Inuka the polar bear lives on in illustrated children's book

26 DEC 2018
Inuka lives on, in an illustrated children’s book launched today by Straits Times Press and Singapore Zoo. Lovingly penned by veteran journalist Alan John and intricately illustrated by Quek Hong Shin, the book chronicles the life of Singapore’s beloved bear in a heartwarming manner for young readers. 

Mr Mohan Ponichamy, together with other former carers for Inuka, brought out oversized cut-outs of the polar bear’s past birthday cakes in celebration of Inuka’s life. On what would be Inuka’s 28th birthday, Singapore Zoo marked the occasion with the launch of a picture book published by Straits Times Press.



Inuka the world’s first polar bear born in the tropics, is immortalised in a picture book about his life. ‘The One and Only Inuka’ book, published by Straits Times Press, was launched at Singapore Zoo this morning, on what would have been his 28th birthday. Inuka passed on in April this year. From left: Author Mr Alan John, Minister for Education Mr Ong Ye Kung, Chairman of Mandai Park Holdings Mr S Dhanabalan,  and Illustrator Mr Quek Hong Shin.



Eight months since his passing, the memories remain for many; Inuka’s life and the joys he brought to Singapore Zoo visitors were celebrated today as Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung officiated the launch of The One and Only Inuka. The minister was joined by Inuka’s keepers, staff and management of Singapore Zoo and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and beneficiaries of the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.

Author Alan John had been a great fan of the beloved polar bear, and had tracked Inuka’s life from the time he was born. He said, “I was sad when Inuka died this year, even though he was pretty old in polar bear years. Hong Shin and I hope that this book will help all of us who knew Inuka over nearly three decades, to remember the best of this tropical polar bear who loved a crowd and made a big impression on all who visited him.”

Mohan Ponichamy, Deputy Head Keeper, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, one of Inuka’s primary carers for the last three years said, “Today would have been Inuka’s 28th birthday. He has given us so many happy memories, to which we are truly thankful. More than that, he has been a wonderful voice for his wild cousins, and offered many Singaporeans a glimpse into the arctic. Inuka will always live on deeply in our hearts.”

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has supported Inuka’s upkeep since birth. SPH Foundation, the charity arm of SPH, took over the adoption from 2007. ‘The One and Only Inuka’ is available in Singapore Zoo retail stores and all leading bookstores. Part of the proceeds from the launch day sale of Inuka books will go to the ST School Pocket Money Fund.

Mr Alan John introduces his book ‘The One and Only Inuka’ to an audience there to celebrate the famed polar bear’s life on what would have been his 28th birthday. Among the audience is (from right) Mr Mike Barclay, Group CEO, Mandai Park Holdings, Guest of Honour Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister of Education, and Mr S Dhanabalan, Chairman, Mandai Park Holdings.



Mr Quek Hong Shin, illustrator of the book ‘The One and Only Inuka’ strikes a pose during the book signing session. The picture book for children celebrates Inuka’s life and aims to help children remember him.



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