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Vision's indonesian adventure

Discussion in 'Indonesia' started by Vision, 16 Jul 2016.

  1. Vision

    Vision Well-Known Member

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    2016 Bali/Java trip

    Hi everyone! As of now, I'm sitting in a hotel in singapore on my mobile phone, so apologies if I make any typos and forget anything.

    Recently (from the 4th until the 16th of july) I went on a trip to Bali and Java, where I unexpectedly was able to visit 3 zoos and a turtly hatchery. Since some of them didn't have a single topic in this forum, and others weren't exactly well-described either, I figured I'd get up and do it myself. Here goes.

    First up is Project penyu turtle hatchery in Pemuteran, northwestern Bali.

    Project penyu turtle hatchery, 5th and 9th of july
    List of significant (and only) species:
    -Hawksbill sea turtle
    -Olive ridley sea turtle

    Description:
    A very small building in a diver's resort, with a couple small water tanks and a hatching pen. Permanent residents are an older Hawksbill turtle that has grown too accustomed to humans to still be released, and a relatively young but adult Olive ridley turtle of which I'm not sure what will happen to it.

    Essentially, like other turtle hatcheries in Indonesia, they pay local fishers a small sum for bringing them nests of wild sea turtles, hatch them and feed them up until they are three months old, to then have them released by visitors.

    When I was there they had one empty tank, one tank keeping around... 30? 1-2-month old hawksbill turtles, two tanks both keeping around 10 3-month old hawksbill turtles, and two separate tanks for the two adult turtles mentioned earlier. All of these tanks measured between 10 and 20m^2 tops, with 30-50cm deep water each. A small sand strip was also fenced off, that had 4 indicated nests.

    Entry fee was very low, the fee to release one of the 3-month old turtles was also relatively low (100 000 IDR or just under 7 euros). Release happened at the beach right at the diving resort, and they themselves say it raises the turtle's chance at survival enormously. Went snorkling in that area the day after and saw adult individuals of Green and Olive ridley sea turtles within 5 minutes of entering the water, so I'm not sure if that is due to the hatcheries or if they're just naturally common in the area.

    Bali barat national park, 8th of july
    Won't go into too much detail for this one because it isn't a zoo and this is still zoochat, but found it a very enjoyable experience that I wanted to share.
    List of significant species I saw:
    -Barking deer
    -Javan rusa
    -Javan langur
    -Great-billed heron
    -Small minivet
    -Bali starling !

    Description:
    As one of the last strongholds of the Bali starling, this place is certainly a must-go for anyone interested in birdwatching. I went on a safari with a car, that drives you through most of the national park to an open savanna area where wild bali starlings are released back into the wild from time to time, and then takes you back upon sunset. This place not only is the best place for watching the starlings, but apparently Wreathed hornbills, Giant squirrels, Pangolins, Javan mongoose and other rarities are also spotted occasionally. It is also one of the only places to reliably see the Javan langurs (or 'black monkeys' as the locals call them, the golden variant is not present here) in Bali, though throughout the park they are common and very easy to see (though hard to photograph!)

    _

    After Bali barat I continued on towards Java, where I visited Taman safari II Prigen, Batu secret zoo, and Gembira loka zoo, but those are for a later date. I'll probably split up these much larger zoos in multiple posts, since I have a lot to say about them :)

    Hope you enjoyed,
    Vision/Anton ;)
     
  2. Vision

    Vision Well-Known Member

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    Taman Safari Indonesia II, Prigen, 12th of july
    List of significant species:
    -Javan warty pig
    -Asian black bear
    -Spectral tarsier
    -Horsfield's tarsier
    -Proboscis monkey
    -Agile wallaby
    -Dusky pademelon
    -5 Nycticebus species
    -American beaver
    -Sumatran elephant
    -Lesser bird-of-paradise
    -Maleo
    -White-bellied sea-eagle
    -Northern (my guess is red-necked) cassowary
    -Dwarf cassowary
    -Javan porcupine
    -Javan leopard
    -'Bengal' tiger

    Description:
    Very happy I did this one first, even though that meant I had very little time (3 hours tops) in the zoo itself. For me, it really set the tone for Indonesian zoos. Not horrible, certainly not great, but with a bunch of interesting species and things you really don't expect to belong in a zoo. More on that later.

    Anyways, the adventure started as I drove up to it. When trying to reach it from the main road, you drive up a fairly impressive, decorated driveway with a board explaining prices for the zoo and a gate formed by 2 giant fake elephant tusks, only to find that you still had to drive another 20 minutes through your usual indonesian busy market street. Whether or not this was zoo property was unclear, as many of these small roadside markets sold only bananas and carrots, obviously destined for feeding the animals in the park.

