Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Memorial Service of Ah Meng

I am heartbroken to hear that Ah Meng had passed away on 08 February 2008, the most famous and well-loved orang utan, due to old age. She was 48 years old.

Born in Sumatra, Indonesia around 1960, Ah Meng came to the Singapore 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 Singapore 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 Singapore 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.

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 Singapore Zoo will be named Ah Meng Junior.

I mourn the passing of Ah Meng. She has touched the heart 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. I have been visiting the Zoo since I was very young and took pictures with her many times. I will definitely cherish the special memories with her. I will miss her dearly.

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."

Ah Meng had been reposed at Garden With A View on 10 February 2008 and a memorial service was held in tribute of Ah Meng. Estimated 4000 people attended the memorial service.

Goodbye Ah Meng.........


Karthik said...

RIP Ah Meng...

It is nice to see that people have gone to the extend of paying the last respect even to non-human primates in the midst of all others that's hitting the news these days =) It's like taking a break and visiting the heaven's and realizing something spiritual about everything =)

whAt A LiFe said...

She will be definitely remembered by all s'poreans. Coz she was the first orang utan who became this famous.

May her soul rest in peace.

anits said...

:( so sad for Ah Meng!

May Ah Meng's soul b in peace!

Noushy Syah said...

Aghhh so sad!