Bye Bye Ah Meng

13 02 2008


Passing of AH MENG (1960 – 2008)  

Singapore, February 8, 2008 – Ah Meng, Singapore Zoo’s most famous and well-loved orang utan, passed away today due to old age. She was 48 years old.

Born in Sumatra, Indonesia around 1960, Ah Meng came to the Zoo at the approximate age of seven in 1971 when she was confiscated from the Chinese family who had kept her as an illegal pet. In 1982, the Zoo introduced ‘Breakfast with an Orang Utan’ programme and Ah Meng was the star. She shot to fame instantly and became a celebrity both at home an overseas. By 1986, she had featured in almost 30 travel films and had appeared in more than 270 articles in newspapers and travel magazines.

For her outstanding contributions in promoting the Zoo as a tourist attraction, Ah Meng is the first and only non-human recipient of the ‘Special Tourism Ambassador’ award conferred by the then Singapore Tourism Promotion Board in 1992.

As an icon for the Zoo, Ah Meng has met numerous foreign dignitaries and world renowned celebrities including Prince Philip, David Copperfield, Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor.

“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. We will miss her dearly,” said Ms Fanny Lai, Group CEO of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Added Alagappasamy s/o Chellaiyah (also known as Sam), Curator, Singapore Zoo, “I have taken care of Ah Meng since she first came to the Zoo. Her departure makes me extremely sad and it will take a long while for me to adjust to not having her around. On the other hand, I am very happy that I have had the opportunity to take care of Ah Meng and her family all these years.”

A devoted mother, Ah Meng leaves behind two sons Hsing Hsing, Satria, and two daughters, Medan and Sayang and six grandchildren. As a tribute to Ah Meng, the next newborn orang utan to be born at the Zoo will be named Ah Meng Junior.

To commemorate Ah Meng’s efforts towards generating a greater awareness on the plight of orang utans in the wild, the Singapore Zoo will intensify its conservation work for orang utans.

Ah Meng will be reposed at Garden With A View from 9-11am on 10 February (Sunday) for members of the public wishing to visit her for the last time.

There will also be a memorial service held in tribute of Ah Meng. Details of the service are as follows:

Venue : Garden with a View
Day/ Date : Sunday, 10 February 2008
Time : 11am





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