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Zoo Negara Zoo Negara review - 10th April 2015

Discussion in 'Malaysia' started by ZooGirl101, 19 Apr 2015.

  1. ZooGirl101

    ZooGirl101 Well-Known Member

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    INTRO
    Long before I actually went to Kuala Lumpur I started researching this zoo. You know, taking a look at the website, Wikipedia, photos, Trip Advisor reviews and so on as I usually do before I visit a new zoo.

    I do not have that much experience with Asian zoos as such. I only went to Singapore Zoo when I was 3. On one side I expected it to be a good zoo since some of the enclosures looked good but on the other hand some people were saying very bad things about the zoo which of course always happens. I saw photos of a horrible elephant enclosure (with elephant shows) and horrendous bear "cages".

    But then I had also heard that the zoo was improving. Anyway, I said to myself, I have to visit this zoo.

    ARRIVING
    So on the day my hotel arranged a Taxi for me. It was probably about 20 minutes (without traffic) and the taxi cost about 25-30 RM. I went early as I had been advised, it is ridiculously hot there!

    I got to the zoo 10 minutes after it opened and was one of the first ones in. As I came into the zoo I went left and right there was the elephant enclosure, I recognised it from the photos. However there were tapirs in it. The banners still had elephants on them. The grandstand and equipment for the shows were still there. And I could clearly see the "ditch" you see in all those photos when the elephants are begging.

    But I saw no elephants and that already put a huge smile on my face. I looked on the map and saw they were still in the zoo, however now near the Savannah Walk. I knew there would be a brand new enclosure and I was really looking forward to it.

    WILD STORKS
    Anyway the next thing that caught my eye were all the wild storks. Literally, the trees were filled. Later on I learnt that over 700 wild storks are currently living around the lake at Zoo Negara. I started making my way around the lake where there were enclosures and aviaries with small animals and birds.

    BIG CATS
    Eventually I reached the big cat enclosures. Now these could do with some work but I didn't actually think it was too bad. It was only about 10am but already extremely hot, so all the tigers were swimming in their moats which was cool to see.

    BRAND NEW MAMMAL KINGDOM
    At times I thought the map was hard to follow and often got quite confused. But next I was in the reptile house which I thought was neat. Just after the reptile house was "Mammal Kingdom" which obviously was extremely new. Literally it looked like it had just opened the day before. There were new enclosures for small cats, capybaras and otters. It was really nice to see.

    CONSTRUCTION
    Just after Mammal Kingdom was lots of construction going on. I don't know what but there was a huge concrete truck blocking the path all day and the place looked a mess so not sure what they were doing there.

    MULTI ANIMAL SHOW
    I started making my way to the Show Amphitheatre for the 11am show. Just before I got there I saw some small primate cages which I wasn't too thrilled about. They were rather small and all concrete. Hoping that they will get some new enclosures soon. The show was fantastic. Very educational. I got to help feed the storks, which was fun!

    AQUARIUM
    Next I went to the Aquarium which I had high hopes for. And it was great. Clearly also a newish building. Lovely to walk around in and such a large collection of animals.

    NEW ELEPHANT ENCLOSURE
    I then started making my way to the top of the zoo. I was so keen to visit the elephants so I went there first. First thing I saw was a HUGE brand new looking elephant barn. And that connected to a very large grassy paddock even with a part that wasn't visible to visitors. And then I saw the two females, Sibol and Siti grazing in peace. There was so much vegetation. It honestly brought a bit of a tear to my eye knowing that so recently they were still performing shows and giving rides.

    SAVANNAH WALK
    Next up was Savannah Walk. Fantastic! Great spacious enclosures for the rhinos, and then the large savannah paddock which had zebra, giraffes and some antelope (can't exactly remember which ones).

