Singapore Zoo

January 22, 2010

The Singapore Zoo has got to be one of my favorite attractions in Singapore. I’m always proud to share to my foreign friends how wonderful it is that our little island has such a beautiful world class educational zoo.

The last time I went to the zoo was probably about 2 years back so armed with a hat and my camera I decided to take a trip to the zoo to see what new improvements have been made.

I spent quite a great deal of time admiring the zoo’s white tigers. While for many Singaporeans, looking at these white tigers bring to mind the unfortunate incident of the white tiger attack. However, looking at them strut majestically in their enclosure, one cannot help but be in awe… and remember to not jump in of course!

White tigers are not albino tigers. They are the product of 2 copies of recessive genes. White tigers are so rare because should they mate with a normal orange tiger, the offspring will be orange since the “white” genes are recessive while the “orange” is dominant. ( Gosh… this takes me back to biology lessons in secondary school!)

White tigers are usually found in captivity since they are so rare. A wild white tiger hasn’t be spotted since 1958 and that tiger was shot. I happened to be in time for the feeding session and the tigers were all ready to pounce!

After watching the white tigers I went to take the boat ride. This is a new attraction in the zoo for me as I don’t remember having boat rides during my previous visit.

Decided to take my outfit shots while waiting to be boarded into the boat.

The boat ride is a scenic short cruise to take in the sights of the calm and serene Seletar Reservoir. It’s nothing spectacular and you might want to give this a miss since it costs additional to take the boat ride.

I had hopes of spotting the the white-bellied sea eagle or the stork-billed kingfisher but alas I didn’t see any. Still the 20 minutes ride was enough to soak in the views of the water catchment.

The boat guide also handed us a dried iguana skin and had a little commentary about not buying real fur or exotic leather products.

Another interesting animal exhibit was the chimpanzees, the closest living relatives to humans.

Chimpanzees are capable of using tools in their daily routine and are generally very creative. Here I caught sight of a mother chimp teaching the little ones how to use a stick to push out food pieces from a puzzle-like container. It was fun watching the little chimps try to use the tool as they were taught. If anyone of you have watched the Japanese chimp “Pankun” you would know how intelligent these chimps really are! In fact, a lot of chimps have photographic memory that are even better than humans.

It’s not possible for me to comment on all the fascinating animals that I’ve encountered that day… as it is, my post is already getting too long! But suffice to say, the Singapore zoo has a wide array of  animals and is a good learning arena for both adults and children. The open concept of the zoo uses naturalistic landscape enclosures instead of cages to give the animals a more realistic stetting closer to their native habitat. It also makes the experience for visitors much more pleasant and memorable.

There are many more animals but I haven’t put them all up here… if you are lazy to stroll in the hot sun you could always view the animals from the open tram ride. I did a mix of both that day.

A little tea break at the nearby Ah Meng restaurant helps quench my thirst and refresh my senses. A quick bite of nuggets and wedges so I can have a later dinner.

It was a really hot and humid day at the zoo so I tied my scarf around my hat instead.

Well, other than animals, the zoo actually has beautiful landscaped flora and fauna.  I spotted many lovely plants and trees especially at the butterfly walk.

One of the last few shows I caught before leaving the park was the endangered arctic animal, the  polar bear.

Inuka, is a Singapore bred polar bear. Born in our very Singapore Zoo! Because of the climate, the locally bred polar bear has got thinner fur then his arctic counterparts. It was delightful watching him dive for treats or hunt for live fishes!

I enjoyed my day at the zoo and will look forward to coming back again when I’ve friends in town for a visit.

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