Wed, Oct 16, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Kaohsiung zoo throws ‘double ten’ party for its youngest hippo
壽山動物園雙十節免費入園 侏儒河馬寶寶「圓寶」亮相

Baby pygmy hippopotamus “Yuanbao” stands next to its mother at Shoushan Zoo in Kaohsiung.
十月十日於高雄市壽山動物園,侏儒河馬寶寶「圓寶」站在牠母親旁邊。

Photo courtesy of Shoushan Zoo
照片:壽山動物園提供

A pygmy hippopotamus at Kaohsiung’s Shoushan Zoo recently gave birth to a male calf and following a highly successful naming competition, with voting from visitors and netizens, the infant hippo has been christened “Yuanbao.” In a joint celebration of Double Ten National Day and a “coming out party” for Yuanbao, the zoo granted free admission to members of the public on Thursday, also distributing 600 pygmy hippopotamus-themed “shouxian” cookies and exclusive gifts to visitors on the day.

According to Kaohsiung City Government Tourism Bureau acting director Chiu Chun-long, after more than 700 days of waiting and the strenuous efforts of zoo keepers, Yuanbao was finally born in June. Chiu says it is the first time that the zoo has unveiled an animal to the public on National Day, and holding a “shouxian” ceremony is also a first.

“Shouxian” is an ancient custom which involves holding a special ceremony to pray for the health and safety of a child when it reaches exactly four months old. The zoo came up with a novel twist on the traditional “shouxian” cookies, preparing Yuanbao’s favorite snack of carrots and forage grass in the shape of a carved Halloween pumpkin to represent the outer pastry of a cookie. Staff prayed for Yuanbao’s good health and invited the zoo’s director Chuang Hsuan-chih to share his knowledge and experience of caring for the zoo’s animals. There was also a question-and-answer session for young visitors, who received exclusive gifts for answering questions correctly.

In addition, the company Taiwan Go designed a special augmented reality activity for the occasion, which children were given to test out for the first time. First drawing Yuanbao on paper, children added colors and wrote a message, and then, using the app on a tablet computer, produced a 3D animation to bring the hippo to life and create their own “personalized” Yuanbao.

(Translated by Edward Jones, Taipei Times)

高雄市壽山動物園新生兒侏儒河馬寶寶,經過激烈的網路及現場票選命名活動後,正式取名為「圓寶」,為歡慶雙十節及動物園侏儒河馬寶寶「圓寶」首度亮相,雙十國慶當日開放免費入園同樂,還送出六百份侏儒河馬收涎餅乾及獨家精美小禮品。

高雄市政府觀光局代理局長邱俊龍說,壽山動物園經過七百多個日子期待及努力,終於在今年六月迎來侏儒河馬寶寶「圓寶」誕生,首度在國慶日公開亮相,還為「圓寶」辦收涎。

收涎為古早習俗,在囝仔滿四個月時為祈求平安健康長大所進行的儀式,壽山動物園創全台先例,首次仿照舉辦製作「獨家收涎餅」,以「圓寶」最愛吃的紅蘿蔔及牧草當食材,搭配萬聖節造型的南瓜當餅皮製作而成,一起為侏儒河馬寶寶祈福,同時邀請動物園主任莊絢智解說侏儒河馬知識及照養心得,現場問答活動答對的小朋友,可以獲得精美獎品!

此外,Taiwan Go特別為動物園設計一款專屬AR塗鴉,活動當日搶先開放給小朋友體驗,在著色紙塗上心目中侏儒河馬「圓寶」的顏色,並寫上祝福的話。透過平板將以3D立體呈現。新穎的AR技術使畫筆下的侏儒河馬栩栩如生的出現在眼前,讓小朋友能擁有屬於自己的「圓寶」。

(自由時報記者張忠義)

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