seven-year-old male manatee, Kai, was chosen as he had reached sexual maturity and is best friends in the aquarium with Junior. Male manatees can reach sexual maturity from three to four years old onwards

These crates are lined with thick sponge to ensure that Kai and Junior remain comfortable throughout the flight, and also to absorb water which has to be periodically sprayed on the manatees to keep their skin moist. In true VIP style, Kai and Junior will have their personal flight entourage, which includes veterinarians from the National Park of Guadeloupe, and two aquarists from River Safari.

“The ultimate conservation goal would be to reintroduce threatened animal species to the wild and yet it is a very rare opportunity for this to happen as there is a severe lack of suitable wild habitats, among other challenges. We are very happy that the manatees will have such an opportunity. We are confident that Kai and Junior will do well for the good of their species”, said Keith So, Deputy Head Aquarist at River Safari.

Manatees are currently listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Their numbers have declined in the last century due to hunting pressures, entrapment in commercial nets and collisions with propellers and motorboats.

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ArtsEntertainmentEventsFeaturedNewsPromotionWorld

A Tale of Love and Darkness premieres in the Philippines

A Tale of Love and Darkness

The Embassy of Israel, in cooperation with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), presents the 14th Israeli Film Festival featuring the love stories in the Israeli cinema. With the theme “Romance in the Holy Land,” the cultural event is highlighted by the premiere screening of the 2015 movie A Tale of Love and Darkness, the directional feature debut of actress Natalie Portman.

A-Tale-of-Love-and-Darkness-02

“We are happy to bring A Tale of Love and Darkness to the Philippines for the first time as part of the 14th Israeli Film Festival. The movie is warmly welcomed by almost 3,000 students of De La Salle University Manila and the University of the Philippines Diliman during the screenings last June 8 and 9 respectively,” Deputy Chief of Mission Hadass Nisan said during the third and last exclusive screening of the movie at the Alphaland Citi Club Makati, June 22.

a-tale-love-darkness01

Portman directed and starred in a Tale of Love and Darkness, a drama film based on the autobiographical novel by Israeli author Amos Oz which took place in Jerusalem during the first years of independent Israel. The Jerusalem-born Hollywood actress speaks Hebrew in the film.

“We also brought five love stories from Israel through screenings at the QCX inside the Quezon Memorial Circle, FDCP Cinematheques in Manila, Iloilo, Baguio and Davao, and ten other universities around the country,” Nisan said.

The five films are: The Band’s Visit, Jellyfish, 5 hours from Paris, 2 Night and Restoration.

The Band's Visit 2007

The Band’s Visit (2007)

Bikur Ha-Tizmoret (original title)

PG 13 | 1h 27min | Comedy, Drama, Music

A band composed of eight men from the Egyptian police force goes to Israel to play at the inaugural ceremony of an Arab cultural center in Petah Tikva. But due to miscommunication, the band finds themselves lost in the wrong town in the middle of the dessert.

Jellyfish 2007

Jellyfish (2007)

Meduzot (original title)

1h 18min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Meduzot (the Hebrew word for Jellyfish) revolves around three women living in Tel Aviv. Batya, a waitress takes in a child apparently abandoned in a local beach. Batya served at the wedding reception of Keren, the bride who breaks her leg trying to escape from a locked toilet stall, ruining her chance for a honeymoon in the Caribbean. Joy, a Filipina who does not speak any Hebrew, attended the event with her employer.

5 Hours from Paris 2007

5 Hours from Paris

1h 30min | Drama

An Israeli taxi driver with no aspirations is afraid of flying. A Russian immigrant who has given up her aspirations is about to fly away. What are the chances that they will end up together?

2 Night 2011

2 Night (2011)

1h 27min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

In a city where everything is possible, a guy and a girl are looking for the impossible – a parking place. The two strangers who met in a bar wanted to spend the night together but can’t find a parking place.

Restoration 2011

Restoration (2011)

Boker tov adon Fidelman (original title)

In one of Tel Aviv’s oldest neighborhoods, 70-year-old Yaakov Fidelman holds on to his antique restoration workshop. After his business partner passes away, he rejects his son’s idea to close the business believing that his new apprentice will find a way to save his workshop.

 

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World

5 Key Questions About Climate Change

MYOH2014 set5_1

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World

A Hands-On Look at the New Apple TV

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