    The entrance itself was disappointing. On the way to the zoo we passed some local places where you could get a bowl of pre-cooked noodles or fried rice, but it wasnt indicated anywhere that these were the only eating opportunities around. There was a manned small chips/ice cream kiosk type thing, but the person behind the counter was only there to say it was closed. The toilets outside the zoo were extremely dirty.

    As we bought our tickets to the park, you either walked up to the bus stand for thr first half of the zoo, a tour through the safari area, or you drove through there yourself. The bus stop was fairly interesting in that there were 10 empty buses backed up, all different models and sizes with different prints on them, etc.

    The tour itself was, just like the zoo itself, not great, but not horrible either. Exhibits were, for the most part spacious and sometimes even decorated. What irritated me more were the other visitors and zoo staff itself. People coming with their own car stopped everywhere to feed every species carrots, and because for some reason there was no car limit the road going through the safari was permanently jammed, making for a very annoying trip. The windows of the bus were very dirty making photography near impossible, and even though the roads were permanently jammed the driver (who didn't do anything except for drive, no overhead explanation about the animals either) seemingly never stood still at any relevant exhibit, unless the group of children in front started shouting 'stop.' The safari, needless to say, wasn't my favorite area.

    First you passed through a north american and european area with wisent, elk, alpaca, turkey, american bison etc. Turkeys and some alpaca roamed free, other species were behind short wire fences. After this you entered the carnivore area, which had brown bears, 8! tigers, and lions. Following this was the asian area, keeping species like banteng, javan rusa, indian muntjac, axis deer, sumatran elephant, malayan tapir, sun bear, asian black bear, javan warty pig, javan leopard, nilgai, blackbuck, lesser adjutant, etc. When I was there wild macaques entered the nilgai/muntjac exhibit, making the combo even more interesting. After this you went through the final area which was african-themed, with ostrich, crowned cranes, common elands, giraffes, camels, zebra, wildebeest, red lechwe, common hippopotamus, black rhino, etc. Nothing overly amazing, but not bad either.

    After the safari trip you were dumped into an area that can only be described as a dirty amusement park. Water parks, small attractions, elephant rides, paintball areas etc were omnipresent, and the fact that this was a zoo had been unfortunately long forgotten. As I entered into the zoo area itself, however, I was positively surprised. The first exhibit I encountered was fairly decently built, looked somewhat natural, and held a group of nearly 15 proboscis monkeys. Not too long after I got there a wild javan langr climbed in a tree next to this exhibit, and all 15 proboscis monkeys spontaneously sat on the same branch looking at it. Could not have wished for a better situation photography-wise, of course. In similar styled exhibits were a pair of mandrill, a trio of emu and quite an interesting combination; Indian muntjac, javan porcupine, and some 5 species of endemic turtles. The porcupines technically had their own exhibit, but could easily get into the bigger exhibit surrounding theirs if they pleased.
    Next up was probably what I was looking forward to most, the tarsier house. Keeping 2 (or 3, I suppose) tarsier species and 5 slow loris species in a small but interesting wooden hut, I came back here often even though my time in the zoo was limited. I could see 2 spectral tarsiers, 1 horsfield's tarsier, and then 2 tarsiers that weren't indicated and I can't quite put my finger on. (Pictures following in august, am on another trip at the moment). On the other side of the building were 4 exhibits for 5 slow loris species. The first held a single greater slow loris, the second a bengal slow loris and 2 pygmy slow lorises, and the last two held a pair of philippine and javan slow lorises respectably. While in daylight, the way the exhibits were built they were sufficiently dark for the animals to be somewhat active, but also sufficiently light for photography. A very interesting exhibit indeed.
    Next up were islands for chimpanzees, orangutans and binturong. The apes did not look healthy at all, but at the same time they were also all very old, so that might have something to do with it. Not much else to say about these.
    Another interesting group of exhibits was the bird area, keeping all noteworthy birds mentioned above, among some other oddities. Many hornbill, parrot and bird of prey aviaries were scattered across the place, then a small photography area, 3 cassowary exhibits, each keeping a single cassowary of the 3 different species. In the end there was a small walkthrough aviary with dusky lories, green junglefowl, argus, chinese spotted doves, crowned pigeons, and a pair of maleo. That concludes the bird area, and my post too, as my friends seem to be waking up for our trip to Zoölogischer Garten Berlin.

