Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A night at the zoo

A couple weekends ago we went to the Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo. We had hoped to be able to post some really cool pictures of our adventure but, the funny thing is, animals in the dark don't really photograph well. Go figure. :-/ So instead of seeing photos of some really amazing animals, you'll have to settle on my description. Or you could always make a trip to Singapore and go to the Night Safari with us.

Since it's been a couple weeks, I can't really remember everything but here is what I can remember. First, we went to a show. It was probably the best show I've ever been to at an animal type place. There were real live bats flying overhead every once in a while, not just as part of the scheduled demonstration of animals. They had the cutest little otters that fulfilled the "environmental awareness" portion of the show by sorting recyclable materials into the correct containers. There was a mountain lion, hyenas, and a sloth bear that walked above our heads on a tightrope-type thing. There were several other animals, too. The person who narrated the whole show was very entertaining and they did a great job making the show memorable. There is one very "exciting" part of the show but I am not going to tell about it because I don't want to spoil the surprise for anyone that may some day actually get to see the show him/herself.

After the show, we took the tram ride around the park through portions of 8 different "areas" of the world (Himilayan Foothills, Equatorial Africa, South American Pampas, Burmese Hillside, etc.). What is truly amazing is this zoo does not use any cages or cage-like enclosures. At one point, all that was separating our tram from a hippopotamus was about 30 feet and and some end-to-end logs forming an outer border of his area. I was actually a little nervous about the fact that he could have come right up to the tram if he really wanted to. I suppose they know enough about the animals' typical and individual behavior to keep it safe but it was really pretty strange. During the ride, we also passed by a pair of elephants that were truly no more than 4-5 feet from the edge of the tram. Two of the handlers had taken them out for a walk and we drove right by. All I can say is they are amazing animals up close and I was surprised by how much expression you could observe on their elephant faces. To my relief, the more dangerous animals were kept at a safe distance by greater obstacles than the hippo would have had to overcome. Yet none of the animals we saw on the tram ride were behind glass or wired caging. (Is that what it's called?)

After the tram ride, we walked through the "Fishing Cat" trail and a portion of the "Leopard Trail." Elly was so sleepy she had to be carried most of the time. The highlights from the walking trails were the fishing cats, the Indian gharials, and the Malayan flying foxes. The fishing cats were actually on the banks of streams and in the water fishing. The gharials are fish-eating crocodiles, which we actually were able to see capture and eat their prey. It was pretty freaky watching them as they would surface out of the water where they could not be seen beforehand and submerge in the water to disappear. And in case you were wondering (I was) if the flying foxes were really flying foxes... no - they are actually the largest bat in the world. And they are pretty darn big.

So now that I've written a novel, here are some pictures of the girls. Remember we couldn't get any good shots of the zoo animals but we at least got some cute shots of the girls when we stopped for an ice cream break at the Z-bar. (clever, huh?)

1 comment:

  1. wow, what a neat trip...I'm jealous, I love a good zoo, and I would love to see the animals more up close and personal!

    love the photos!