Hong Kong 2003
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Ocean Park

Ocean Park, situated on the southern side of Hong Kong Island, is one of the world's premier sea life and animal theme parks, covering more than 87 hectares of land. Operated by the Ocean Park Corporation — a statutory board — it is a not-for-profit organisation providing elements of entertainment and education.

Over three million people visit Ocean Park each year. Residents of Hong Kong as well as tourists enjoy the park's facilities and services. With 26 years of history, Ocean Park has established itself as one of the major tourist attractions in Hong Kong and Asia. Apart from entertainment through thrill rides and a wide variety of shows, the park prides itself on its education and conservation programmes. Over 30 000 school children in Hong Kong visit the park each year and learn about animals through structured programmes and behind-the-scenes tours.

The park's research activities on marine mammals and artificial insemination have also produced the world's first successful births of two Pacific Bottle Nose dolphins conceived through artificial insemination in May and June 2001. Among the animals at the park are two giant pandas, An An and Jia Jia, which the Central People's Government presented to Hong Kong in 1999. Both have adapted well in their Giant Panda Habitat. The park was awarded an accreditation by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association in 2002, making it the first animal facility in Asia to achieve a world-class status among an elite group of internationally acclaimed zoos and aquariums.

Ocean Park comprises two sections — the Headland and the Lowland — connected by a 1.5-kilometre cable car system which offers spectacular panoramic views of the southern side of Hong Kong and the South China Sea. At the Headland, the park has many of its many thrill rides including the Abyss Turbo Drop, Mine Train, Dragon, Eagle, Crazy Galleon and Flying Swing. Complementing the rides is the Ocean Theatre where performances by dolphins and sea lions both entertain and educate visitors. Providing more enjoyment and education are the Atoll Reef Aquarium, Shark Aquarium, and the Pacific Pier that features California sea lions and harbour seals. At the park's Tai Shue Wan site, there is the entrance to the Middle Kingdom and a 225-metre outdoor escalator leading to the Headland.

A prime exhibit at the Lowland is the Goldfish Pagoda that has more than 100 goldfish of various species. It is located adjacent to the Giant Panda Habitat. Other major attractions include the Kid's World, a dedicated area for junior visitors and the Dolphin University where visitors are able to have a closer encounter with the park's dolphin families.

Ocean Park continues to provide new attractions for visitors. These include the Amazing Birds Show at the newly developed Amazon Birds Theatre, which has more than 18 colourful and rare species, and the Dinosaurs Now and Then exhibit showing the endangered Chinese alligator, salamander and Chinese sucker fish from the Chang Jiang (Yangtze River). Another new attraction is the Whiskers' Wild Ride, located near the cable car station at the Lowland, which provides a thrilling and innovative simulation ride with special multi-sensory elements.

Apart from the mechanical rides and marine mammal attractions, Ocean Park also presents special events during the year, such as the Halloween Bash, Summer Daze, Christmas Sensation, Chinese New Year programme and Easter Education Week.

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