By Trish Saikia
When I first got my Singapore airline tickets, the Singapore Zoo was the first thing on my bucket list. Having heard about its recognition as the finest Zoo in Asia, my temptations flared up. Well, we all know of the cosmopolitan image of Singapore but what we should discover is its treasure store of wildlife.
Also called the Mandai Zoo, the Singapore Zoo came into being in 1973 under government funding. It is an international effort to conserve the natural population of wildlife along with participation in breeding programs and conservation initiatives. It has come a long way since then having cultivated a long list of awards both locally & globally. The zoo hosts approximately 2,500 animals, across 40 hectares. The highlight of the zoo is its “open concept”.
A walk amidst plants and animals, including small mouse deer, tree kangaroos and lemurs is a good idea to begin with. You have the luxury of choosing Boat Safari to see the largest bird in the zoo, the white-bellied sea eagle as well as lots of other species and The Elephants at Work display. From Australian Outback section (full of wallabies and kangaroos), to the Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia (with Hamadryas baboons, jackals and ibexes) and to the hippo enclosure the Zoo offers plenty of options. The most lucrative activity is taking a photograph with an animal star. You can have fun-filled Elephant rides, Horse carriage rides, Pony rides and Carousel rides.
Arguably, the compelling attraction for visitors would be the Orangutans. Feed these Apes yourself, in the “breakfast with the Orangutan” event held every day. This is a great chance to mingle with these friendly animals & have a memorable experience.
The main events are organized in the three venues namely The Garden pavilion, Forest Lodge and Pavilion- by-the Lake of Zoo. Birth day parties, weddings and other social gatherings are encouraged in this place.
A Zoo Shop with souvenirs, educational material l& local cuisine is also featured here. The Ah Meng Kopi restaurant, the Pizzafari & even a Ben &Jerry’s ice cream shop is available.
With guided tours, feeding demonstrations, night safaris, animal encounters and rides, the Singapore Zoo is all set to entertain & educate you. Just grab the chance. You can’t afford to miss the mysticism and eeriness!
We would like to thank Trish Saikia for this guest post and contributing pictures.