Feb 9, 2013

The zoo

We've bought a membership to the zoo. I always like to go to zoos, even if they are a little bit sad because the animals have no space and generally appear less than perfectly happy. But with a 2-year old, living in the western part of the island, close to the zoo, a membership to the zoo seems a must.

We've had it less than a month and already visited the zoo at least four times that I can recall. It's part way between us and downtown, so sometimes we just pop in for a snack and see some monkeys.

The Singapore Zoo is famous for not using obvious fences and animals appear to roam freely. The orang-utans are a good example. You can see them climbing up high in the vines above the path and aping around. But a closer examination shows electric wires on trees, to prevent them going too low or too high. And the males are banished to a little island with some dead trunks. Since they're heavier, males are not prone to monkeying around high up in any case, and I suppose the babies need to be somewhat protected from potential masculine hormones. It's still a great sight, and you can have breakfast with them.

The monkeys are generally the best thing about the zoo, as is the Splash World event with an active sea lion - at least, it impressed my 2-year old. Today, though, we discovered a very new part of the zoo which was truly wonderful. It's a section that has butterflies, ducks, weird looking birds, parrots bats, lemurs and some sort of tiny deer running around among the tourists and visitors. The lemurs are very comfortable just hanging around next to you - my hubby was able to take a picture from less than 30 cm away, without it running off.

The other fantastic part of the zoo is Kids World, where kids can splash around in ankle deep water, with hundreds of fountains, sprays, tipping buckets, and a number of slides. It was busy there today - a nice hot day in Singapore, Chinese New Year, etc. I invested in bathers for my son and myself and off we went. We had a ball.

We've learned some tricks. You bring your own camera because you really don't want to pay $35 for a badly taken photo of you feeding bananas to the elephants. You should bring your own towel, because the $10 ones they sell at Kids World barely covers my head. The food at the zoo is generally bad, unless you invest in breakfast with the orang-utans (is my guess, since we've not done this yet). The rest is bad versions of hawker foods that have been drying out in their hot-trays for several hours before it gets to you. And the boat ride is definitely not worth it.

Today's surprise is that even if you have a membership that entitles you to a free tram ride, that, apparently, does not count on a weekend. Strollers a definite plus, therefore.

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