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Discussion in 'Singapore' started by boof, 29 Aug 2005.

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  1. boof

    boof Well-Known Member

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    My wife and I are going to Singapore soon. We plan to visit Singapore zoo, the night safari and Jurong bird park. Does anyone have any suggestions on best times to be at certain exibihits, shows, keeper talks, etc. Also are there things that we should try to avoid.
     
  2. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    Singapore tips

    Allow a full day for Jurong Bird Park !! I am not the keenest bird fan , but this place kept me happily occupied for hours ....

    Dont bother putting your hand up when the Singapore Zoo shows ask for volunteers -- the so called visitors are really zoo staff in "mufti"

    Try to avoid both of these places on weekends or school holidays ( for obvious reasons )

    There is good public transport to both these places , which would save you alot of $$s as opposed to heavily promoted tours . Singapore Zoo is well served by busses , and for Jurong Bird Park , take the subway West to BOON LAY ( the last station on the line ) and connect to bus to Jurong Bird Park . Dont be put off by the neighborhood ( Heavy industry abounds ) The park is a real gem

    The crocodile parks are tourist traps which deal more with the sale of crocodile skin products . If you dont gpo to them , you havent missed much

    Sentosa Island is a big tourist trap that appeals to Japanese crowds -- if there is any aquiriam there you wont get to appreciate it because there will always be some Japanese that will thrust a camera in your hand and shout
    "shutter !! shutter !! "

    If you go to Malaysia as a day trip , the zoo at Johor Bahru ( border town ) has been in the news for several years as a poorly run and cramped zoo
    A better zoo ( and a reasonably good one by any standards ) is Zoo Melaka
    in the historic town of ....,Melaka

    If you want to know any more , feel free to send me an email on
    [email protected] and I will do what I :) can to help you out
     
  3. Zooish

    Zooish Well-Known Member

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    Hi all, greetings from Singapore,

    Indeed, the Jurong BirdPark (jbp) is a great place to visit. Some of the newer attractions include:

    1. Lory Loft - trying to steal some thunder away from Currumbin, this walk-in aviary is home to 1,000 lories and lorikeets (roughly 10 species including the rainbow lorikeet), and yes you can feed them.

    2. Pelican Cove - 7 species of pelicans, with an underwater viewing gallery where daily feeding sessions will let you see just how enormous their bill pouches can expand.

    3. Flamingo Lake - 1,000 greater and lesser flamingos in a large open lake overlooked by the park's restaurant complex.

    Of course other main attractions like the 2-hectare Waterfall Aviary and Bird Shows are still immensely popular.
    I suggest anyone visiting to take advantage of combo tickets which allow entry to jbp, Singapore Zoo and Night Safari (or any combination of 2 parks) at a discounted rate.

    The Zoo's shows have been overhauled recently under pressure from animal rights groups, so now they feature natural behaviours and are less contrived. Do volunteer though, the shows no longer plant staff in the audience.

    At the Zoo, must-sees include:
    1. Fragile Forest - features rainforest ecosystem, with a walk-through biodome housing free-ranging lemurs, sloths, fruit bats, tree kangaroos, parrots and butterflies.

    2. Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia - African-themed, highlight will a very virile troop of 70+ hamadryas baboons.

    3. Elephants of Asia - stlyed after logging camps in Thailand, features a daily logging demonstration.

    4. Tiger Trek - home to 3 white bengal tigers, first exhibit developed under a new 'Learning Zoo' initiative to transform the Zoo into an outdoor classroom.

    Of course, you can't miss the Orang utans which Singapore Zoo is famous for. Soon there'll be a free-ranging activity for the orangs, where you'll actually be able to see them swinging among live trees right over your head. The trial phase was well-received and final stages of evaluation are almost complete.

    As for Night Safari, its still unique enough to merit a visit. Recent additions to the safari include a walk-through giant flying squirrel habitat and a new nocturnal animal presentation.

    Singapore's animal parks are very much 'hands-on' and encourage close contact between animals and visitors, done safely of course.

    Personally, i love the Botanic Gardens as well. Its free admission, except for the National Orchid Garden section.

    Hope you guys enjoy your visit.
     
  4. boof

    boof Well-Known Member

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    :) My wife and I arrived home from Singapore this morning. We went to the zoo,the night safari and Jurong bird park. I was very impressed by the bird park. The waterfall avairy was huge. My wife enjoyed the puffins and penguins exihibit. It gave her a chance to get out of the heat. We were lucky enough to see a pygmy hippo baby that was only 5 days old at the zoo. The fragile forest is a unique mix of animals. There are lemurs,sloths,asian fruit bats,tree kangaroos and other spieces all housed together. At the night safari we got good close up views of clouded leopards,( what happened to tarongas?),leopard cats and bush babies. But the highlight was the giant flying squirrels. We recommend anyone going to Singapore should try to visit at least the zoo and the night safari. Try to get to the bird park to,if you have the time. We also went to Sabah Malaysia for a few days. We went on a boat ride and seen proboscis monkeys. THank you for the handy tips.
     
  5. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    Sabah , Malaysia

    Did you visit Sepilok Orang utan Sanctuary ( near Sandakan ) ?
    If I had known that you were going to Sabah , I would have recommended this place to you . It is one place that actively tries to encourage previously captured orang utans to return to normal life in the jungle .
     
