Saturday, March 30, 2013

Singapore Zoo

Golden Faced Saki
We’ve been to a lot of zoos in our time, and often they just make us sad. I don’t want to sound smug, but when you’ve seen animals in the wild, in their natural habitats, it’s harder to see them in zoos without just feeling bad for the animal, about the zoo, and a little bit bad about yourself for paying for it.  There are exceptions, of course, and we’ve seen wonderful zoos in San Diego, Auckland (and others I’m forgetting). We almost didn’t go to the Singapore zoo, mostly because it involved what seemed like a complicated bus trip, but we’re so glad we did. It’s definitely a zoo that you’ll leave feeling glad that you went.
The animals are not only well cared for, their enclosures are interesting to them (and to us!) giving them the freedom to move about and allow for some great observation of animals you might not ever see this close anywhere else.
One of our favorite exhibits was a walk-through enclosure that initially we thought was just an aviary. We started taking pictures of butterflies, and some birds, and then we swiveled around to see these guys, trying to catch some zz’s in the afternoon heat.
There was nothing between us and these lemurs. No fence, no railing, nothing. If I’d been either stupider or braver I could have reached out and touched one of them, but then I know enough not to poke a wild animal, even in the zoo. 
They also had a large population of flying foxes, which swooped overhead and landed in front of us, fighting over fruit and generally making a lot of racket.
This guy was just hanging out on a corner of the viewing platform that was elevated so you could see the flying foxes front and center. Just hanging out, taking a snooze. I asked him if he wanted to climb in my purse and go home with me but he was just content to sit and watch the tourists go by.
Maybe this video will make it clear just how close and large these flying foxes were. Trust us, they were both.
Flying Foxes at the Singapore Zoo
I think he and Mr. Bee had a meeting of the minds. At least, they admired each other’s appreciation for color block ensembles.
There were also birds in the aviary.
And flowers, and butterflies. It was a great experience, and a wonderful surprise as we hadn’t been expecting to come face to face with lemurs and flying foxes.
David found a bit more “nature” that had escaped the zoo out in the parking lot. I think he's been working on this escape route for a long time, but he's not gotten further than the bus stop. We hope he makes it.