    More whenever I have time to update this again. Thanks all for reading!
     
  3. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    they had actual Javan Warty Pigs? Or just Javan Wild Pigs?
     
  4. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

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    Black rhino?, how many?
    Javan leopard, were any on show?
     
  5. Vision

    Vision Well-Known Member

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    @Chlidonias, actual javan warty pigs, Sus verrucosus, yes. As far as I could see, 1,2,0. These were not in the drivethrough themselves, but in a rather standard-looking pig exhibit beside it.
    Gembira loka zoo in yogyakarta, which I will get to reviewing later, had another male, that was temporarily behind the scenes but still easily visible.

    @Kiang, I saw 2 black rhinos in separate exhibits next to the safari road, however I didn't exactly get a great look at them due to the driver speeding past them. As far as I know, a single javan leopard was on show in one of the best exhibits of the drive-through area, where it was actively leaping in the many climbing structures. Very interesting to see.
     
  6. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    nice. I thought you meant they were in the drive-through, and thought that didn't sound right if they were Warty Pigs.
     
  7. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Black rhino, I am puzzled there, I think you went thru a mirage there. Sure you did not see white rhinos instead? TS II Prigen holds a small breeding group of 2.1 (an old male ex Toronto Zoo - Hans and 2 new imports from South Africa).

    On now: Jawan leopard and Jawan warty pig. The TSI organization is expanding their numbers in the regular PKBSI zoo community. So, no surprise.


    Where you describe your experience it underlines that zoos in Asia are different than you might expect. And not all is bad, mad and dangerous to know …, bear with me you will have to change your perspective. And if by amusement park elements people get the message about wildlife fine. You cannot love what you don't know and thus don't know how to care or conserve.
     
  8. Vision

    Vision Well-Known Member

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    @Chlidonias, I figure that would be a strange choice, indeed.

    @Kifaru Bwana, as mentioned I didn't pay much attention to the rhinos themselves, but I thoroughly remember the surprise of seeing them being indicated as black rhinoceros. I might have a picture of the sign at home, but I have no access to my pictures here, unfortunately.

    It is certainly pleasant to hear about the populations of native leopards and warty pigs expanding. If paired with the right information, it could certainly help conservation immensely.

    I'm not entirely sure what you mean to say with the last paragraphs. Of course asian zoos are different, but if animals aren't cared for well i.e. too small exhibits, unnutritional or unhealthy food given, or a lot of disrupting background noise, I'm not sure how much that has to do with my perspective as opposed to the zoo's policy on animal care.

    Either way, sorry for not getting the second part of my post up sooner, haven't had a load of time recently haha. Will get to it whenever I can!

    Also, if these 'reports' make it sound like I found the trips unenjoyable that is certainly not true, there were just some controversialities here and there that I still find relevant to address.
     
  9. Vision

    Vision Well-Known Member

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    It's about time I continued this thread, I think!

    After the bird area you either moved on towards the reptile area or the Australian outback. The former I will expand on later, because the latter is much smaller and a dead end. You cross a small bridge over a train touring a small part of the zoo from which you can see the Northern cassowary exhibit, and are then faced with a walkthrough area consisting of 2 cages with tall, chainlink fence; one for agile wallabies and another for dusky pademelons, both very large groups of 15-20 animals. Not state-of-the-art exhibits, but interesting enough for photography and as both species aren't incredibly common in Europe, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing such numerous groups of both species.
    The reptile area up next consisted of a snake walkthrough exhibit, a premier for me. This exhibit was circle-shaped, not roofed, and had a fence that was largely just chainlink, so I'm assuming (not indicated anywhere, and I didn't see any snakes) it only kept very large boas and/or pythons. This exhibit did look fairly new and certainly interesting. Next up was the main reptile area which started out with an exhibit for small-clawed otters having both underwater and normal views, followed up into a tunnel/grotto containing multiple terraria (can post species list if requested) for various smaller reptiles. Towards the end it sloped down, giving you a view over a small but interesting pygmy hippopotamus exhibit, again with both views above and under water.
    After the hippo exhibit there was an open area where some of the Sumatran elephants were brought for people to ride on or take pictures with. To the left was also a large "ship," which I found one of the more interesting complexes in the zoo. Upon entry it had a relatively large exhibit for a group of Humboldt penguins (might have been African, didn't have a lot of time so I decided to walk by these quickly). Next to it was an exhibit for 2 American beavers, and at the end was an exhibit for harbour seals. all exhibits were visible from inside the boat (where you had an under-water view, but could also see the land at eye-level) and on top of the boat, where you got quite a nice overview of the exhibits. The exit was through a quite nicely themed gift shop. Up next was a large wooden hut with 2 glass-fronted exhibits, designed somewhat like a house and an indoor garden. Two of the park's most interesting species were held here, namely a Sunda clouded leopard and the Asian golden cat. A very impressively sized clouded leopard. Sadly both exhibits had horrible glare on the windows making photography incredibly hard, but I did get some pictures of both species.
    Next up were a whole bunch of show areas I decided not to visit to save myself some time. Backtracking a little you walked past a relatively nice exhibit for a trio of "Bengal tigers" (anyone know the origin of these tigers?) You could walk all around the relatively forested exhibit, and even look underwater into their pool. Behind this was one of the zoo's restaurants, aptly named "Tiger cave restaurant" as it looked out into another (yes, the third of the zoo) tiger exhibit. This exhibit kept 2 white tigers, as far as I could see.
    Moving on was an exhibit for saltwater crocodiles, basically a pit with a stream flowing into a large pond, from which visitors could see the animals from a hanging bridge. (Eerily enough, in front of the bridge was a sign saying "Maximum 20 people" :p)
    Last but not least was another show area, of which I didn't visit the show but did see the surroundings. The show theatre looked fairly impressive, and beside it were 4 small exhibits for small mammals. The first was inhabited but unsigned, and I didn't see any animal in the exhibit, the second held a single southern three-banded armadillo, the third a pair of common marmosets, and the last a trio of javan porcupines.

