Day 5 - The Singapore Zoo and Night Safari

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After a big night, we all slept in till around 11:40 AM this morning.
When we finally got up and were ready to go we had to try to find somewhere to get breakfast/lunch as we were so used to our fancy buffet breakfast at the hotel. We eventually found a Subway and had brunch there.

It was ok to have a late start to the day today aswell because we planned on going to the zoo.
The Singapore Zoo is actually made up of two parts, where one of them is a night safari to see all the nocturnal animals.

We probably got to the zoo at around 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon and slowly made our way around.
I stopped every few hours to apply anti-inflammatory cream to my foot as I just can't seem to shake this pain. The good thing was the cream was actually helping and I was able to get around most of the day ok as long as I took breaks every now and then... felt like a crippled old man though.

The zoo was really nice! Apparently it started off years ago with a bunch of animals in small cages but underwent a revamp and is now one of the highest rated zoo's in the world. I believe our very own Steve Erwin also helped with the upgrade.

One of the best things about this zoo is that your view is rarely blocked by glass. Instead there are just rails, large rocks and deep drops keeping the animals in their enclosures - this is great for our photos.

White Tiger

They also had quite a lot of places where you could get your photo taken with the animals.
The thing that shocked me the most was that the photographers use their own cameras so you can buy the photos afterwards, but they will happily use tourists cameras too - which was a pleasant surprise considering it removes the need to buy the official ones!

Big birds

We made our way to the first show - The Asian Elephants.
Once again we didn't get a seat, but we could see from where we were standing as long as we ducked between peoples heads.
There were 4 elephants and the trainers showed us how powerful they were by moving logs around with their legs and trunk.
The Asian Elephants are not as big as the African Elephants, but they are incredibly strong. They can weigh up to 4 tons and yet they can still balance on a small log.
These elephants were trained to work together to accomplish tasks and also to spray water at the audience along with other antics like bowing and stealing food.

Elephant balancing on a log

One elephant trying to wake up the other one

One of the other goals of the trip for Anthony and Amy was to get a photo with an Orangutan.

The Orangutan's were cheeky - the guides said we need to take our bags and hats off because otherwise we may not get them back!

Orangutan going for my head


Along the way there were monkeys and other wild animals roaming around the zoo unrestrained which was pretty cool. We even saw this crossing one of the roads in the zoo - the tourist tram had to stop to give way.

Casually crossing the road like a human
You can see the skin falling off its body

The normal part of the zoo shuts at 6:00 PM, so we had time for one more thing and decided to take a river cruise, which I thought was a nice way to end the day. It was amazing seeing the zoo from the outside and just how naturally green the water was with plant life (not litter).

River cruise

The zoo shuts at 6:00 PM but the night safari opens at 7:00 PM so we (and everyone else in the zoo) made our way to the other side. I was really looking forward to the night safari but we must have picked a bad day because the amount of people meant we spent a lot more time in queue than we did seeing anything.

We only managed to see 3 things in the whole 4 or so hours we were there: a fire breathing show, a "Creatures of the Night" show and the safari train through the park.
Mind you these things were all great, but they went for about half an hour each and we probably spent double that time in each queue.

The fire breathing show was pretty well done! The performers could make huge fireballs as expected, but they also did a few other tricks like extending each others flames and spitting the fuel in the air in front of them before lighting it to keep a discrete ball of flame in front of them, then passing that ball of flame off to another performer.
They even got a volunteer from the audience and basically just kept scaring him and making fun of him - it was pretty funny.

Fire breathers

Passing a fireball around

The best part was they had this show where people were eating and queuing up to get into the park, so at least people didn't need to queue up specifically for this one, but the queue to get into the park made up for it - it took ages!

Once we got into the park, we had 3 choices: walk around the trails, line up for the safari train or line up for the "Creatures of the Night" show.
The previous shows were really good and the "Creatures of the Night" show was only available for the first half of the night, so we went to that queue first.

The "Creatures of the Night" show was great. They put a big emphasis on no flash photography, so the photos we took are pretty hard to see, but the show had giant snakes, wolves, otters, racoons, big cats and plenty of other animals that I couldn't actually name.
There was plenty of jokes along the way, like pretending some dangerous python escaped from the cage and pulling it out from under someones seat, etc.
The presenters did a really good job of controlling flashes and keeping the crowd engaged during the show.

Wolf

An Otter putting litter in the bin

Owl

After the really long queues to get in and to watch the show, we were put into another queue to get on the safari train - this one was probably the longest.

The massive queue for the safari train wrapping around everywhere

The safari train holds about 70 people and they slowly take you from section to section explaining what  each animal is and some history about it. The sections are very dimly lit and once again there is an emphasis on no flashes, so these photos are very dark, but luckily I was able to get some shots unlike many others.

Hyenas

Tigers

Hippo

Elephant

Rhino

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