SINGAPORE - Watch out Singapore, a new Ah Meng is coming to town, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) announced on Friday (Jan 8).
The successor has been chosen from one of Ah Meng's six surviving children and grandchildren.
While the new icon will only be revealed during the Safari Zoo Run during the weekend of Feb 27 and 28, WRS has hinted that the successor shares some similarities with her famous predecessor, like a penchant for durians, a big heart for her family, and endearing eyes.
The late Ah Meng, a Sumatran orang utan, died on Feb 8, 2008, but not before capturing the hearts of Singaporeans and zoo visitors. WRS refers to Ah Meng as the famous matriarch of Singapore Zoo, and aptly so - according to media reports, Ah Meng extended her motherly care even to other orang utans' children.
The face of Singapore Zoo was clearly loved. When she passed away, around 4,000 visitors turned up to pay their respects.
Ah Meng lived up to the grand old age of 48-years-old, or almost 95 in human years. She shot to fame after the "Breakfast with Ah Meng" programme began in 1982. According to The Straits Times, she was even featured in almost 30 travel films and more than 270 write-ups worldwide.
The Safari Zoo Run was conceived in 2009 in memory of Ah Meng. Runners can register for 10km and 5.5km races or the 5.5km or 2.5km family dashes.
Registration closes on Jan 31. For more information, visit http://www.safarizoo.run.