  6. boof

    boof Well-Known Member

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    We didn't go to Sepilok. My wife and I went to a resort on the west coast of Borneo called Shangri-La's Rasa Ria resort. They have a nature park as part of thier grounds. It is basically an area of forest that is fenced off. There are deer, porcupines, lorises and macques in this area. They also had five young orang utan's going through the early stages of rehabilatation. These are then sent to Speilok when they get a bit older. We plan to go back to Malaysian Borneo, when we do we will hopefully send some time on the eastern coast and visit Sepilok and turtle beach.
     
  7. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    your next trip to Malaysia

    Let me know before you go to Malaysia . I will be able to give some good tips ( and what not to see as well )
     
  8. Zooish

    Zooish Well-Known Member

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    Singapore Zoo will be opening a new Australian Outback exhibit in March and just received a shipment of Grey Kangaroos, Wombats and possibly even Taipans; Anyone has any idea which zoo they came from? Personally my guess is Australia Zoo but i haven't heard of any animals from Singapore being sent there. Melbourne received slow lorises, Taronga got some binturongs, so its possible that the animals originated from either zoo.
     
  9. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    Tell your reptile keepers to be careful with the taipans -- King Cobras are one thing , but Taipans are something else !!
     
  10. Zooish

    Zooish Well-Known Member

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    They're that nasty ay? I'll let the keepers know then.

    Btw, the animals did come from Australia Zoo after all. Wonder what we'll be sending back in return.
     
  11. boof

    boof Well-Known Member

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    Zooish,
    Has the new otter exhibit opened at the singapore zoo yet?
     
  12. Zooish

    Zooish Well-Known Member

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    Yes it has. Houses 2 seperate groups, in total about 14 otters. One of the habitats has an underwater viewing gallery. A pair of binturongs shares the habitat too.

    btw, the new Australian Outback and Wildlife Hospital (with a visitor gallery that overlooks the treatment/surgery/lab rooms) are both open too.
     
  13. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    tapirs in singapore

    hey zooish,
    do you know if the malayan tapirs at night safari suffer from eye problems?
    singapore is virtually the native habitat of these tapirs, so one would think not - but i have become facinated by what causes the blindness problem in australia. if you could tell me the conditions the tapirs live in that would be great...
     
  14. Zooish

    Zooish Well-Known Member

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    Not that i know of. A female pair are housed at the Singapore Zoo, and they don't have any eye problems either. Their exhibit is heavily shaded by mature trees.
    The Night Safari's tapirs are housed in shaded yards/indoor dens in the day.

    I'm guessing it has something to do with the more intense sunshine Australia receives coupled with the lower humidity, rather than dietary problems.

    Could it be a genetic problem? I'm not sure of the origins of Australia's tapirs.
     
  15. boof

    boof Well-Known Member

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    thanks zooish for your quick reply. If it is as good as the other exhibits at Singapore i am sure it is another exhibit that your can be proud of.
     
  16. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    i'll have to check ut i'm pretty sure at least one of australian tapirs comes from singapore!

    humidity might very well be the problem zooish.
     
  17. Zooish

    Zooish Well-Known Member

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    The new Orang Utan free-range area has been opened for about 2 weeks now and it seems to be working very well.

    Basically it is a 6,000square metre area with about 10 mature trees, mostly rain trees (samanea saman), up to 24 metres in height. The trees are connected by artificial vines made of durable steel cables, as well as a large rope hammock which encourages nest building behaviour. The trunks of the trees are ringed by hot wire so the orangs can't descend to ground level and won't have direct contact with visitors either.

    Every morning a group of 5 or 6 consisting of females with babies, juveniles and sub-adults are released into the free-range area and allowed to stay till 5.30pm. A keeper will keep watch over them throughout the day to make sure they don't get into trouble. In bad weather, they will be moved back to their dens because no shelter is provided in the free-range area.

    Its great for the orangs, now they have more than double the space they used to have and they get to climb on live trees. Before, the 25 orangs we have had to be displayed in the main exhibit in shifts.
     
  18. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    thats sounds great zooish.

    with the exception of elephants, no other species exhibited in zoos has such uninspiring enclosures than orangutans. for a creature that usually lives high in a canopy of green - a few concrete/steel or wooden poles a few metres off the ground just doesn't seem right.

    i am well aware of the problems (the biggest being that they destroy live trees) of keeping orangs in natural-looking exhibits, and many zoos are at least creating great enriching arboreal habtats these days. but i always feel it just comes down to a lack of imagination when they fail to make it look like the orangs are in a real rainforest.

    the singapore exhibit sounds like it might be exactly what i want to see!

    keep us posted on how the raintrees (they are very large south american ficus-like trees are they not?) hold up with the constant stress.

    do the hotwires also limit orang access to say the upper or outer branches?
     
  19. Zooish

    Zooish Well-Known Member

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    Raintrees are south american trees with wide spreading crowns, resembling african acacias. The complex spreading branches make excellent natural climbing frames.

    The area was chosen because the trees there are very robust, with thick crowns and i doubt the orangs will leave a devastating impact, but we'll wait and see how they hold up. We do provide them with fresh browse for bedding in the hammock which somewhat reduces their desire to destroy the live trees. The small number of orangs (not more than 6) in the relatively large area also helps.

    The hot wires are only on the trunks, so the orangs can climb as high as they want. The trees beyond the free-range area have been pruned to prevent the orangs from climbing out of the area.
     
  20. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    i imagine that if a live tree is draped with lots of arificial vines, it also takes off alot of pressure from the more delicate branches. many zoos seem to use artificial vines, as opposed to ropes. do you know what the innner and outer materials are made from?
     
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