Monday, August 10, 2009

My first visit to the Night Safari

I have been contemplating to visit the Singapore Night Safari for quite a long while, and I have finally got to doing so on 9 Aug 2009 (Sun). I have the honour to visit the Night Safari with one of my friends.

My body must have been timed to eat dinner at certain hour. While my initial plan was to catch a light snack while watching the Tribal Dance Performance that was to start at 7 p.m., I ended having dinner instead. My thanks to my friend for her treat to dinner.

The Tribal Dance performers enticed the guests with tribal dances, fire-eating and blowpipe demonstrations. I was pretty impressed with the blowpipe demonstrations for I think the marksmanship was great.

For the rest of the blog post, there will be no more photograph to see. I had decided not to take any photograph for the rest of my visit so that I could dedicate my energy to observe and to learn about the nocturnal animals in their various habitats. Furthermore, the Night Safari requests all visitors not to use flash photography. This is for safety reasons as flash photography may blind the nocturnal animals.

During our visit, I was impressed with one gentleman who stepped forward to remind a fellow guests not to use flash photography. Perhaps our society would have been more civic-minded if we each muster the courage to take responsibility and effort to remind gently yet firmly others of the important ground rules to respect?

Back to the Night Safari visit, my friend and I started off with the walking trail. Initially, it took a while for my eyes to accustom themselves to seeing in the dark night. Things got better as my eyes got used to viewing the animals in the dark. We saw animals such as the mousedeer, the otter and the Pangolin.

Interestingly, I had a pleasant surprise to see a photo of one of my ex-classmate when I was reading through the exhibition panels on a research about Pangolin. I found out that the Pangolin have large keratin scales covering their skin. As some Chinese believed that the Pangolin's scales have medicinal properties while others consider Pangolin's meat as a delicacy, the Pangolin have been hunted and their existence have been threatened. The various exhibition panels helped guests like myself gain a better appreciation of conservation issues.

During the visit, I had the privilege to get very close to a Slow Loris. It made movements that were slow and deliberate. Interestingly, I learnt that adorable looking creatures like the Slow Loris actually can produce a venom to use against its enemies.

I also saw porcupines live! It was fascinating to see how the porcupine appears to increase its size visually when it raised its needle-like quills.

After completing the walking trail, my friend and I took the 45 minutes tram ride. This tram ride comes with a live commentary and that greatly enhances our knowledge of the various animals. My thanks to msfeline for her tips and strong recommendations to take the tram ride. The tram ride took guests to parts of the Night Safari which would not be accessible to visitors who took the walking trail. The tram ride allowed guests to see animals such as the lions, the elephants, the Malayan Tapirs and the Flamingoes. I had the privilege to be pretty close to the Malayan Tapirs and a couple of deers while I was on the tram.

One thing that I have learnt from the tram ride was that the striped hyena is a scavenger, but the spotted hyena is a predator. Many thanks to the guide on the tram ride for her well-prepared commentary. Like msfeline had recommended to me, I too agree it will be a great idea to take the tram ride when one visits the Singapore Night Safari. Do check out the walking trails too. The walking trails enable guests to take their own pace to observe the various animals.

For more information on visitors' information, please visit the Night Safari's website:


kyh said...

I heard that the place is overhyped. Maybe the beauty is the eyes of the beholder. I wish to be up close and personal with the malayan tapirs. rare species on the brink of exticntion... :)

pinkie said...

One of my favourite places for night visits :) used to visit it pretty regularly when I was with my previous company that provides free passes.

oceanskies79 said...

kyh: I took the tram at about 10 p.m., and I got very close with two Malayan Tapirs while I was on the tram.

Pinkie: I suppose it must have been a lovely place to visit with your children. ;)