    As far as I know, that was basically the gist of Taman Safari II: Prigen. As mentioned in the first post I'm glad I visited this zoo first, as it was sort of in between the other 2 parks I visited, quality-wise. This is certainly the best place for seeing Asian prosimians I know, and one of the best parks for photographing proboscis monkeys.
     
  10. Vision

    Vision Well-Known Member

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    The day after, we visited the Batu Secret Zoo near Malang.

    Batu Secret Zoo, Malang, 13th of july
    List of significant species:
    -Bear cuscus
    -Spotted cuscus
    -Sulawesi pygmy cuscus
    -Papuan agile wallaby
    -Spectral tarsier
    -Collared brown lemur
    -Red-tailed guenon
    -Wolf's guenon
    -Silver surili
    -Javan gibbon
    -Sunda pangolin
    -Black giant squirrel
    -Banded palm civet
    -White-tailed masked civet
    -Asian small mongoose
    -Asian golden cat
    -Javan leopard
    -Highland anoa
    -Dwarf cassowary

    Description:
    Of the three zoos I visited in java, this was easily my favorite. As seen in the above list, it has an impressive collection of rare species in captivity, and while most exhibits were small I feel it did a really good job in trying to make the exhibits look as nice as possible.

    On to the detailed review; When you drive into the parking lot in front of the complex, it feels like you enter a very heavily themed theme park. Apart from the incredibly abstract entrance design, right beside it is also a hotel overlooking the zoo, designed to look like a sort of giant tree, with the trunks stretching over part of the parking lot and hotel lobby. A very strange sight.
    As you enter the zoo, you see one of the strangest nutria exhibits I've ever seen. A rocky backdrop, a long stretch of water, and abstract rock-like extensions for the animals to walk above the water. It kept a small group of domesticated nutrias, in various colors and sizes. As you walk up the walkway you see an open enclosure for green iguanas, and a small aviary for a group of common squirrel monkeys. Behind the corner is a decent-sized, mockrock-loaded exhibit for meerkats, and then a row of primate aviaries including Javan gibbon, red-tailed guenon, De Brazza's monkey, putty-nosed monkey, Wolf's guenon, and collared brown lemurs. After this, you enter a strange construction with "Flying lemur house" spelled on top.
    Sadly, the house does not keep Flying lemurs itself, and probably refers to the fact that the house is fairly high off the ground and contains lemurs. To the right are two terraria, one for pygmy marmosets and the other for Goeldi's monkey (IIRC? Could be wrong here, that or another callithricid for sure). Straight ahead is an exhibit themed like a preschool classroom with a decent-sized group of ring-tailed lemurs. These three exhibits were inside a cage/aviary-type construction, from here on out you actually entered the house itself. This had a small enclosure for a black-and-white binturong (think giant panda, but with a long tail.. Never knew they could get this colour!), the indoor exhibit for ring-tailed lemurs, and a large exhibit for 3 bear cuscuses.
    As you exited the house, you got a wonderful overview of half of the zoo, with all of it's confusing elevated paths and exhibits. It's hard to describe this large portion in order because you could see every exhibit from a bunch of different angles, so for now I'll procrastinate this area a little and skip straight to my favorite part of the zoo - the nocturnal house.

