The Animals at the Singapore Zoo

Zoos in Asia are hit or miss.  Usually miss.  Usually I leave a zoo feeling creeped out and ashamed about paying for/participating in the incarceration and exploitation of once beautiful animals.  I've seen sharks bent nearly in half by the too small nature of their tanks, lions pacing furtively, walking the same tiny route again and again rubbing up against the glass until their hair is rubbed away in clumps as the zoo patrons slam on the glass and howl.  I've even seen an orangutan drinking from a glass Fanta bottle.  Over the last half decade I've rarely left a zoo feeling like animals and humans will be able to coexist in a world where zoos are a necessity for the survival of many species.  Zoos are kind of a sad reality in a world over-hunted, over-poached, over-eaten, over-taken.

So as anyone who's been to Sinagpore will tell you, the Singapore Zoo is refreshing.  In a universe of too small cages and underfed, under loved, under appreciated zoo inhabitants, the Singapore Zoo stands out as a model for what a zoo can be.  Few of the animals lacked space, all the animals we saw looked healthy, and the orangutans, chimpanzees, and other monkeys looked like they could have gone wherever they pleased, though none of them chose to.  

We started our day with breakfast with the orangutans.  If you're in Singapore, you're probably going to be having an overpriced hotel buffet for breakfast, so you might as well eat the same quality food at the zoo while orangutans chomp on sunflower seeds a few meters away.  The food's nothing special, but totally edible, and you're really paying for a picture of you and some orangutans.  Totally worth it.  We spent the next three hours walking around seeing everything from the pygmy hippo to the white tigers to the meerkats to the monkeys.  We only had a few hours to spend, but I think a full day would be worth it.  There's a ton to see and if you want to feed basically everything in the zoo, all you have to do is time it right and you can feed anything from the kangaroo to the elephants.  

For my birthday I picked up Nikon's 28-300 lens, a zoom with some pretty great reach which I took full advantage of on this trip.  It's a great lens that let me get some close up shots of these beautiful animals.  As always here's 10 pictures and some foolish comments.



Singapore Zoo
This little guy ate breakfast about twenty feet from us.  That's my kind of tourism.  Come gorge yourself at an all-you-can-eat-buffet!  And also, apes!

Singapore Zoo
Everybody lined up and then stood in front of four of these big guys, turned their back on them, and had their pictures taken.  While I was having my picture taken, with my back to two giant orangutans, all I could think about was this guy reaching over and ripping my arms off.  

Singapore Zoo
Sad?  Wistful?  Melancholy?  Resigned to his fate?  Ray Liotta at the end of Goodfellas?

Chimpanzees Singapore Zoo
If these chimpanzee's ever start a band I think this is their album cover.  

Meerkat
The open nature of the zoo makes me feel that this meerkat probably has something to worry about.  Made me wonder how many get picked off.

Singapore Zoo
"OMFG, so cute!" said everybody.

Singapore Zoo
Of course the elephants were doing tricks like dancing and spraying water and rolling logs.  Show-offs. 
Singapore Zoo
The Douc Langur, winner of best name and possibly my favorite animal.  When I go to the zoo I want to see exotic, and this guy was pretty damn exotic.  

Singapore Zoo
I made eye contact with the white tiger and he telepathically told me he wanted to eat me.

Singapore Zoo
All the proboscis monkeys were sitting like this.  Standing there watching them made me feel like I was in the presence of intellectual greatness.  If thinking were a spectator sport, this is the level of dignity and gravitas I hope the mentathletes would bring to the championship match.  Also the big ones had noses that had developed into giant...proboscis looking things, so maybe they were just contemplating the deep unfairness of the universe.


The Singapore Zoo was easily top three on our two week trip through Sri Lanka and Singapore.  10/10, would recommend. Right now I'm working through the nearly 4,000 pictures I took trying to figure out which one's best tell the story of our trip.  Up next, some Sri Lankan awesomeness.

2 comments:

  1. Love, love, love your amazing photos! Can't wait to see the pics from Sri Lanka.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just now catching up on your trip. WOW you have a great eye for composition and lighting! I suspect it's all in the lens... right? :)

    ReplyDelete