    GIANT PANDAS
    I realised I still hadn't seen the Giant Pandas so made my way there. When I got there a huge school group was just about to go in which I wasn't in the mood for. So I quickly went to the orang-utans and chimps who I think were also in very decent enclosures. Anyway when I eventually got to the Giant Panda complex I was amazed by how new and beautiful it looked. Inside was a small theatre to watch a movie on Giant Pandas. The kids loved it and it was great for education. Then you get 20 minutes to go and actually see the pandas. They were both sleeping...surprise. But it was very nice and air conditioned in there so I spent my 20 minutes well.

    IMPROVED BEAR COMPLEX
    Now, I have almost pointed out all the main things. But last but not least was the Bear Complex. I was absolutely mid blown when I saw these enclosures after seeing those horrible photos. The enclosures were beautiful, spacious and NO MORE CONCRETE! The bears looked happy too. The Brown Bears were just chilling in their really big pool and one was playing with a barrel. So I was super happy with the bear complex.

    CONCLUSION
    I know this is an extremely long review but once I start talking I really can't stop. Anyway to round it all up, I really enjoyed my day at Zoo Negara and was very surprised at how great some of the enclosures were and all the work that is going on to improve the lives of the animals. So at the end of the day I just think it's the big cats and some monkey cages that need work but everything else was just fantastic.

    One thing you really need to look out for in this zoo......the weather! I got caught in the middle of a huge tropical storm but to be honest that just sort of added to the experience :).

    Till next time,
    Rose
     
  2. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    Nice review! :) Very interesting.

    I have one question, with the pandas, you said that you get 20 minutes to look at them. So do you get kicked out of the panda building once 20 minutes are up? I'm guessing to control numbers?
     
  3. ZooGirl101

    ZooGirl101 Well-Known Member

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    Yes you are correct. I do remember there being a sort of similar procedure with the giant pandas in Hong Kong. I think it does have to do with controlling the crowd, as the pandas are a main attraction at the zoo.
     
  4. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Rose - I'm glad you enjoyed your visit so much. Would you happen to remember which small cat species were displayed? Is the reptile complex still standing?

    Whilst in Malaysia did you visit any other zoos?
     
  5. ZooGirl101

    ZooGirl101 Well-Known Member

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    This was the only zoo in Malaysia I went to. I did however go to Bali Zoo and Bali Bird Park in Bali. The reptile complex was still standing yes.

    Among the small cats were definitely servals and the other ones I can't remember since I never actually saw them that day. They were always out of view. In the Mammal Kingdom there were capybaras, Asian small clawed otters, servals and then 2 other small cat species.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 19 Apr 2015
  6. ZooGirl101

    ZooGirl101 Well-Known Member

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    Just looked at the website, Leopard Cats I believe are another that were there but I think the website is a bit old since it says racoons are still in Mammal Kingdom but they were in a new enclosure in a different part of the zoo.
     
  7. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    thanks for the review Rose. It sounds all roughly similar to when I was last there, although some animals have come back on show (such as the leopard cats). The Panda House wasn't yet completed when I was there, and the new bear enclosures were also still being finished.

    Did you see the Insect House? It was under construction during my visit, and I thought that was bound to be interesting.

    Where the elephants are now I think must be the enclosure which I thought was a former elephant enclosure. It was empty at the time of my visit, but it was near the Mammal Kingdom. Are those horrible little concrete cages around from the Mammal Kingdom gone now? (They had the raccoons and some other small mammals when I visited).
     
  8. ZooGirl101

    ZooGirl101 Well-Known Member

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    I don't remember even seeing an insect house. Not on signs, or the map etc. That's interesting...

    Yes I believe those little concrete cages are gone. I had seen them on photos but didn't see them at all during my visit. Like I said, the mammal kingdom now has brand new enclosures. The racoons were located somewhere totally different, also in a different enclosure.
     
  9. elefunz

    elefunz New Member

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    just read your review ! nice to read this! great. please come again and we can go sightseeing at the zoo together ! bringing you around KL is a great time too ;)

    Malaysia truly asia :)