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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrSingapore Zoo has been a leader in its field since it first opened its doors to the pubic over four decades ago. It was one of the first wildlife sanctuaries which recognised the benefits and long-term sustainability of showcasing animals within open and extensive natural surroundings, and has been heralded for years as one of the most avant-garde zoos on the planet. Home to the largest orangutan display ever built, this zoo boasts one of the most eclectic animal enclosures in existence, with primates, Bengal tigers; polar bears, leopards; komodo dragons, and kangaroos happily coexisting behind one, seemingly invisible fence. Singapore Zoo is home to over 300 animal species, a good portion of which are internationally endangered.
Spending an entire day admiring the animals and relishing in the forested landscape of the city’s outer suburbs is one of the most enjoyable things to do in the city. For those who have a philosophical aversion to seeing animals locked in zoos, a visit here may well restore their faith in humanity.
The zoo occupies 69 acres of a much larger conservation area, and adjoins a protected animal sanctuary which holds night-time safaris.
What Makes Singapore Zoo UniqueThere are many zoos which aim to display their animals in a ‘nature-like’ environment, yet not very many can compete with Singapore Zoo’s exceptional layout. This is largely due to the fact that the zoo is on the fringes of a very luscious forest, and it can utilise a nearby reservoir to feed moate and rivers which are used in place of fences to separate animals from each other, and visitors. Only the best of climbers are enclosed within enormous glass-walled habitats.
The enclosures are so authentic, that a primatologist once lived within the primate encounters for 6 months to study their social behaviour, surmising that this is as natural a habitat as can be. Most visitors also rate this as close to a bona fide safari as one could ever hope to get. You can enjoy close encounters with many of the zoo’s special creatures thanks to a comprehensive itinerary of daily feeding shows.
Due to the extensiveness of the property, visitors can utilise trams, horse carriages, boats, electric scooters and wagons to tour the zoo.
HighlightsOne does not pick favourites with animals, yet if one were forced to, one would probably have to mention the orangutans, polar bears and tigers as one’s absolute favourite highlights. Yet major players aside, Singapore Zoo is also home to an impressive number of smaller tropical exhibits in what has been acclaimed as the best rainforest animal display on the planet.
Here are the daily shows which are the biggest crowd pullers of all.
Breakfast with OrangutansEarly morning is the best time to see all the primates in action, and between 9.30AM and 10.30AM is when you can enjoy a scrumptious breakfast in the company of the enchanting forest giants. For just S$33 ($24) you can savor a gourmet feast among the forested jungle floor as you pose for photos with the comical orangutans.
Elephant ShowA hit with kids of all ages, the elephant ‘play and work show’ combines the skills, intelligence and strength of the mighty Asian beast. Shows are on twice daily, at 11.30AM and 3.30PM. Animals are fed at the end of the show so do hang about as you can get up close and personal with them.
Seal Splash ShowNo zoo would be complete without a somewhat kitschy show featuring mischievous seals and sea lions. Yet the animals are incredibly sociable and seem to enjoy the shenanigans put on display for visitors, so take the kids down to the Splash Safari Show and, if it’s a particularly hot day, get them to sit at the front. Seals can be seen strutting their funny stuff at 10.30AM and 5PM daily. As with the elephant show, stick around till the end and you’ll also have the chance to shake hands with the stars of the show.
Tips and Hints for an Unforgettable Visit
- Everything at the Singapore Zoo runs professionally and competently. Everything, that is, except the entrance ticket booth. Pre-purchase your tickets online if you don’t want to waste the first hour of your day lining up for tickets.
- It’s definitely recommended to book ahead if you want to enjoy breakfast with the orangutans as these are usually the first tickets to sell out every day.
- The tropical rainforest exhibit is so realistic that it’s overrun with mosquitoes, so take plenty of insect repellent.
- You can purchase combined tickets to visit the zoo and partake in a Night Safari, which is held next door. However do keep in mind that trying to do both on the same day is excessively exhausting, especially if you’re visiting with kids.
How to Get to Singapore ZooPublic transport is the most convenient way to reach the zoo, and combines the Mass rapid Transport (Singapore) with a wide selection of public buses.
Take the MRT to the NS4 station (Choa Chu Kang) and then catch the 927 bus, or take the MRT to NS16 (Ang Mo Kio), and then hop on the 138.
Opening Times and Admission CostsSingapore Zoo is open from 8.30AM to 6PM every day. Adult admission tix are S$32 ($24) while kids between the ages of 3 and 12 pay S$23 ($17).
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Author: Laura Pattara. Last updated: Feb 03, 2015