    To enter, you walk under a rocky arch saying "Aquarium" and immediately see what isn't quite aquatic; a cave with a wooden boardwalk going through it, water streams on both sides of the path, with atmospheric artificial torches to somewhat light it up. On both sides of the path you had glass-fronted exhibits keeping a very interesting range of nocturnal animals. The first of many exhibits held a trio of sugar gliders, but the next two exhibits were the first to really spark my interest; both held a single Sunda pangolin! They looked very young and small, and sadly both were inactive, but really impressive nonetheless. Next up were two similar exhibits, one for 2 Javan slow lorises and one for a Sulawesi pygmy cuscus. After this, the exhibits got slightly larger; A couple of relatively similar exhibits for a pair of albino small Asian mongooses, a pair of kinkajou, a Malayan civet, and a pair of banded palm civets. After these 4 exhibits the path curved around a very interesting exhibit: Spectral tarsiers combined with a duo of un-indicated aquatic turtle species! You could see the exhibit from 2 sides, one of them even having an underwater view for the turtles! I had never seen tarsiers combined with other animals, so I found this very impressive. The pleasant surprises didn't quite end there, however, because on the other side of the path there was an exhibit with a very active Spotted cuscus! To finish off the nocturnal house, there was a much more lit up, open-topped exhibit for a big hairy armadillo. From here on out, it transitioned into the actual aquarium itself, which is where I'll pick up in the next post!

    Thanks for reading, hopefully I was clear enough. As always, if there are any questions, I'm happy to (try to) respond :D
     
  11. savethelephant

    savethelephant Well-Known Member

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    Wow this trip sounds fantastic, bucket list for me! Also, you didn't talk to any keepers about exports, did you?
    There will be pictures right? ;)
     
  12. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I have never heard of a binturong being black and white before. Do you have any photos of it? That sounds extraordinary.
     
  13. Vision

    Vision Well-Known Member

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    @Savetheelephant, none of the keepers I tried to talk to spoke a word of English, unfortunately, and my Bahasa isn't quite fantastic either. :p
    The trip included this and Singapore, where I was lucky enough to revisit the Singapore zoo, Jurong bird park, Night safari, River safari, S.E.A. Aquarium. It was very enjoyable indeed, certainly bucket list-worthy!

    @Chlidonias, it was very extraordinary indeed. I'll have to look through my pictures but I doubt I have any good ones; it was on a path every single visitor had to pass, so there were a lot of people pushing me around, and the glass was very dirty and scratched. I do have good pictures of a completely white binturong in Gembira Loka Zoo, however!

    EDIT: Unfortunately, it seems I don't have any pictures of the black and white binturong :/
     
  14. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    There is certainly a lot of exciting small mammals in the nocturnal house, definitely a worthwhile visit!

    I googled black & white binturong, but couldn't find any examples, nor of just white binturong, so look forward to seeing your photo of the latter!
     
  15. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    shame about the black and white binturong. I've just been googling some photos - this zoo seems to love white animals! Albino coati, albino coypu, albino porcupine, albino wallabies, fawn raccoons, albino crocodiles, white tigers, white lions...
     
  16. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    This is a fascinating thread which I'm following with much envy - you're pointing out a lot of animals which I've had near-misses with recently :p

    Nonetheless, thanks for bringing us more detail about these interesting places. :D

    Did it look natural? There's a growing trend to dye leucistic/white animals to resemble giant pandas. I've only come across it with domestic dogs (usually Chow Chows in China), but it might not be beyond some of these collections. :rolleyes:
     
  17. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I did ponder that myself.

    From googling I found a photo of an albino or leucistic binturong, which looked very weird; and also some really pale grey ones which looked almost as strange (the latter at Gembira Loka: Mbulan: GLZ (GEMBIRA LOKA ZOO)).

    This less unusual one (but still two-tone) is at Batu Secret Zoo: http://www.femina.co.id/travel/asyiknya-bersantai-di-batu
     
  18. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    wait - I found the piebald binturong! I can't get the direct link to the Instagram photo, but hopefully I can attach it:
     

    Attached Files:

  19. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    Oh wow! That is very unusual!
    I have photos of similarly leucistic specimens but this is something else entirely!
    Nice find!
     
  20. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh wow, that is a very different binturong! :cool: