Monday, March 29, 2010

All Aboard The Night Safari

Hey all,

I promised you a look at the zoos they have here in Singapore and I always keep my promises. And this was an easy and very enjoyable promise to keep!

Now, Jonathon and I have been to zoos in just about every country we've ever been in. We've been to zoos on five continents now, and I think at our last count, we had over 75 under our belt. So when I say we consider ourselves zoo experts, you'll understand what I mean.

When I was in college, I volunteered at the Chaffee Zoo in Fresno, California for a while. I worked first in the reptile building and then with the big cats. So not only do I look at a zoo through public eyes, but I've been around the behind scenes as well.

And what we've seen in Singapore is right up there with some of the best zoos we've ever been to!!!

Today's blog is about a very unique concept--The Night Safari. When we first heard of it, we thought it would be a big building with exhibits that showed only creatures who came out at night...somewhat like the awesome zoo in Omaha, Nebraska we visited once, The Henry Doorly Zoo. Their "Kingdoms of the Night" was by far the best night display we've ever experienced.
But the Night Safari is very different. It is not a building, but an entire park where the visitor can experience animals at night. Some ARE night creatures, but quite a few are not. It was, as I said, in a word, unique!

There are footpaths all around the park, or if you want, you can take their tram and let them do the driving. We wound up walking--when we go to a zoo we like to be away from people because you see so much more. But then at the end of the night, we took the tram so we could see those places only the tram went to. And by that time there were only a few of us!

For those who do go to the Night Safari after reading this blog, I would suggest you walking first--starting with the Forest Giants Trail and moving from the right side of the park to the left. (most everyone else goes to the tram first--very crowded--or walks to the left) For a map of the park, go HERE

Again, my camera sucks at night pics, so I found most of these online. But I can tell you about them just the same. Enjoy!!!

Just before the entrance, there are the shops and quite a few restaurants. It is all set up like a tiny village and while you wait to be allowed to enter, they even have some shows!

This was great! Half nekkid, nicely built men dancing, joking and spitting fire. Jonathon didn't see the attraction, but I sure did. He had to drag me to the zoo. I was enjoying the view way too much! LOL

We walked in and were just in time for their Creatures of the Night Show. It was better than I expected and we got to see some really interesting things. A hyena trained to drag a log to show his jaw strength, an Asian Wolf who howls on command, cute little mongooses and a pair of river otters who refused to leave the stage they were such hams! A binterong crawled on a rope above us and the highlight of the show was when they pulled a python out of the seats right in front of us. LOL They had a guy come up from the audience to hold her and he was hysterical. Terrified and it was funny to watch him try and fail to be manly!!!
If you're interested, you can go HERE and see a video of the show. This gal was our host (in the pic above, she's the blurry one. LOL) and was a real hoot. She had the audience eating out of her hand, just like the critters she trains!

Below is a pic of the wolf I mentioned earlier. He was beautiful, but visibly different than a North American animal.
And these are the otters I mentioned. They were brought out to pick up trash to show us humans how to recycle, but they had so much fun doing it, they wouldn't leave the stage! LOL

And here is one of my favorite critters. A flying fox--this one caught munching on his favorite dish...fruit!

A picture of one of the trams you can take to see the park, along with some tapirs. There were several places we could reach out and touch the critters if we'd wanted to.
When we rode the tram there were less than a dozen people on it. Very nice and private.

One of the little meal kiosks they have around the park. We didn't eat, but stopped for a drink and some chips. We needed the salt! LOL

One of the big cats. I think this is a fishing cat. We didn't see it the first time around, so we went back just before closing and one was there pacing around. I'd never seen one before. They have quite a few animals that are very rare.

This suspension bridge is part of the Forest Giants Trail. It spanned an area of tree canopy and the ambiance was beautiful. In fact, that's what I liked most about the Night Safari. It was lit and set up in a way that made you feel right at home amongst the night.

But this was one of our favorite animals of the night. It is the giant flying squirrel, another animal I've never seen. He has his own enclosure that you can walk into and Jonathon and I got there just in time to see several of them take off and glide. Now these guys are big--about the size of a miniature poodle and to have one zip by your head as he makes for another tree isn't something you'll soon forget!!!

There is so much more to see and tell you, but this blog is too long already. LOL If you are really interested, just google it and you'll find all kinds of pictures and information. We had a great time and I'll not soon forget wandering around at night amongst some of my favorite beings on the planet.

We'll have a guest blogger on Wednesday, the awesome Raelynn Blue, then I'll be back with a blog about the sister zoo to the Night Safari--The Singapore Zoo.

Take care all,

CJ England
Follow Your Dreams


SiNn said...

beautiful pictures glad to see u went to the zoo

CJ England said...

Thanks! It was an awesome night.


s7anna said...

wow that must have been an amazing experience...did you reach out of the tram to pet any of the animals?


Phylis said...

Some of the pics don't show but what I can see are awesome! Cool! Never knew you had been to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha CJ. I love that one. They've added some neat stuff. Looking forward to the Singapore Zoo!

CJ England said...

Hey Anna,

I thought about it, but Jonathon would have stressed. LOL We didn't want to get kicked out just for petting the deer.


CJ England said...


Hmmmm....wonder why you can't see them? I hate internet sometimes. And yes, I love HD Zoo. It is one of my all time faves. The way they have it set up was amazing.

I'd love to go back.

Although I did have to take one of the people to task in the petting zoo. They had ferrets and kept giving out wrong info. I pulled them aside and let them know the truth and they argued with me. So I talked to the manager, took them to the site online that tells all the CORRECT info. LOL

I did get an apology. You DON'T mess with me about my carpet sharks! LOL